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Petición de contribuciones (libro)Infoling 3.43 (2021)

Título:The Impacts of Language Conflict in Educational Settings
Subtítulo:When Language Contact becomes a conflict in the classroom
Autores/as:Rodriguez, Yliana V.; Elizaincín, Adolfo

One of the many intriguing aspects of contact linguistics is conflict. Although language conflict between ethnic groups is sometimes wrongly perceived as political, economic or sociological in nature, it actually tends to result from language contact. Such conflicts negatively impact educational settings. How education can be used to settle language conflict has been shown to some extent by Labrie et al. (1993) and Nelde (1997). However, how language conflict interferes in the educational spheres has received much less attention.


The intersection of these two subjects is still understudied. Some governments have tackled the matter by means of policies. For example, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages published in 1992, which entered into force in 1998, names a number of measures that aim to promote the use of regional or minority languages in education (cf. Darquennes [2011] for a detailed overview). However, scholarly works that look into the aforementioned crisscrossing still remain scarce.


Conflict linguistics can be traced back in linguistics literature to the birth of the discipline, however, it only became thoroughly explored in the 1960s. North America and Europe have received most of the attention when it came to the study of language conflict. Political scientists, sociologists and social psychologists have also analysed the phenomenon. In 1990 Haarmann presented a general theory on language conflict inspired by Haugen’s ideas, and in 1979 Nelde launched a series of conferences on Contact & Conflict, devoting many volumes of his Plurilingua series to the topic of language conflict. Today, in spite of some valuable contributions to the field (e.g. Mac Giolla Chríost 2003, Rindler Schjerve 2003, 2007 and Conill 2007, Darquennes 2010, 2015), the field of language conflict remains a rich arena within linguistics and other fields.


Given that language conflict and contact linguistics are part of the same reality, conflict linguistics findings appear --with or without reference-- in literature on contact-induced language change. Such literature highlights the importance of recognizing the “interrelationship between socio-cultural conditions and linguistic phenomena” (Weinreich (1968 [1953]: 83). Translating these general principles of language contact to language conflict, Haarmann (1990: 2–3) notes that “a language conflict is not a state of affairs where one linguistic system is in conflict with another system”, it is the result “from contact settings whose conditions are controversially evaluated (...) in the individual’s mind”. Haarmann concludes that “the actual language conflict exists in the person’s consciousness”. When it comes to education, this consciousness can play a very important part, given that education policies, as well as the actual teaching and learning can be very much affected. 


Case studies that address the Basque-Spanish language conflict in the Basque Autonomous Community (cf. Urla 2003), the French-English language conflict in Québec (cf. Larrivée 2003), the Russian and Latvian conflict in Latvia (Schmid 2008), the Irish-English conflict in Northern Ireland (cf. Muller 2010), the French-Corsican language conflict (cf. Fabellini 2010), and the Dutch-French conflict in Belgium (cf. Van der Linden & Roets 2017) marginally mention the intersection between conflict linguistics and education. Even though studies on these (and other) conflict scenarios have received some attention, harder to find, though, is broader research on language conflict and educational matters, which examines how conflict linguistics and education are intertwined.


Language conflict scenarios could benefit from the intersection of research on language contact and education. Hence, we are proposing an edited volume which aims to better understand how language conflict (resulting from language contact) impacts on education in the form of policy, teaching, and learning.


For this purpose, we seek manuscripts looking into conflict linguistics in educational settings. Specifically, we are interested in manuscripts that address one or more of the framing questions listed below. We are eager to have a diverse set of theoretical perspectives and methodologies represented in the volume, as well as scholarship representative of different locations, backgrounds and from various disciplinary angles. We are particularly interested in research approaches that address current conflict scenarios, both in and outside the classroom. We welcome case studies as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to the matter.


Framing questions:


  • What do the neighboring disciplines of sociology, anthropology, political philosophy and history, etc. have to offer to conflict linguistics in education? Is the concept of “language conflict” appropriate at all when it comes to education? How do non-linguistic disciplines as well as non-scientific literature refer to the phenomenon.

  • How do the notions related to language conflict such as “linguistic strife”, “conflicting language ideologies”, “contested language varieties”, etc. interact in the educational spheres? To what extent are the heterogeneity and the permeability of notions such as “(standard) language”, “speech community”, “minority”, “majority”, “diglossia”, “identity” etc. relevant for educational practices?

  • Are language conflicts rooted in a discourse that celebrates “homogeneity” or in one that celebrates “heterogeneity”? How can the search for possible synergies between discourses on “heterogeneity” and discourses on “homogeneity” influence educational outcomes?

  • What is the extent, the stability, the common features and the intensity of language conflict in educational settings around the globe? Apart from the language groups with a high potential for conflict that have received attention when it comes to language conflict (e.g. Canada, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Switzerland, Russia, the Caribbean, Belgium communities), which other groups have such potential when it comes to educational arenas?

  • What is on the agenda of the parties (individuals and/or groups) that “steer” language conflicts in education? What are the outcomes of the management of language conflict in educational settings? Which initiatives can be witnessed in “education policies”? How can taking a view on language as dynamic, personal, free, creative, open, and constantly help ease language conflict in the classroom? Are there different “degrees” of language conflict or typologies of language conflict in education?

  • What is the overlap between the main areas of focus of language conflict research (i.e. language conflict at the level of “language”, “the individual language user(s)” and “society”) and education?

  • Which “language problems” in pre-defined social groups (i.e. speech communities: immigrant, indigenous, affluent, etc.) arise in the context of education?

  • How can the prestige of a language impact learning processes?

  • What are the roles of the sociology of language, sociolinguistics and contact linguistics as sub-disciplines of linguistics in assisting to find solutions to the many societal language problems that take place in education? How would a better understanding of the mechanisms of language conflict help to positively influence education?

  • How can the rapid development of contact linguistics and the implementation of contact linguistic methods contribute to a more systematic handling of language conflict phenomena?

How to propose a chapter


Researchers interested in contributing to the volume are invited to submit chapter summaries of up to 1000 words for a chapter of 7000-9000 words. The summary should include your research question(s), theoretical and methodological frameworks, findings, and implications for future research. Please email your submission by July 1, 2021 to


About the process


We have active interest from a leading international academic publisher and are working closely with one of their editors. At this stage we are seeking chapters to include in the book proposal. We hope to include 10-15 chapters in the volume, grouped into three or four sections. Contributors will be notified of the status of their proposed chapter by September 1, 2021. At that time, we will ask accepted contributors for concise abstracts (200-300 words) to include in the volume proposal. We aim to have the volume proposal submitted to the publisher by December 1, 2021. The volume proposal will then go through a peer review process which may lead to revisions. Once the volume proposal has been accepted, we anticipate a fairly rapid process for writing, reviewing, and revising chapters and commentaries, with full chapter drafts tentatively due March 1, 2022, peer review feedback returned May 1, 2022, and revisions due July 1, 2022.

Temática:Otras especialidades
Plazo de envío de propuestas: hasta el 1 de julio de 2021
Notificación de contribuciones aceptadas:1 de septiembre de 2021
Remitente:Yliana V. Rodríguez
Correo-e: <>
Fecha de publicación en Infoling:27 de marzo de 2021