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Language Policy and Economic Activity: the Case of Three Cypriot Companies, Research Seminar

In contrast with dominant approaches in language policy and language planning (Karyolemoy & Pavlou 2013) that adopt a macro-linguistic approach, in this presentation, Dr Popi Theophanous will explore the relationship between language and economic activity in the micro-linguistic context of three national Cypriot companies: in a company selling dairy products, in a pharmaceutical company and in a property development company. For this purpose, a mixed research methodology combining both qualitative and quantitative data as well as job advertisements, brochures and photographic material (Theophanous 2013, 2015). Data were analysed within the theoretical framework of language management theory (Spolsky 2004, 2009; Shohamy 2006), whereby language policy is considered as a threefold activity comprising of language beliefs, management and practices.

The data analysis confirms that all three companies exert a specific language policy – although in an implicit and covert manner – which leads to the adoption of a common language management approach as far as English is concerned. However, besides monolingual practices that arose from the extensive use of English as a Lingua Franca, alternative language scenarios promoting multilingualism emerged as well.

Please register your participation at: info@uclancyprus.ac.cy

Biography: Popi Theophanous is a Greek Literature Teacher that teaches in the Regional Gymnasium of Livadia. She holds a bachelor degree in Greek Literature from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching from the University of Birmingham and a PhD with a concentration in Language Policy from the University of Cyprus. Her research interests cover language policy in micro social structures, multilingual practices and management in different workplaces.