Florence Bonacina-Pugh

DR, PhD in Applied Linguistics

Personal profile


Dr. Florence Bonacina-Pugh is Lecturer (Teaching and Research) in Language Education as well as co-leader of the Research Hub in Languages, Interculturality and Literacies in the Moray House School of Education and Sports, at The University of Edinburgh. She was Programme Director of the MSc Language Education from 2016 to 2019, when she contributed to the development of the Languages Strategy of the School and led the programme through its quinquennial review in collaboration with the Languages team.

Dr. Florence Bonacina-Pugh works in the field of Applied Linguistics and specialises in the study of Language Policy and Practices, and Multilingualism in education. Following a Post-Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the ESRC (open competion award), Bonacina-Pugh went on to develop the notion of “language policy as practice” (e.g. Bonacina-Pugh 2012, 2020; Bonacina-Pugh et al. 2021; Chen and Bonacina-Pugh, 2021), which has then been investigated in many educational contexts. She has also extensively published on issues of language choice in multilingual education and was recently invited to lead a state-of-the-art review on translanguaging in education for Language Teaching (Bonacina-Pugh et al. 2021). She has conducted research in mainstream schools with newly arrived migrants, in heritage/community schools, and most recently in Higher Education. Her recent work can be found in peer-reviewed international journals such as Language Policy; The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism; Language and Education; The Applied Linguistics Review; and Language Teaching. Her 2020 article in the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism was recently nominated for the James E. Alatis Prize for Research on Language Policy and Planning in Educational Contexts.

Dr. Bonacina-Pugh is the co-founder and co-chair of the Language Policy Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, and its associated bi-annual Language Policy Forum.

Dr. Bonacina-Pugh is also a fully trained teacher of French as a foreign language and has taught young learners as well as adults in various institutions in the UK for 10 years. She is passionate about knowledge exchange and is the elected Chair of La Petite Ecole d'Edimbourg, the French complementary school in Edinburgh (https://www.petiteecole-edimbourg.com/), where she leads a team of 6 Trustees, supervises a team of 8 teachers teaching over a 100 children, and offers pedagogical advice.


Academia: https://edinburgh.academia.edu/FlorenceBonacinaPugh

Google scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=bOi_xoUAAAAJ&hl=en

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7714-1926


  • Ph.D. in Linguistics, The University of Edinburgh (ESRC funded)
  • MSc. in Applied Linguistics, With Distinction, The University of Edinburgh (Funded by the British Council)
  • Maitrise de Francais Langue Etrangere, Université de la Sorbonne III (France)
  • Maitrise de Lettres Modernes, Université de la Sorbonne IV (France)

Responsibilities & affiliations

  • Chair of the Board of Trustees for the French complementary school of Edinburgh (2023 - present)
  • Co-Leader of the Language(s), Interculturality, and Literacies Research Hub, The Moray House School of Education and Sport (2022 - present).
  • Post-Graduate Research Lead for the LIL Hub (2022 - present)
  • External Examiner of the MSc TESOL, MSc TESOL (online), MSc Management and English Language Teaching, PhD TESOL Research at The University of Stirling (2022 - present)
  • Co-Chair and co-founder of the Language Policy Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (2018 - present)
  • Co-Chair and co-founder of the Language Policy Forum, the annual conference of the Language Policy Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (2018 - present)
  • Programme Director MSc Language Education (2016-2019)

Current Research Interests

  • Language Policy and Language-in-Education Policy
  • Translanguaging
  • Young language learners
  • Multilingualism from a sociolinguistic perspective
  • Internationalisation of Higher Education
  • Community language education
  • Citizenship and identity
  • French as a heritage language

I am passionate about multilingual interactional data and often use an Ethnomethodological lens to understand order and fluidity in social interaction.

Collaborative Activity

  • Language policy and practice in the multilingual university. PI. Seedcorn Funding. With Co-I Dr. Elisabeth Barakos and RA Dr. Qi Chen.
  • Scot or Not? Investigating conceptualizations of identity and citizenship in a referendum context. With Dr. Mairin Hennebry. Funded by Hong Kong University Faculty of Education Research Fund.
  • Language-in-education policy in migratory contexts; funded by the ESRC (PTA-026-27-2638)
  • A Conversation Analytic approach to 'practiced language policies': the example of an induction classroom for newly-arrived immigrant children in France; funded by the ESRC (PTA-031-2006-00426)
  • Classroom code-switching in a French complementary school in Scotland; funded by the British Council (Entente Cordiale scheme)


  • Languages, Society and Education
  • Teaching Languages to Young Learners (Course Organiser)
  • Bilingual Education
  • Dissertation supepervisor

Areas of interest for supervision

I am happy to supervise MSc and PhD students in the areas of:

  • Language in education policy
  • Translanguaging in the (language) classroom
  • Young language learners
  • Multilingualism / linguistic diversity in educational contexts
  • Community language education
  • Internationalisation of Higher Education

Current PhD students supervised

Ali Almuhhaya - co-supervisor (with Dr. Joseph Gafaranga)

Qianyu Yang - co-supervisor (with Dr. Dario Banegas)

Yongqi ZENG - Lead Supervisor (with Dr. Sal Consoli) 


Past PhD students supervised

  • Hao Zhang - First supervisor. With Dr. Cathy Benson and Dr. Andy Hancock as second supervisors. "Language policy in the Scottish primary classroom: The case of Mandarin language teaching".
  • Aissara Yessenova - Lead supervisor. Visiting PhD scholar for 6 months. 2023. “Writing practices of multilingual adolescent students in Denmark”


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