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Workshop 1: Aberystwyth University, Wales 16-18 October 2013

16 – 18 October 2013, Aberystwyth, Wales, England

General Information

Conference Programme



During the period 2013-2015, the Mercator Network, through the LEARNMe project (Language and Education Addressed through Research and Networking, Mercator) will host a series of three specialist international workshops (held in Aberystwyth, Stockholm and Barcelona), leading up to an international conference to be held in Budapest in 2015. The focus of these events will be to revisit, reanalyse and redefine the dynamic concept of linguistic diversity and its impact and relevance across the European Union.

Linguistic diversity has been repeatedly identified as a fundamental part of the cultural heritage of Europe. This is reflected to varying degrees in a number of strategic and political statements at regional and state levels as well as by the European Union and the Council of Europe.

The overall aim of the LEARNMe project is to identify and devise different strategic tools in order to support the processes of revisiting, reanalysing and redefining the conceptual formulation of the current linguistic arrangements, the ways in which they are understood and interpreted and the social and political responses to them. The special focus of the LEARNMe project lies specifically – though not exclusively – on the less widely spoken languages.

Working method

Three international expert workshops will be held: 16-18 October 2013 at Aberystwyth University (Wales), May 2014 at the University of Stockholm and January 2015 at CIEMEN, Barcelona. A number of specialist contributors will be invited to present a discussion paper exploring particular aspects of the workshop’s theme.

Workshop 1: Revisiting, reanalysing and redefining research on linguistic diversity: media, education and policy.

Workshop 2: Revisiting, reanalysing and redefining practice on linguistic diversity: education, policy and media.

Workshop 3: Revisiting, reanalysing and redefining legal aspects on linguistic diversity: policy, media and education.

The first workshop will address the theoretical frameworks that underpin current research into linguistic diversity. The second workshop will address implementation and practices, drawing on the voices of practitioners in the field of education. The third workshop will target policy-makers as its most important stakeholder constituency.  Each of the three workshops will conclude in the production of position papers which will in turn form the basis of a white paper which will be presented at the final conference in 2015. This final conference, to be held in Budapest in September 2015 will be attended by academics, politicians, policy makers, practitioners, activists and other key stakeholders across the European Union.

Workshop 1: Aberystwyth University, Wales 16-18 October 2013

Wednesday 16th October: Arrival and informal dinner/social event

Thursday 17th October: Workshop

Friday 18th October: Workshop. Departure: close by 3pm or departure following day.

Please note: participants should contact the organisers Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones esj@aber.ac.uk or Ania Rolewska anr40@aber.ac.uk for advice on travel arrangements.

Discussion papers for the First Workshop are sought on the following themes. Contributors are encouraged to present theoretical analyses and/or case study approaches.


1.      Policy and Practice: Top-down and bottom-up approaches to research, policy and practice; International Level; Nation-state/Country/Regional and Local levels;

2.      Terminological Diversity and its consequences; Terminology as an institutionalised field (e.g. language, dialect, vernacular, bi-/multilingualism, plurilingualism, translanguaging, second vs foreign language, multilingual competence, minority language, immigrant languages, lesser used language, state language, official language etc);

3.      Socio-political approaches and ideological objectives: e.g. assimilationist, additive/multicultural/segregated linguistic and cultural independence etc; identities

4.      Methodological Issues: e.g. Indigeneity and Research; “Languaging” and approaches to Linguistic Diversity; Permeable and impermeable language frameworks;

5.      Sociolinguistic practices in the fields of Education, Media (including social media) and Policy.

Participants are invited to submit an abstract of 300-500 words outlining the scope of their proposed discussion paper on any aspect of the above themes as soon as possible and at the latest by 31 August 2013. Full papers of 3,000-5,000 words should be submitted before 30th September 2013. Discussion papers will be circulated to participants in advance of the Workshop.

For further information, please contact the organisers: Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones esj@aber.ac.uk or Ania Rolewska anr40@aber.ac.uk

Partnership and Funding

This programme of events is supported by the EU Lifelong Learning Programme and the host institutions of the Mercator Network:

o   Mercator European Research Center on Multilingualism and Language Learning / Fryske Akademy-NL, led by Cor van der Meer and Richt Sterk

o   CIEMEN-Catalonia, led by David Forniès and Maria Areny

o   Research Centre for Multilingualism-Budapest led by Csilla Bartha and Gabriella Kóvacs

o   Centre for Finnish Studies, Stockholm University, led by Jarmo Lainio and Markus Lyysktra

o   Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture at Aberystwyth University, Wales led by Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones and Ania Rolewska.