Thursday 10 October

Please register in the foyer of the G-building.

Language Policy Put into Practice: Functional Multilingualism at the European Technical University of Darmstadt

Constanze Bradlaw, Stefanie Nölle-Becker, Technische Universität Darmstadt

In reaction to increasing mobility in the course of internationalisation processes, most German HEIs resort to a language policy often labelled as English only in their so called international study programmes. The Technical University of Darmstadt though chose to take a different path. Commissioned and decided by its Executive Board in 2022, its specifically developed languages concept promotes functional multilingualism and comprises a catalogue of over 30 individual measures of implementation so far (see Bradlaw/Hufeisen/Nölle-Becker 2022b). These suggest in a very concrete manner how to increase the visibility as well as the use of the vast linguistic resources of all students, academic and non-academic staff at our university alike. It thus promotes the equality of all languages and their variants as well as the acceptance of diversity in German HE. In our presentation, we define our understanding of multilingualism and introduce our concept of functional multilingualism. Several examples will illustrate our languages policy put into practice. In addressing all members of our institution, we strive for an inclusive approach that allows for the use of multiple languages on campus. This contributes to achieving more justice for languages and equity of education as it ultimately fosters the democratic acceptance of diversity.

The Speakers

Constanze Bradlaw is PhD fellow and Executive Advisor of the Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.

Stefanie Nölle-Becker is PhD fellow and Research Associate at the Department of Linguistics – Multilingualism at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.


Bradlaw, Constanze/Hufeisen, Britta/Stefanie Nölle-Becker (2022a), Das Konzept der funktionalen Mehrsprachigkeit im Kontext der Internationalisierung deutscher Hochschulen. Fremdsprachen lehren und lernen 51: 2, 38-52.

Bradlaw, Constanze/Hufeisen, Britta/Nölle-Becker, Stefanie (2022b), Prozesse der Professionalisierung an deutschen Hochschulen am Beispiel der Umsetzung des Sprachenkonzepts der Europäischen Technischen Universität Darmstadt als angewandtes Modell der funktionalen Mehrsprachigkeit. Zeitschrift für Interkulturellen Fremdsprachenunterricht 27: 2, 1–11.

Bradlaw, Constanze/Hufeisen, Britta/Nölle-Becker, Stefanie (2024), The concept of functional multilingualism in the context of internationalisation at German universities. In Gabryś-Barker, D. & Vetter, E. (Eds), Modern Approaches to Researching Multilingualism. Studies in Honour of Larissa Aronin. Cham, Springer.

Friday 11 October

Join us shortly after lunch on Friday for a relaxing 50-minute sightseeing tour on a 'train' through Wiesbaden.

Departure time: 14:30 (Marktplatz 1)

Tickets: €11 per person

For those of you who still have time after the sightseeing trip, we can either go and have some great coffee at Kaufmanns and/or finish the day with a glass of wine at Balthasar Ress Weinbar & Vinothek.

Please note that your symposium fee does not include the cost of these leisure activities.

Sessions marked with one asterisk * are suitable for online participation.

Sessions marked with two asterisks ** may be suitable for online participation - to be confirmed.