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Workshop: third LEARNMe Workshop in Barcelona: Conference Report

On Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 April, the third Workshop of the LEARNMe project took place in Barcelona. Under the title "Recent developments regarding the legal protection of minoritized languages: different European perspectives", the workshop brought together specialists from a wide range of European regions. Aim of the sessions was to share a number of legal and political developments regarding a variety of European languages, and to explore the sociolinguistic consequences of these developments. Presentations were followed by discussions, each moderated by a different expert. The workshop was organized by CUSC, the Centre Universitari de Sociolingüística i Comunicacío of the Universitat de Barcelona, which has replaced CIEMEN as a partner in the LEARNMe project.

Each of the two days of the workshop had a separate thematic focus. The first day had as its description “Recent developments regarding the legal protection of minoritized languages: a legal approach”. Speakers included Dr. Vesna Crnić-Grotić, chair of the Committee of Experts of the ERML, who spoke about the role of the ERML in Spain, and Ms. Ania Rolewska, MA from Aberystwyth University, who discussed the role of nationalist and regionalist parties in driving minority language promotion, focusing especially on her home region of Wales. Presentations on the second day focused on the effects of legal changes on the sociolonguistic reality of different regions. Subjects ranged from the position of Catalan in three regions where it is a minority language to the complex sociolinguistic dynamics of Brussels and its surrounding.

While this newsletter is not the place for a more extensive overview, the full programme of the workshop can still be found on the website of CUSC. Furthermore, short quotes from presentations and pictures can be found on the Mercator Twitter and Facebook accounts and videos of all presentations and discussion will be made available online soon.