Enrope language policy, linguistic housekeeping, definitions and implementation
ENROPE Language Policy
The ENROPE Group
One of ENROPE’s central aims was to legitimate and validate multilingualism/plurilingualism
as an academic practice. Therefore we thought about and discussed how we use languages
in all our activities and products (Intellectual Outputs or IOs). For this purpose we developed
this language policy, which was reviewed and revised throughout the project. This document
covers the purpose of the ENROPE language policy, definitions adopted, information on
implementation and linguistic quality assurance.
1. Purposes of language policy
1.1 Awareness, practicality, transparency: Aiming towards greater equality of languages,
we recognised that we live in a world where both languages are hierarchically organised,
and where practical considerations need to be taken into account. This document is
designed to make the rationale behind the ENROPE language policy transparent.
1.2 Ethics of inclusion of diverse languages, people and knowledges: Pursuing an
ethos of sensitivity, tolerance, respect and interest in all languages and language varieties
used and learned by diverse groups and societies, we aimed to adopt inclusive practices in
our discussions, activities and beyond. We did not take language use for granted but
engaged in discussions at different points throughout the project. Visible evidence of this is
the present document (which resulted from our discussions), in the linguistic housekeeping
elaborated by ENROPE participants during the ENROPE Intensive Study Weeks (ISWs), as
well as in the annotated bibliography, which is an on-going and sustainable ENROPE project
to make knowledge produced in languages other than English accessible and visible.
1.3 Ethics of accessibility: For greater accessibility and usefulness of our project
outcomes, essential and strategic parts were translated into all partner languages (see 2.1).
This ensures that participation and outputs are accessible by audiences with different
linguistic backgrounds. This decision balanced accessibility, inclusion and practicality. These
considerations also guided our quality assurance strategy (see 4).
2. Definitions adopted
2.1 Partner languages: Institutional languages used in ENROPE partner institutions
(Catalan, English, Dutch, Estonian, Frisian, French, German, Spanish, Turkish).
2.2 Languages/varieties: Languages and language combinations that form part of
participants’ individual language repertoires, e.g. Polish, Italian, Mandarin, Urdu, Greek,
Welsh, Swiss and Standard German, American and European Spanish, Mauritian Creole,
2.3 Vehicular languages/varieties: Any language(s) used for translanguaging, e.g. discuss
something in any of the languages above or additional languages or a combination of these.
2.4 English as a lingua franca: Language that all in a group can use as a common
language. All varieties of English are accepted, including US, UK varieties, other world
Englishes and English used as a foreign language (Jenkins, 2013; 2003, Seidlhofer, 2006).
See also 4. Quality Assurance.
2.5 Multilingualism, plurilingualism, translanguaging: Based on Plur>E and and PlurCur
projects, we understand these terms to describe an approach, which we take to mean:
● going beyond discrete languages, for instance by using plurilingual proficiency to
mediate, translate, code switch and communicate multilingually
● being aware that language abilities in different languages are developed to different
degrees, depending on communicative needs in each language. Multilingualism is
therefore more than the mere addition of separate languages and competencies.
● being aware that different languages have different functions; thus different
languages are used in different domains and at different levels, depending on
● being aware that linguistic/multilingual knowledge is connected in the mind and all
languages interact between one another, leading to transfer phenomena.
● being aware that human beings need support to develop, maintain and manage their
Language decisions were made for organisational purposes, such as running the project,
and for communication during events. This language policy document illustrates planned
language choices by the ENROPE steering group. Such language choices were based on
project aims, ethics, requirements by funders, partner organisations, users and institutions,
as outlined in this document. Participant-led language choices were developed through
guided and serendipitous reflection on needs and individual language repertoires for
particular parts of the project and during activities.
3.1 Visibility of languages on the Web platform (IO1): Strategic webpages make
language visible by
● Including participant testimonials in various languages on the language page.
● Offering a language selection button, where users can select partner languages.
Some pages will be available in the original language only (e.g. News).
● Offering strategic texts in all partner languages (see 3.3).
● Annotated bibliography makes visible publications in languages other than English
3.2 Enabling future reflection on language decisions: This document was developed,
adapted and reviewed throughout the project and should not be viewed as final. It needs to
be adapted and developed for the purpose of future projects. The website (IO1) features 3
language policy documents that were developed by the steering group and participants:
● This language policy document in all partner languages.
● The linguistic housekeeping document.
● A link to a ‘thinking routine’ designed to explore, evaluate, imagine, present,
3.3 Translation of ENROPE products: The following texts and outputs were considered as
essential by the ENROPE team. Thus translations into all partner languages are available.
All other texts are available in English
● Website landing page (IO1)
● Project summary (IO1)
● ENROPE competency model (IO2)
● Introduction to the handbook (IO2)
● Blurb for Annotated Bibliography (IO1)
● Portfolio (public part A) (IO3)
● The present language policy document (IO1):
3.4 Translation of ENROPE products by others: Users of ENROPE outputs and products
are invited to translate these into additional languages for academic or educational purposes
but they should not be published without written consent by the ENROPE steering group.
4. Quality assurance
When finalising our products, we needed to establish clarity as to how we balance quality,
accessibility and professionality in our documents.
4.1 Approach to English quality check: We recognised that ENROPE colleagues bring
diverse language capabilities to the project and aimed to support one another in the
production of texts and other outputs in partner and other languages. Our language policy
was guided by Ricento and Seidlhofer (2011, 2006).
“Seidlhofer argues that this privileging of native speaker norms and expectations of what is
acceptable, error-free, English in all contexts in which English is used, whether between
Outer Circle interlocutors, or Outer Circle-Inner Circle interlocutors, is both unrealistic,
irrational, and counterproductive in a world in which the users of English in the outer and
expanding circles far outnumber those speakers of the Inner Circle varieties. She argues that
‘‘it is high time for applied linguists and (English) language teachers to develop fresh ways of
thinking critically about what ‘English’ is, given its changed role and status in the world’’
(Seidlhofer, 2011: 16–17, cited in Ricento, 2014: 364)
Based on this we adopted the following quality assurance policy for checking products in
4.2 Quality checking English texts: In order to ensure outputs were linguistically
accessible and professional, we adopted a multi-pronged-strategy for quality checking. We
checked texts for user-friendliness, inclusivity and clarity, bearing in mind a wide audience of
practitioners and academics alike. This included checking documents in terms of
● Compliance with funder criteria (check against grant application)
● Content (clarity of purpose, reader guidance, acronyms)
● Language use (e.g. correct tenses and spelling)
● Academic soundness (e.g. reflection of current debates and knowledge)
● English being the lingua franca of the project teams, all documents were initially
produced in English. Documents were cross-checked by colleagues from different
partner institutions.British, American and other English varieties are welcome, but
documents should be consistent in themselves.
● 'Documents will be checked by at least two colleagues from different partner
institutions with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. This will allow us to
check the clarity and soundness of documents'.
● ENROPE partners in the nine partner institutions took charge of the translations
required as outlined under 3.3. The translations thus produced were then
cross-checked by a colleague proficient in both languages.
● We will use track-changes (e.g. spelling, tenses) and comment functions (e.g. where
content unclear) to make suggestions to authors, who then finalise the texts.
● We added the following footnote to all major documents in order to raise the readers’
awareness to the fact that different terms and concepts mean different things,
depending on discipline, language and cultural backgrounds.
Footnote to be included in all documents:
“We recognise that colleagues at different stages in their careers work in a range of cultural
and scholarly contexts and use different varieties of English. Rather than imposing the norms
of one variety of English and the native speaker norms, we have adopted an approach which
allows for a more flexible use of the English language, prioritising clarity and effective
communication. As to translations, terms and concepts may have different meanings in
different languages, for example, the terms dialect and community language. We asked
contributors to provide respective explanations, only when terms and concepts may be
contested, cause misunderstandings or are used in different ways in different languages. See
ENROPE language policy for further details.“
Jenkins, J. (2003). World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students. London and New York:
Jenkins, J. (2013). English as a Lingua Franca in the International University: The Politics of
Academic English Language Policy. Routledge.
Ricento, T. (2014). Thinking about language: what political theorists need to know about language in
the real world. Language Policy, 13(4), 351–369. doi:10.1007/s10993-014-9322-2
Seidlhofer, B. (2011) Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Seidlhofer, B. (2006). English as a Lingua Franca in the Expanding Circle: What It Isn't. English in the
World: Global Rules, Global Roles. Continuum.
Enrope language policy, linguistic housekeeping, definitions and implementation