Winter term 2018/2019
Tuesday, 11:30-13:00 in Collegium Novum C1
30 contact hours (1 class a week)
ECTS credits: 6 (for “egzamin”)
Lecturer: Nicole Nau
Module: Methods and Applications

Go to Tasks & Texts (includes the presentations from the lectures) You need a password to access this page; ask other students or the teacher if you don’t have it.

Course description

The topic of this class is the coexistence, contact, and interaction of different languages in individuals and in societies (using a definition by Wei 2012). We will explore different manifestations of multilingualism and learn about empirical methods of research in this area. The first part will be devoted to the different languages of one individual: what are different forms of bi- and multilingualism? How do children acquire more than one language? What effects may multilingualism have on cognitive development? How are different languages organized in the brain? How are languages linked to social and cultural identity? In the second part we will look at multilingual societies: how do societies and governments regulate the use of several languages? Is it easier to rule a state with just one language? How to manage several languages in organizations, for example, of the European Union? Which forms can multilingualism take in education? How do different languages appear in public space? A third, shorter, part of the lecture will address the interaction of languages in speech and possible outcomes of this interaction.

Aims and learning outcome

  • Students will get to know key issues, methods and current positions in research concerning bilingual speakers and multilingual societies.
  • They will be able to formulate research questions, choose adequate methods and carry out their own research concerning these topics.
  • They will understand that multilingualism is the norm rather than an exception for the majority of the world’s population and be able to discuss the benefits and the problems of using more than one language on the basis of current research.
  • They will be able to compare different approaches to societal multilingualism in language policies and to discuss examples of successful language planning.
  • They will be able to explain different techniques and characteristics of bilingual speech and explain different results of language contact on language systems.

Requirements and grading
ELLDo students: 6 ECTS for active attendance, homework (reading), test (= zaliczenie) plus individual or group project with written report or term paper (= “egzamin”)

Other students:
2 ECTS for active attendance, studying of assigned reading (20%) and a test (80%) – obligatory for all (“zaliczenie”)
additional ECTS (according to requirements of the study program) for individually assigned tasks

English B2; the class is designed for MA students, but interested BA students with a background in linguistics are welcome

Bibliography (obligatory and recommended reading will be assigned during the course; this list will grow)

1. Newer textbooks

Baker, Colin. 2011. Foundations of Bilingualism. 5th edition. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. [UB online]

Coulmas, Floria. 2017. An Introduction to Multilingualism. Languages in a changing world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Matras, Yaron. 2009. Language contact. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [library]

Moyer, Melissa G. & Li, Wei, eds. 2009. The Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell. [UB online]

Myers-Scotton, Carol. 2006. Multiple voices. An introduction to bilingualism. Malden: Blackwell. [library; available online (HTML)]

Ng, Bee Chin and Gillian Wigglesworth. 2007. Bilingualism: an advanced resource book. London: Routledge, 2007. [library]

2. Older textbooks

Apple, René & Pieter Muysken. 1987. Language contact and bilingualism. London: Arnold. [A reprint may be downloaded as PDF here: (scanned text, many errors)]

Hamers, Josiane F. & Michel H.A. Blanc. 2000. Bilinguality and bilingualism. Second edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [UB online]

Hoffmann, Charlotte. 1991. An introduction to bilingualism. London, New York: Longman.

Romaine, Suzanne, 1995. Bilingualism. Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell. [library]

Weinreich, Uriel. 1953. Languages in contact. Findings and problems. New York: Publication of the Linguistic Circle. [electronic edition 2010, UB online]

3. Handbooks

Auer, Peter & Wei, Li, eds. 2007. Handbook of multilingualism and multilingual communication. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. [UB online]

Bathia, Tej K. & Ritchie, William C. 2012. The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism. Walden: Wiley-Blackwell. [UB online]

Grosjean, François & Li, Ping. 2013. The psycholinguistics of bilingualism. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. [library]

Kroll, Judith F. & de Groot, Annette M. B., eds. 2005. Handbook of bilingualism: psycholinguistic approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [UB online; library]

Wei, Li, ed. 2009. The bilingualism reader. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. [library]


Gorter, Durk. 2006. Linguistic Landscape: a new approach to multilingualism. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. [UB online]

Pavlenko, Aneta. 2006. Bilingual minds. Emotional experience, expression and representation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. [UB online; library]

Rindler Schjerve, Rosita & Vetter, Eva. 2012. European multilingualism: current perspectives and challenges. Bristol ; Buffalo: Multilingual Matters. [UB online]