Keynote speakers

Charles Beer

Geneva and multilingualism: the role of a language policy, reality or illusion?

In his role as State Councillor, Charles Beer was responsible for the department of public education, culture and sport. In this capacity, he was also a member of both the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) and the Inter-cantonal Conference of Public Education for French- and Italian-speaking Regions of Switzerland (CIIP). He developed a language policy within the framework of the Swiss harmonisation process (HarmoS) and worked to introduce a curriculum for the French-speaking region (PER). This included establishing cantonal measures to consider the place of Latin and the role of the native languages of pupils with migrant backgrounds. At the level of post-compulsory education, he extended the range of bilingual Matura programmes at Swiss high schools and developed a teacher training programme within the framework of the PER. He was also a strong advocate of language exchanges. On December 18 2013, the Federal Council has appointed Charles Beer as new President of Pro Helvetia. 

Alexandre Duchêne

Language work in the new globalized economy:  Between precarization and banalization
Alexandre Duchêne is Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Fribourg and Director of the Institute of Multilingualism at the University of Fribourg/University of Teacher Education, Fribourg. His research investigates the links between language and social inequality, political issues pertaining to linguistic minorities, multilingualism in the new globalised economy, as well as the role played by linguistic competences in processes of social selection (at school, in the workplace, etc.). His numerous publications include: Ideologies across Nations (2008, Mouton de Gruyter), Discourses of Endangerment (with Monica Heller, 2007, Continuum), Langage, genre et sexualité (with Claudine Moïse, 2010, Nota Bene), Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit (with Monica Heller, Routledge) and Language, Migration and Social Inequalities (with Melissa Moyer and Celia Robert, 2013, Multilingual Matters). Alexandre Duchêne is President of the Francophone Network of Sociolinguistics (RFS) and Vice President of the Swiss Association for Applied Linguistics (Vals-Asla). 

Ute Smit

English-medium education: plurilingual and intercultural practices in multilingual university settings
Ute Smit is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Department of English Studies, University of Vienna. Her current research and publications focus on English as a lingua franca, English-medium instruction at the tertiary level and content-and-language-integrated learning. She has also published on teacher education, motivation in language learning and English in South Africa. Currently, she is a member of an international research project on “Language and content integration: Towards a conceptual framework (ConCLIL)”, financed by the Academy of Finland. Her major publications include Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education (AILA Review 25, ed. with Dafouz 2012), English as a Lingua Franca in Higher Education (2010), Language Use and Language Learning in CLIL Classrooms (ed. withDalton-Puffer 2010), Empirical Perspectives on CLIL Classroom Discourse (ed. with Dalton-Puffer 2007), A New English for a New South Africa? Language Attitudes, Language Planning and Education (1996)