Li Wei

Post-Multilingualism, the Mobility Turn and the Importance of the Moment

Life in the 21st century is characterised by increased mobility, liquidity and flow of information, individuals and identities, resulting in a complex intersection of people, ideas and institutions that has been described as ‘superdiversity’. Multilingual practices are both a contributing factor and an outcome of this ‘superdiversity’. In this talk, I discuss the limits of the existing concepts such as multilingualism and linguistic diversity from a mobility perspective. I explore what a Mobility perspective means for studies of multilingual practices, at both a conceptual and a methodological level. I want to advance the notion of Post-Multilingualism and discuss the challenges Post-Multilingualism presents to our everyday life in late modernity. I will also argue for more attention to be paid to what seems to be momentary behaviours in the era of big data.

Li Wei is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the UCL Centre of Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London (UCL), UK. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism and Applied Linguistics Research as well as the book series ‘Wiley-Blackwell Guides to Research Methods in Language and Linguistics’. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK.