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Languages, Society & Policy (LSP) is an open access online journal publishing high-quality peer-reviewed language research that addresses issues concerning languages, cultures, and societies in accessible and non-technical language. LSP promotes engagement with policy makers, journalists and stakeholders in education, health, business and elsewhere, through its collection of Policy Papers, Opinion Articles and Dialogues
Contributions are welcome from diverse disciplines and subdisciplines that relate to language, including—but not limited to—linguistics, modern languages, and all relevant subfields of cognitive science, cultural studies, education, health sciences, neuroscience, and psychology. For information on how to submit a paper to LSP, please see the Editorial Guidelines.

Update (September 2023)

Policy Papers 

In June, Emma Humphries of Queen’s University Belfast and Wendy Ayres-Bennett of the University of Cambridge challenged several policy misconceptions by revealing the surprisingly remarkable reach of the UK’s public language policy, which goes well beyond modern languages and education. ‘The hidden face of the UK’s public language policy’ is the latest of four policy papers published in LSP in the last twelve months alone.  

In February, Piotr Blumczynski and Steven Wilson of Queen’s University Belfast called for much-improved multilingual provision in health communication, drawing on the vital lessons that must be learned from the pandemic: ‘COVID-19 and the importance of languages in public health’

A reminder too that the LSP relaunch was accompanied by policy papers from Karen Forbes (‘We are multilingual: Identity education to promote engagement and achievement in schools’) and Wendy Ayres-Bennett and Marco Hafner (‘The economic value to the UK of speaking other languages’). 


Last month LSP launched the latest Dialogues collection centred on the work of AHRC Future of Language Research Fellows on the topic of Research in Languages, Societies and Cultures.  

Nicola McLelland of the University of Nottingham outlined key findings from a survey of UK-based languages researchers and argued for actions to secure the languages research pipeline and to promote diversity within the discipline. Emmanuelle Labeau of Aston University presented the findings from her BRUM (Birmingham Research for Upholding Multilingualism) project, outlining the presence of and need for languages in education, business, public services and the community. The University of Aberdeen’s Michelle MacLeod and Dawn Leslie identified current research practices and focus of government agencies and stakeholder organisations in promoting UK’s indigenous languages, suggesting future research to support policy ambitions and interventions. Liz Wren-Owens of Cardiff University responded to the Fellows’ reports, asking how we can address inequalities in modern languages provision and the needs of stakeholders within and beyond the languages community. 

Past, Present and Future 

LSP is very excited to be building bridges between research and policy and this continues will be further policy papers and dialogues, whilst working with contributors on forthcoming opinion articles in the vein of Joseph Ford and Emanuelle Santos’s work on decolonising languages in higher education, which also coincided with last year’s relaunch. 

LSP has undoubtedly been reinvigorated by the relaunch and the support of our new consortium members. However, we are now in our seventh year and all the content from the previous site has joined us on the new one. This includes a number of policy paper ‘collections’, such as ‘Language inequality in education, law and citizenship’, addressing language inequalities in areas as diverse as language classrooms, legal settings, public service interpreting and translation, higher education and census design.  

Below you’ll find a selection of policy papers and opinion articles in the LSP archive: 

•    ‘Recognising and protecting the communication rights of autistic children’ by Melanie Greaux, Napoleon Katsos and Jenny Gibson
•    ‘Grammatical errors: what can we do about them?’ by Dora Alexopoulou
•    ‘The DfE/Ofqual consultation on revised GCSE qualifications in Modern Foreign Languages’ by Michelle Sheehan, Alice Corr, Anna Havinga, Jonathan Kasstan, Norma Schifano and Sascha Stollhans.