The Language(s), Interculturality and Literacies Research, associated with the Language Interculturality and Literacies (LIL) Research Hub, promotes research in multimodal and multilingual discourse including British Sign Language and Gaelic, Bilingual Education, CLIL, English as an Additional Language, English for Special Purposes, Interculturality, Languages Other Than English (LOTE), Literature studies, Modern Languages, Pluriliteracies, Translanguaging, TESOL, and, World Englishes, amongst other research areas.

LIL - Language(s)

The study of language(s) explores how language mediates our relationship to the world and others. Through the lens of multi- and plurilingualism, reflecting on the complexities of our post-modern societies, research on language uncovers our affiliations, our positionalities and our intersectionalities. In our globalized world, it examines the links between new ecologies, new mobilities and new fluidities in expressing identities, trajectories and territories and emphasizes the role of language(s) in the exercise of power, equity and social justice.

In Language Education, drawing insights from trans- and interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches, our research on Language(s) considers how globalization has framed new ways of expressing, researching and teaching language(s) in diverse educational and social contexts. Our researchers question dominant homogeneous social discourses and embrace applied dimensions of teaching and learning practices ranging from language acquisition, educational sociolinguistics to language education policy, theory and philosophy.

LIL - Interculturality

Intercultural research is global, wide-ranging and encompasses many different subfields. The ‘popularity’ of research on interculturality in recent years can be characterised by the fact that intercultural components can now be found within, and used by, many supranational organisations around the world (E.g., Council of Europe, OECD, UNESCO). Yet the globality of ‘the intercultural’ is dominated by a limited amount of privileged voices, mostly from ‘Western’ English-speaking scholars.

Economic-political forces have an influence on what the field researches, what it publishes, and where and who it influences. There is thus an urgent need to address and readdress interculturality in relation to questions of social justice and equality (e.g., in addressing ablism, linguism, racism, sexism and ageism). Working on interculturality in research and education requires being vigilant and sceptical towards what is presented as the ‘obvious’ and the ‘commonsensical’ (e.g., the choice of research approaches, concepts, and methods).

In this sense we encourage research on the decentring of interculturality in terms of trans- and interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches (e.g., from linguistics, literature, philosophy, politics and sociology) and through the use of multilingualism to find new ways of expressing, researching and teaching interculturality in diverse educational and social contexts.

LIL - Pluriliteracies

Pluriliteracies  provides a lens through which to reconceptualise language learning and language using in ways which critique the dominant role of linguistic fluency and foreground critical textual fluency. Textual fluency can be taught – it enables learners to make meaning, deepen understanding, critically analyse multimodal texts and apply an understanding of concepts to real-world contexts.

To do this requires understanding and using linguistic structures relating to specific subject disciplines (linguistic fluency) and learned through critical textual analysis, languaging learning, and using linguistic resources available including all the languages familiar to the learner (textual fluency).

Pluriliteracies repositions languages primarily as a learning tool as well as a communication tool, which develop through advancing critical literacies skills and transparent conceptual development. Whilst pluriliteracies suggests an explicit focus on domain-specific disciplinary literacies across school subjects, our research promotes language learning itself as a subject discipline. The potential for learners to manipulate and create their own dynamic linguistic repertoire across languages, subjects and cultures, shifts the role of language educators into a new inclusive and socially diverse realm.

Further information

Please contact any members of the leadership team to find out more.

Dr Florence Bonacina-Pugh

Professor Do Coyle

Dr Cécile Bullock

Dr Madeleine Campbell

Janet de Vigne

Rachel O'Neill

Dr Ashley Simpson


Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - TESOL (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Language Education (MSc/PgDip)

Language and Intercultural Communication (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)