Forum for Linguistic Studies

Emotional burdens of imposed monolingualism in education and science

Submission deadline: 2023-09-30
Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues, 

The imposition of monolingualism in academia and education has increased exponentially in the last century. For example, currently, 98% of the papers published in scientific journals are written in English, and science literature is being read mostly in English by early scientists worldwide. While pervasive, this phenomenon is not exclusive to English: other colonial languages dominate science communication in particular contexts. This monolingual dominance isolates knowledge produced in diverse languages, sustains socioeconomic and geopolitical gaps, creates an Anglocentric or monolingual epistemology, and disconnects science from local communities. However, one of the most important and oftentimes ignored consequences of this linguistic monoculture in science is the emotional and psychological burdens it produces on foreign-language scientists pressured to adapt to this situation. 

While research on these very important questions has begun to appear in the last few years, it is still an emerging field of inquiry. For this reason, this special issue focuses on how monolingual education and academia shape, cause, and ignore emotional and psychological burdens over foreign-language students and scientists. Emotional burdens can include the so-called “impostor syndrome,” “burn-out,” frustration, anxiety, anger, and other feelings attached to the pressure of working in a foreign language to succeed in their fields. 

In this Special Issue, all types of submissions in accordance with the Journal’s author guidelines are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Mental health issues for foreign or second-language students.

  • Pressure to conduct science in dominant languages in the global south.

  • Institutional demands on international graduate instructors to erase accents and teach exclusively in a dominant language.

  • Notions of professional success and failure related to language proficiency.

  • Feelings of limitation to pursue higher education programs due to linguistic barriers.

  • Institutional barriers or diminished options to diversify language in science.

  • Differential participation and leadership of foreign-language students in monolingual academic events.

I look forward to receiving your contributions!


Monolingualism, emotional burdens, anxiety, academia, education, multilingualism

Published Paper