European Perspectives on Language Issues:
Ideology and Real Life
ESRC Seminar: Complementary Schools:
Research, Policy and Practice
Goldsmiths and King’s College London
December 4, 2010
J. Normann Jørgensen, Dept. of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen,
1. European perspectives on language and
2. Language in Late Modern Superdiversity
3. Consequences
Language Rights
Neuilly Treaty
1919, art. 49-57 (linguistic minorities)
Council of Europe
1992 European Charter (Regional and Minority
1995 Framework Convention (National minorities)
CSCE (Vienna)
1989 Education of ”national minorities”
EU Council of Ministers 1977 Directive 77/486 (minority language mother tongue
2003 Directive 2003/109 (the status of third-country
nationals who are long-term residents)
European Commission
2004 ”One Mother Tongue, Two Foreign Languages”
European Parliament
2004 Resolution 2204/2267 (INI)
Traité de Neuilly 27 novembre 1919
Art. 53.
Il ne sera édicté aucune restriction contre le libre
usage pour tout ressortissant bulgare d’une langue
quelconque, soit dans les relations privées ou de
commerce, soit en matière de religion, de presse,
ou de publications de toute nature, soit dans les
réunions publiques.
Nonobstant l’établissement par le Gouvernement
bulgare d’une langue officielle, des facilités
appropriées seront données aux ressortissants
bulgares de language autre que le bulgare, pour
l’usage de leur language, soit oralement, soit par
écrit, devant les tribunaux.
Traité de Neuilly 27 novembre 1919
Art. 55.
En matière d’enseignement public, le
Gouvernement bulgare accordera, dans les
villes et districts où réside une proportion
considérable de ressortissants bulgares de
language autre que la langue bulgare, des
facilités appropriées pour assurer que dans
l’écoles primaires, l’instruction sera donnée,
dans leur propre language, aux enfants de
ces ressortissants bulgares.
Council of Europe 1992 European Charter
(Regional and Minority languages)
Article 8 – Education
With regard to education, the Parties undertake, within the territory in
which such languages are used, according to the situation of each of
these languages, and without prejudice to the teaching of the official
language(s) of the State:
- to make available pre-school education in the relevant regional or
minority languages; or
- to make available a substantial part of pre-school education in the
relevant regional or minority languages; or
- to apply one of the measures provided for under i and ii above at least to
those pupils whose families so request and whose number is
considered sufficient; or
- if the public authorities have no direct competence in the field of preschool education, to favour and/or encourage the application of the
measures referred to under i to iii above;
Council of Europe 1992 European Charter
(Regional and Minority languages)
• Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe
is to achieve a greater unity between its members,
particularly for the purpose of safeguarding and
realising the ideals and principles which are their
common heritage;
• Considering that the protection of the historical
regional or minority languages of Europe, some of
which are in danger of eventual extinction,
contributes to the maintenance and development
of Europe's cultural wealth and traditions;
CSCE Vienna - concluding document,
January 15, 1989
(43) Aiming at ensuring effective equality of
opportunity between the children of migrant
workers and the children of their own nationals
regarding access to all forms and levels of
education, the participating States affirm their
readiness to take measures needed for the better
use and improvement of educational opportunities.
Furthermore, they will encourage or facilitate,
where reasonable demand exists, supplementary
teaching in their mother tongue for the children of
migrant workers.
Council of Europe Framework Convention
for the Protection of National Minorities 1995
Considering that a pluralist and genuinely
democratic society should not only respect
the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious
identity of each person belonging to a
national minority, but also create
appropriate conditions enabling them to
express, preserve and develop this identity
Council of Europe Framework Convention
for the Protection of National Minorities 1995
Article 12
1 The Parties shall, where appropriate, take measures in the
fields of education and research to foster knowledge of the
culture, history, language and religion of their national
minorities and of the majority.
2 In this context the Parties shall inter alia provide adequate
opportunities for teacher training and access to textbooks,
and facilitate contacts among students and teachers of
different communities.
3 The Parties undertake to promote equal opportunities for
access to education at all levels for persons belonging to
national minorities.
EU Council of Ministers 1977 Directive 77/486
(minority language mother tongue teaching)
Article 3
Member States shall, in accordance with their
national circumstances and legal systems,
and in cooperation with States of origin,
take appropriate measures to promote, in
coordination with normal education,
teaching of the mother tongue and culture of
the country of origin for the children
referred to in Article 1
EU Council of Ministers 2003/109 EC
(the status of third-country nationals who are
long-term residents)
Article 11
Equal treatment
1. Long-term residents shall enjoy equal treatment
with nationals as regards:
(b) education and vocational training, including
study grants in accordance with national law;
The European Parliament,
1. Believes that the school-age children of immigrants have a right to state
education, irrespective of the legal status of their families, and that
their entitlement extends to learning of their mother tongue and study
of their native culture, whenever immigrant communities are such as to
warrant this;
2. Believes that even when the children and/or descendants of immigrants
(second and third generations) are proficient in the language of their
host country, the facilities at primary and secondary schools must be
such that the study of mother tongues and native cultures can be a
genuine option, especially in cities and regions where immigrants
account for at least 5% of the school-age population
- level of concepts and ideologies
1. Democratic ideals - language rights (individual?)
2. Nationalist ideals - to a people belongs a language
and a culture (although not always a state!)
3. There are national minorities, regional minorities,
and migrants - inter-EU migrants and external
Language Behavior in Late Modern Superdiversity
<nej shit mand>[<] Jackpot hele verden
no shit man Jackpot all over the world
Jackpot takes you there dadadadidu [synger]
hele verden
all the world
are you finish
Jackpot hele verden
Jackpot all over the world
<no I am Danish>[>]
<no I am Danish>[<] reklâmda
no I am Danish in the ad
no I am Finnish
<Ingilizce>[<] hello
English hello
hello I would like a squash
hello I would like a squash # I am Danish
Maimuna 13:45
har købt the equipment, skal bare finde tid til at lave en spektakulær én
kun tje dig morok, den skal være speciel med ekstra spice :P, sorry tar
mig sammen denne weekend! insAllah
[have bought the equipment, just need time to make a spectacular one for you,
you old geezer, it must be special with extra spice :P, sorry pull myself together
this weekend! insAllah]
Ayhan 15:20
gracias muchas gracias !!
jeg wenter shpæændt gardash ;-))
love youuu...
[thank you very much thank you!! I am waiting anxiously mate ;-)) love
İlknur 23:37
Ohhh Maimuna, Du havde også lovet mig en skitse... Og du sagde, at
det ville været efter eksamener, men ??? Still waiting like Ayhan, and a
promise is a promise :D :D:D
[Ohhh Maimuna. You promised me a sketch, too…And you said that it would be
after exams, but??? Still waiting like Ayhan and a promise is a promise :D :D :D]
the monolingualism norm
persons with access to more than one language should be sure to
master one of them before getting into contact with the other
the double monolingualism norm
persons who command two languages will at any given time use one
and only one language, and they use each of their languages in a way
that does not in principle differ from the way monolinguals use the
same language
the integrated bilingualism norm
persons who command two languages will employ their full linguistic
competence in two different languages at any given time adjusted to
the needs and the possibilities of the conversation, including the
linguistic skills of the interlocutors
the poly-lingualism norm
language users employ whatever linguistic features are at their disposal
to achieve their communicative aims as best they can, regardless of
how well they know the involved languages; this entails that the
language users may know - and use - the fact that some of the features
are perceived by some speakers as not belonging together
Language and “Languages”
Languages, lects, registers, varieties, etc., at the level of use are focus concepts
without clear boundaries. There is no linguistic, i.e. language-based method to
decide where “one language” begins and “another language” ends.
Languages are sociocultural constructs.
The construction is supported and maintained by National Romanticism which is
very strong in Europe:
Naturalization laws
”New” languages
languages do not exist as real entities in the world and neither do they emerge
from or represent real environments; they are, by contrast, the inventions of
social, cultural and political movements (Makoni & Pennycook 2006, 2)
If we understand, organize, and draw on those resources as belonging to whole,
bounded systems we call ‘languages’, it is because that notion makes sense in
the context of the ways language has been bound up in ideologies of nation and
state since the nineteenth century (Heller 2007, 1)
Linguistic Features
Human beings learn and use features.
Linguistic features appear in the shape of units and
rules. These features are taken to be
representatives of sets of features.
Speakers refer to these ideological constructs as
“languages” (“dialects”, “codes”, etc.)
Educational systems refer to the teaching of
language as “teaching of languages”
Most of the conventions refer to collective language rights
Individual linguistic rights?
Every human being has language.
All language is both individual and social.
”Every human being has the right to use language she (or he) knows
(has access to, owns, commands, has learnt....)”
”Every human being has the right to be addressed in language she or
he has the comprehension potential to de-code.”
”Every human being has the right to receive instruction in language
that is necessary for him or her (in everyday life, in life, in social
The young are not very well helped with a purist monolingualism norm
based schooling.

European Perspectives on Language Issues: Ideology and