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Professor Clare Mar-Molinero PhD, MA, BA

Professor of Spanish Sociolinguistics

Professor Clare Mar-Molinero's photo

Professor Clare Mar-Molinero is a Professor within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

I hold a BA from Birmingham University, an MA(Ed) in Language & Linguistics and PhD in Politics of Language from the University of Southampton.

After teaching English as a Foreign Language at Barcelona University, I came to Southampton, first as a teaching assistant in EFL and Spanish, and then later as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Reader in Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. I am currently Professor in Spanish sociolinguistics and have been Head of Modern Languages for two terms (2001-2003 and 2005-2011). I was the founding Director of the Southampton Centre for Transnational Studies, and more recently created the Centre for Mexico-Southampton Collaboration (MeXsu), of which I am currently Director.


Research interests

My current research interests are in the area of language policy and language and migration, transnationalism and globalisation, and urban multilingualism, in particular, but not exclusively, in the Spanish-speaking world.

Research awards and projects

I have been in receipt of a British Academy Small Award for my work on global Spanish and was coordinator of an AHRC Networks & Workshops award for a collaborative project on language, migration and citizenship in Europe, Testing Regimes (with colleagues in Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Ghent and Tilburg); and I was the Work Package leader for a project on language and migration within the EU 6th Framework Network of Excellence programme on multilingualism in Europe (LINEE), of which Southampton was one of nine partners. I led a project based in San Luís Potosí, Mexico, on language and migrant return, analysing the experiences of Mexican migrants returning from the US, partly funded by Santander Universities Network. Santander also generously supported the MeXsu Centre for its first 10 years. I was part of a WUN funded network on North-South Migration and mobility, led by University of Sheffield with 10 international partners, from 2014-16. I have recently been in receipt of funding from the MEITS project, part of the OWRI AHRC initiative.  My involvement was to run a conference in Southampton (2017) and produce an edited volume (September 2020), both on the theme of researching urban multilingualism.

Conference organisation

I have organised many conferences and workshops, including major international conferences such as two of the bienial conferences of the Association for the Study of Spanish in Society in Southampton (April 2004; April 2017) and (co-organiser) Language Ideologies, Policies and Practices: the Future of Language in Europe at Southampton (8-10 July 2004). I was Principal Local Organiser for the major international Sociolinguistics Symposium 18 (SS18, Southampton 1-4 September 2010) (

Selected keynotes and plenaries

  • ‘Researching urban multilingualism’ at the 6th meeting of Crossroads of Languages and Cultures, Open University of Cyprus, 2-5 September 2021.
  • ‘Researching urban multilingualism’ At the 6th Jornadas de Lenguas en Contacto, University of Nayarit, Mexico, August 2021.
  • Researching multilingually: the example of the City of Southampton’ at Multilingualism, Migration and the Multilingual City Symposium, Exeter / Nanyang Technological Universities, July 2021.
  • ‘Language ideologies, policies and practices: examples from the Spanish-speaking world’ at the annual conference of the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics (AESLA), University of A Coruña, Spain, April 2020 – postponed due to Covid-19.
  • ‘Dreamers, borders and walls: lessons from Mexican migrants’ at the Language and Borders: Rethinking Mobility, Migration and Space, University of Bristol, March 2018.
  • ‘The impact of transnational migration and global mobilities on language ideologies and language practices: examples from the Spanish-speaking world.’ at the ‘LANGUAGE, MOBILITY & BELONGING Linguistic Anthropology Conference’, University of Oxford, March, 2017.
  • ‘Language and return: an invisible presence?’ at the Feria del Libro (FIL), Guadalajara, Mexico, December 2015.
  • “Language and return: Mexicans ‘going home’” at Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS), University of Bern, July 2015.
  • ‘Managing urban multilingualism: a case study of local language policies in the city of Southampton’ at the Multilingual Manchester conference Valuing Community Languages, University of Manchester, May 2014.
  • 'Language, migration and return:  stories of returning 'home'' at the 3rd LINEE+ conference, Dubrovnik, 2014
  • ‘Returning ‘home’: Language and identity issues for returning Mexican migrants’ at the biennial meeting of the International Association for Spanish in Society, Birkbeck, 2013 
  • ‘Transnational Urban Neighbourhoods: Language(s) in Southampton' at the conference 'Language & the City', Cardiff University, September 2008
  • Tu voz es tu voto: the role of Spanish in the 2008 US election campaign’ at the biennial meeting of the International Association for Spanish in Society, University of Swansea, 2008
  • ‘Spanish Today: Linguistic Imperialism or Vox Populi? – Cervantes and Molotov’ at a conference on Language and Globalisation, Cardiff University, July 2005
  • ‘Globalisation & the Spread of Spanish: From Spain to the US’ At Regulations of societal multilingualism in linguistic policies: Language in relation to nation, identity and power in Spain, Hispanoamerica and the United States; Berlín, 2 - 4, May, 2005, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut P.K.


I have been Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Association for the Study of Spanish in Society (SiS) since the birth of the association in 2004, and have recently been elected its first Honorary President.

Affiliate research group

Testing Regimes

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Book Chapters




I teach courses on sociolinguistics (particularly on language and migration, transnationalism and globalisation, and language policy) both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Many of these courses focus on the Spanish-speaking world, in particular Spanish in the US, and migrants in Mexico.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome proposals for doctoral research in a wide range of sociolinguistics areas, particularly, but not uniquely, on Spanish topics. My particular interests include:

  • Language and migration / diasporas / transnationalism
  • Language ideologies
  • Language policy
  • Language and globalisation / global languages
  • The discourse of returning migrants
  • Language and popular music
  • Language and Mexican migration

Current and recent supervised thesis


Jesahe Herrera Ruano: ‘Language Policy and Language Ideologies in Mexico’, Mexican Ministry of Education.

Erasmo Salinas: ’Language policies in human mobility contexts: return migrants and asylum seekers on the border of Mexico and the United States’, Mexican Ministry of Education.

Vilma Cha Moreno: ‘Opportunities, challenges, and attitudes towards English as a medium of instruction: a case study in a northwestern Mexican university’, Mexican Ministry of Education.

Feifei Yin: ‘Family Language Policy and Chinese Heritage Language Maintenance: A Study of UK-Born Chinese Children’.


Yonatán Puón Castro: 'Mexico’s foreign language policy: the implications of dominant ideologies in ELT', [July 2021] Mexican Ministry of Education.

Maria Carmen Ramirez Juliá: 'Language ideologies in Oaxaca' [completed January 2020]. CONACyT.

Daniel Morales: 'Latinos in London' [completed December 2018]. CONACyt

Anna Augustyniak: 'Language, migration in the Basque Country', [completed May 2017], Humanities Archival scholarship.

Dick Vigers: 'Minimalising loss in 'dead' and 'dying' languages: the last speaker and other strategies' [completed 2006] AHRC.

Alicia Pozo-Gutiérrez: 'Associationism in Spanish migrants to Southern England in the 1960s and 70s' [completed 2004].

Amanda Hilmarsson-Dunn: ‘The implications of Global English on Icelandic Language Policy’ [completed May 2008] ESRC. 

Darren Paffey: ‘Language, discourse and ideology: the Real Academia Española and the standardisation of Spanish’ [completed April 2009].

Michael Hornsby: ‘What future for minority languages? The case of Breton’ [completed June 2009] AHRC.

Dina De Sousa: ‘Jineterismo in Havana: Narrating the Daily Struggles of Afro-Cuban Jineteras’ [completed December 2009].

Susana Sabín-Fernández: ‘The “Niños Vascos”: Memory and memorialisation of the Basque refugee children of the Spanish Civil War in the UK’ [completed May 2011].

Linda Cadier: ‘The impact of translocality on the linguistic and cultural practices of migrant communities: the case of medical interpreters in Southampton’ [completed April 2013].

Lisa Carroll-Davis: ‘Constructing a Nation: Evaluating the Discursive Creation of National Community under the Revolutionary FSLN Government (1979-1990) [completed 2012].

Esteban Devis: ‘Sense of belonging and visibility of the Colombian-Lebanese in Bogotá’ [completed April 2014].

Mark Muirden: ‘A Critical Evaluation of Linguistic Minorities from a Postmodern Perspective: the case of Welsh’ [completed July 2011].

Anna Papanicolau: ‘Culturalism and imaginative geographies: the case of US tourism to Mexico’ [completed August 2012].

Ted Way: ‘Talking Torture: The Public Commodification of Personal Trauma’ [completed 2013].

Alfredo Escandón: ‘Language Contact along Borders: linguistic diversity in Tijuana, Mexico’ [completed December 2018], Mexican Ministry of Education.

Elizabeth Torrico-Avila: 'Discursive construction of the English Language Policy implemented in Chile (2003-2010)' [completed July 2016], Chilean Ministry of Education.

Tracy Henderson ‘Language and Identity in Galicia:  the current orthography debate’ [completed 1997.


Professor Clare Mar-Molinero
Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BF, United Kingdom

Room Number : 65/3019

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