Introduction to the Special Issue

National Standards – Local Varieties


  • Julia Ruck Webster Vienna Private University
  • Naomi Shafer Institute of Multilingualism, Fribourg


The goal of this special issue of Critical Multilingualism Studies “National Standards – Local Varieties: A Cross-Linguistic Discussion on Regional Variation in L2 Studies” is to incite a conversation on how topics such as linguistic norms and variation, dominant practices, ideologies, identities, and politics surrounding languages are discussed from a view outside of the dominant centers of linguistic norms.

Author Biographies

Julia Ruck, Webster Vienna Private University

Julia Ruck is Assistant Professor of Second Language Studies in the Center for Liberal Arts at Webster Vienna Private University, Austria, where she coordinates the Language Center as well as the German language program. Her research interests include discursive, ecological, and multimodal approaches to L2 teaching and learning, as well as language politics, linguistic variation, and cultural theories in L2 German teaching. Her two current research projects explore connections between individual learner differences and learners’ beliefs and perceptions on learning (about) language and culture through audiovisual texts as well as theoretical investigations of linguistic variation, language ideologies, and discursive cultural theories in L2 German teaching.

Naomi Shafer, Institute of Multilingualism, Fribourg

Naomi Shafer is a post doc research assistant and coordinator of the PhD program at the Institute of Multilingualism in Fribourg/Freiburg, Switzerland, and a teaching assistant at the Institute of German Language and Literature at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Among her main research interests are linguistic (standard) variation, cultural learning, and language testing and assessment. In her doctoral dissertation, she empirically examined how L2 GFL learners deal with regional variation when listening to speakers of German, Austrian, and Swiss Standard German. Exploring language learning and teaching in a specific historical, political and social context, her current postdoctoral project focuses on German as L2 in Israel.