Dienstag, 09. April 2019, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Guest lecture by Prof. Eva Codó

(Departament de Filologia Anglesa i de Germanística, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)


Englishization policies in the Catalan education system:A political economy and ethnographic approach

Hörsaal 1, Institut für Sprachwissenschaft (1. OG)
Sensengasse 3a, 1090 Wien


In this talk the multiple ways will be discussed in which the large-scale introduction of English as a language of instruction in Catalan schools is precarizing the teaching profession in mainstream education (Robertson, 2007). It will draw on a body of ethnographic data collected in two different educational institutions (one private and one public), both located in the Barcelona metropolitan area. Data gathered within the framework of a university postgraduate course to train in-service and pre-service teachers in CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) principles and pedagogies will also be brought to bear. Although the dynamics of work instability are distinct in each of the two schools mentioned owing to key differences in hiring procedures, some common threads can be identified: in both cases, English has transformed the institutional order of the school, introduced tensions amongst staff members, and symbolically and practically undermined non-language teachers’ professional competences and career development chances. It will be shown that, while Englishization brings benefits to schools in the form of growing/non-declining enrolment rates, this language policy is at high personal and professional costs to educators. Fully certified pre-service teachers must accumulate more educational and linguistic capital than ever to be able to access their first teaching position. English is key among those capitals. In-service teachers are also forced to ‘language’ themselves (Dlaske et al. 2016), that is, invest in linguistic self-skilling, or else, run the risk of being considered ‘obsolete’, leading stagnant careers, being downgraded within the school hierarchy, being appointed to a different school each year or even being fired. Teachers are caught in a tension between meeting their students’ needs, asserting their professionalism and commitment to innovation and quality education, and defending their rights as workers (Codó & Patiño-Santos 2018). This talk will advocate a historically, institu-tionally and political economy approach to language policy research in education (Flubacher & Del Percio, 2017).



Codó, E. & A. Patiño-Santos (2018). CLIL, unequal working conditions and neoliberal subjectivities in a state secondary school. Language Policy 17(4): 479-499.

Dlaske, K., E. Barakos, K. Motobayashi & M. McLaughlin (2016). Languaging the Worker: Globalized Governmentalities in/of Language in Peripheral Spaces. Multilingua 35(4): 345–359.

Flubacher, M. & A. Del Percio (eds.) (2017). Language, Education and Neoliberalism: Critical Studies in Sociolinguistics. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Robertson, S. (2007) ‘Remaking the World’: Neo-Liberalism and the Transformation of Education and Teachers’ Labour. Centre for Globalisation, Education and Societies Working Papers. University of Bristol.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Wiener Sprachgesellschaft


Jonas Hassemer
Institut für Sprachwissenschaft
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft