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English as a Lingua Franca and Multilingualism

Tuition fee


EARLY BIRD prices valid until 28.2.2019
NORMAL prices after 28.2.2019

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English has become a global language of intercultural communication and is used worldwide as a contact language between people who do not share a common native language. At the same time, the spread of English to areas such as academia, business, diplomacy, sports and even personal relationships has raised questions about the ‘other’ linguistic resources we use alongside or instead of English.

In this course, we examine the phenomenon of English as a lingua franca (ELF) from the perspective of multilingualism. Students will be introduced to developments in the field of ELF, with particular focus on approaching ELF within the framework of multilingualism. We will also discuss different approaches to multilingualism and consider how research on multilingualism increasingly operates with notions such as (trans)languaging that shift the perspective from separate definable languages to processes of meaning making. Our aim is to consider these developments in the light of ELF research.

We consider ELF and multilingualism from various perspectives, with a focus on the multilingual repertoires of ELF users, the manifestation of multilingualism in micro-level ELF interaction, as well as ELF and its implications to, for instance, institutional language policies. We will pay attention to questions of language choice but also to those of language quality, and investigate not only the use of different linguistic resources but also the mechanisms of monitoring, intervening in and managing language use in various contexts.

The course consists of interactive lectures taught by a range of experts in the field who approach the theme of ELF and multilingualism from different perspectives and in different contexts (ranging from academia and business to family contexts). Each lecture topic will be further developed with students in a collaborative workshop format.

For more information about research conducted on and around the course topic at the University of Helsinki, see the English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings (ELFA) and Language Regulation in Academia (LaRA) project websites:

Learning objectives

Upon completion of the course, the students are expected to:
• be acquainted with concepts relevant to the course theme (such as ELF, multilingualism, code-switching, translanguaging)
• be able to demonstrate familiarity with developments in the fields of ELF and multilingualism research
• be able to explain how multilingualism manifests in ELF
• be able to explain some of the mechanisms of language regulation that influence language practices
• have gained hands-on experience of working with authentic linguistic data and of applying different research methods to analysing the data
• be able to conduct a small-scale research project on a topic related to the course theme

Course format and teaching methods

The course format consists of two 90-min. sessions on each day of the course, one in the morning (10.15–11.45) and one in the afternoon (13.15–14.45), with a lunch break in-between. In the mornings, the students will typically attend lectures, and in the afternoons, they will get a chance to apply their newly obtained knowledge in workshops. The interactive activities of the afternoons will include discussions, group work, hands-on experience with analysing linguistic data, mini-research studies in groups or individually on a computer, exercises and tasks. We will use snippets of real research data at our workshops to provide an authentic academic experience.

Target students

The course is suitable for students who are currently planning or already conducting their master’s studies, as well as doctoral students and language professionals who have an interest in ELF and multilingualism.


Niina Hynninen,
You may contact the course coordinator with questions concerning the course content.

With any other questions concerning Helsinki Summer Schoool or the application process, please contact

Apply now! Summer 2019
Application period has ended
Studies commence
Aug 6, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States