Translingualism at the University of Strasbourg

I spoke with Monsieur Serge Potier from the University of Strasbourg yesterday following his presentation about the PhD process at the university. During the Q&A after his talk, he mentioned that some theses are written in a combination of both English and French.

I was wondering what language(s) classes were usually conducted in. From M. Potier’s description, many professors actually conduct classes somewhat bilingually, with instruction in French but slides and materials in English. He said this is because slides are often reused at international conferences, and English is a more commonly used language.

It was interesting to hear about this translingual integration of languages, especially since M. Potier seemed to feel it was both expected and necessary for both faculty and students to communicate multilingually in the classroom. While translingual approaches are starting to gain purchase in some classrooms in the US, I wouldn’t describe it as an expected norm.

It has been interesting to see the integration of multiple languages in an academic setting, and I look forward to seeing what we find in southern Switzerland and Italy!

Here is a picture of Larry, who has kept me company on this trip.


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