Language is not a simple tool to describe the world; rather, language shapes our perception of the world and thus our understanding of gender and diversity. Representations of difference are expressed through language, images and other signs. Furthermore, the monolingualism of most educational and professional settings marks legitimate languages and devalues others. This thematic field will focus on the ways in which gender, race, class, age and dis/ability are represented in language. We will discuss changing understandings of gender and diversity, which need to be implemented in ‘new’ language, and to exchange possibilities to enhance a respectful and inclusive use of language in higher education and in public spaces.