The European Union promotes multilingualism and cultural diversity. However, English has become a predominant language in scientific research and publishing, whereas the internationalisation of higher education is often reduced to using more and more English as a language of instruction at universities.

The Centre for Academic Estonian at the Tallinn University gladly invites to the second international conference National languages in academic research and higher education, to be held in Tallinn, Estonia. The conference is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and the Nordic Council of Ministers' Office in Estonia.

The aim of the event is to confer on the current situation of national languages in the globalising world of science, dealing with every kind of achievements and problems of using national or state languages in academia. We welcome discussion on contemporary tendencies of using diverse mother tongues for academic research and higher education of any speciality, and on different solutions on how to reach a sustainable balance between national and international, multilingual scientific work and communication.

We kindly invite contributions on topics that include, but are not limited to:

  • inter-language impact on (specialised) vocabulary and grammatical structure
  • interaction of academic and general language within a national language
  • characteristics of language in university textbooks (excl. English)
  • usage of a national language in theses or their summaries (if the thesis is written in English or other non-national language) of any level of higher education
  • how to create scientifically precise and fluent academic texts and how to teach academic language
  • developing and disseminating scientific terms in a national language other than English
  • translating and editing of scientific texts
  • developments in national or state language policies for academic research and higher education


Call for abstracts

Abstracts for a 20 min (+ discussion) paper or poster (A0, A1) are welcomed in either .docx or .odt format. The abstract should not exceed 2500 characters (excl. references). Please submit your abstract to NatAcLang2020@tlu.ee and specify whether you would prefer to present a talk or poster or have no preference.

We welcome proposals for symposia or workshops (both 60–90 min). A symposium is preferably a scholarly debate over ideas, theories etc.; in a workshop you search solutions for a certain task (e.g., coining new terms, improving the termstock* of a subject field, renewing or creating a university course or curriculum of an academic language, excl. English). The initiator is expected to enrol 2–3 co-participants, others are welcomed to propose their contributions.

*v. Nemvalts, Peep 2018. Coping with the main terms of terminology. In: Terminologija 25. Vilnius: Lietuvių kalbos institutas, pp. 39–54 (http://lki.lt/terminologija-25/).


Keynote speakers

Annette de Groot
University of Amsterdam
Rainer Enrique Hamel
Metropolitan Autonomous University, Mexico
Kerttu Rozenvalde
Latvian Language Agency
Vera Schwach
Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education

Tallinn University


Tallinn University is the largest university of humanities in Tallinn and the third biggest public university in Estonia. We have almost 7,000 students (with 9.5% of them international), and about 800 employees, including nearly 400 researchers and lecturers.

Wishing to contribute more to the society, we have set a goal to become the promoter of intelligent lifestyle in Estonia. We interpret intelligent lifestyle as making research-based decisions in order to improve the society in general and the well-being of its citizens.

Our five interdisciplinary focus fields are educational innovation, digital and media culture, cultural competences, healthy and sustainable lifestyle and society and open governance.


Narva mnt 25, 10120 Tallinn

Link to Google Maps


Important dates

June 15, 2020

Proposals for symposia or workshops; June 22, decision

July 31, 2020

Abstract submission deadline

August 15, 2020

Notification date


Will open soon


Scientific Committee

Kais Allkivi-Metsoja, PhD student - Tallinn University
Merilin Aruvee, PhD student - Tallinn University
Prof. Annekatrin Kaivapalu, University of Eastern Finland
Prof. Birute Klaas-Lang - University of Tartu
Prof. Helle Metslang - University of Tartu
Peep Nemvalts, PhD - Tallinn University (chair)
Halliki Põlda, PhD - Tallinn University
Mari Uusküla, PhD - Tallinn University

Practical arrangement: Tallinn University Conference Centre