- Minority languages
- Research & Projects
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Gabrielle Hogan-Brun works on migration, multilingualism, language policy and practices across Europe. She is Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, England.
In september 2016 Gabrielle has kindly updated the interview with new information.
With my Swiss background I strongly support multilingualism. I believe in the fundamental principle that language and cultural diversity are universal rights. In my work I have always supported marginalized language groups, be they indigenous, migrant or non-territorial groups, such as the Sign Language and Roma communities. I have sought ways for members to find a voice through publishing, inter alia my book series Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities, and in my co-editorship of the journal Current Issues in Language Planning.
The major challenge seems to be for countries to deal constructively with linguistic and cultural pluralism in an era of accelerated social mobility. Therefore in my work I operate from the premise that languages are an asset and a resource, rather than a barrier and a problem. I focus on the promotion of diversity through education, encourage a dialogue that is informed by knowledge about the diversity of traditions, cultures and historical development between nations, and interrogate issues relating to language, migration and citizenship.
Globalization, the Web and an era of mass travel have combined to produce a world with a language mix on a huge scale. I am interested in the effect of this multilingualism on society, organizations and individuals. Natural questions to ask are: What are the economic benefits and drawbacks? Should we invest in multilingual skills? Should there be interventionist policies, and if so, at what level? Should there be a global language? The debate surrounding multilingualism is often clouded by misinformation or prejudice. I am working on an analysis that takes an objective look at this charged area. My forthcoming publication Linguanomics gives a clearer understanding of the market potential of multilingualism, its benefits, costs and points of contention. It asks significant questions of profound concern to the future of global collaboration.
I have had the pleasure of long-term contact and interaction with members of the Mercator group, particularly since being invited as Discussant to a Sign Language Workshop held at the 2007 Mercator conference in Pecs, Hungary.
Knowledge sharing and collaboration.