17-18 March 2023

Multilingualism in school and science – a European model of the future for the educational systems of Southeast Europe?

The central question discussed at the two-day conference pertains to the prospect of multilingualism in school, higher education, and science in Europe in the light of the ever more prevailing English language. English currently dominates not only in global scientific publications and the internationalization of academic education and research but also, to the detriment of other languages, in school education. What are the drivers of this trend? Is there an alternative to this development and where can one find a model of truly multilingual European school education and scientific research?

The conference will deal with these issues through thematically organized panel discussions, where the two concepts – Multilingualism and English Only – will be put against each other, followed by debates on each concept’s potentials and limitations in science and educational systems. The said systems are influenced by one another and form, in terms of language policy, an integrated whole. Anyone wishing for multilingualism in science shall advocate for multilingualism in school education.

A special regional focus is put on Southeast Europe, which from a historical perspective is a multilingual region where, among others, German was the main language in education and science. What remains of these historical multilingual foundations? Can multilingual pre-college and higher education build on them, or will there be a paradigm shift favouring the English Only concept in our region as well?

Through the exchange of experiences from the German-speaking area, the aim of this conference is to stimulate a linguistic-political discourse on the prospect of multilingualism in pre-college/academic education and science in Southeast Europe, while discussing the possibility of institutionalizing it by means of a standing international task force. The conference is divided into two parts. On the first day, the discussion will centre on the development of multilingualism in school, and on the second day the focus will be on the development of multilingualism in science. The languages spoken at the conference are Croatian and German. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

Conference program – German/English

Conference program – German/Croatian


Prof. Siegfried Gehrmann, PhD, University of Zagreb, email: sgehrmann@hrstud.hr

Yvonne Klietz ; Goethe Institute Zagreb, email: yvonne.klietz@goethe.de