9/10 December 2016, Mercator Research Centre hosted a successful seminar on the topic of ‘Language documentation, teaching materials and didactics: an opportunity for small and endangered languages?’ Co-organizers were the SOAS World Languages Institute (UK) and CIDLeS (Portugal).
Diverse issues related to documentation, revitalisation and teaching material development were discussed on the basis of a wide range of cases: among these were the Guernésiais of Guernsey Island, Mirandese and Minderico in Portugal, languages of the northeastern Congo, and native American languages in and around the state of Maine, USA. Many speakers recognized the need for a modern take on language documentation, including multiple modalities and documenting ‘authentic’, everyday language use. It was also noted that such authenticity can be very helpful for the production of modern teaching materials.
The seminar was attended by about 60 people, including experts from all over Europe and the US, as well as a group of students from the Minorities & Multilingualism programme at the University of Groningen. The next Mercator/SOAS/CIDLeS seminar will be held in Lisbon in October 2017.