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"Better Understanding of Multilingual Language Learning"

On June 14th 2018 the final evaluation of the Mercator project “Holi-Frysk – multilingual education for everyone” started. In this project Mercator Research Centre worked together with three secondary schools (trilingual Frisian-Dutch-English school, ‘newcomer’ school and mainly Dutch speaking school) in Fryslân to develop activities to increase multilingualism in the classroom, from a holistic perspective. The project involved Frisian and Dutch but also different foreign and migrant languages. The participating schools and teachers now feel they have a better understanding of multilingual language learning, relationships between languages, the importance of involving mother tongues of pupils in the classroom and valued the interactive and researching learning approach of the activities. [By: Joana Duarte & Mirjam Günther]

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COMBI Modules available

The COMBI project presented its third product on June 12 in Palermo, Italy: the COMBI Modules. COMBI's modules offer a set of tailor-made courses for language teachers, vocational trainers and policy makers on how to implement language courses on the work floor that take the minority language into consideration. The modules are available on, and published under an open license. After the presentation, Christina Wagoner presented her research on the importance of minority language skills in health care in Wales. The project, financed by Erasmus+, gained important feedback afterwards during the round table session.

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Language Learning of Migrants in Europe

Glenn S. Levine (University of California, Irvine) and David Mallows (University College London) invite abstract submissions for a planned volume on the learning of host country languages by migrants in Europe. The primary goals of the volume are to identify, clarify, and offer insights into issues and central questions related to the learning of host country languages, focusing primarily on adolescent and adult refugees and asylum seekers, in formal, non-formal, and community settings.

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Sociolinguistic Research in Catalan Language

Institut d’Estudis Catalans and Xarxa CRUSCAT organized a series of conferences and panel discussions called “La recerca sociolingüística en l’àmbit de la llengua catalana” (Sociolinguistic research in Catalan language) on June 14th and 15th. Some CUSC researchers, such as Xavier Vila, Avel·lí Flors, Emili Boix, Llorenç Comajoan, Eva Pons, Imanol Larrea, Natxo Sorolla and many others participated and exposed their research in different fields of sociolinguistics.

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Language Equality in the Digital Age

The Culture and Education Committee from the European Parliament approved the report 'Language Equality in the Digital Age' by Jill Evans on June 18. Evans states that "although smaller or minority languages are the ones to gain most from language technologies, tools and resources for them are often scarce, in some cases non-existent. In order to bridge this technology gap, policies should focus on fostering technology development for all European languages."

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Thesis on Combative Minority Literature Writers

On June 26th, researcher Jelle Krol obtained the degree of PhD of the University of Groningen. He made a comparative study of four minority language literatures: Frisian, Welsh, Scots and Breton. He gives an analysis of the work of four vanguard writers who aimed to create distinctive literary fields for their languages and who took inevitable step backwards into the past in order to leap forward into the post-Great War era. Krol's dissertation is called 'Combative Minority Literature Writers in the Aftermath of the Great War: Douwe Kalma, Saunders Lewis, Hugh MacDiarmid and Roparz Hemon'.

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Latvian Language in School concerns Russian Minority

The ethnic Russian population in Latvia is concerned now Riga has announced plans to impose Latvian as the main teaching language in minority schools. In 2019, 80% of the core subjects wil be taught in Latvian. According to the Education Ministry, minority schools figure among the top schools, while the worst-performing schools are Russian or bilingual. National ombudsman Juris Jansons said in 2014 that having separate schools looked “like ethnic segregation”. The Russian minority, a quarter of the country's population, gets support from Russian officials from OSCE and president Putin.

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Armenian Minority Language Education Improved

At the conference 'Minorities and Minority Languages in a Changing Europe' in Strasbourg on June 18 and 19, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland mentioned Armenia among the countries that have improved access to minority language education in line with the Council of Europe instruments. “Armenia, for example, has made it possible to learn Assyrian, Kurdish and Yezidi in schools where large numbers of these minorities are being taught", he said.

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"OPOL Strategy restricts Children's Linguistic Ability"

The one-parent-one-language strategy (OPOL) in raising children in bilingual families could restrict the children’s linguistic ability and creativity. Chisato Danjo, lecturer in Japanese and Linguistics at the York St John University (UK), states that OPOL feeds the belief that it’s bad for children to mix languages and it limits the parents’ ability to reveal their own bilingual skills. Her study is called 'Making sense of family language policy: Japanese-English bilingual children's creative and strategic translingual practices.'

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Endangered Grèko Community sent Ambassadors to Friesland

Greko Ambassadors

The Grèko (Grecanic) language is spoken by a small linguistic community in South Italy and is critically endangered. Two ambassadors from the Calabria region spent the whole month of June in Friesland and took part in the Symposium on Technologies for Minority Languages in Leeuwarden (June 25-27). Francesco Ventura and Freedom Pentimalli have also been working on the production of didactic materials for intermediate Grèko students. They visited Dokkum, Franeker, Harlingen, Exmorra and Allingawier in order to come into contact with the Frisian linguistic community and to understand how Frisian is taught and where it is spoken. In their research for the best practice to keep a language alive, they met with Mercator/ Fryske Akademy and the Multilingualism Department of Groningen University/ Campus Fryslân. They also had the opportunity to visit two trilingual primary schools (Holwert and Marssum). Grèko is not taught at primary schools yet. All the information they gathered thanks to this Frisian experience are going to be used to create new didactic tools for the summer school “To ddomàdi grèko” and for the “Free Grèko workshops”. [By: Freedom Pentimalli]


4 - 6 July 2018, Soria (Spain)
4th International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity, in School in Society
Organized by Loyola Marymount University School of Education.

16 - 19 July 2018, Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain)
HIGA! - 2nd Summit of Young Speakers of Minoritized Languages, official summer course
Organized by the University of the Basque Country.

23 - 25 August 2018, Reykjavík (Iceland)
Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages: Endangered Languages and the Land - Mapping Landscapes of Multilingualism
Organized by Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding (University of Reykjavík) and the Foundation for Endangered Languages.

30 August - 1 September 2018, Malta
Multilingual Education in Linguistically Diverse Contexts 2018
Organized by the University of Malta.

4 - 6 September 2018, Bolzano (Italy)
Inclusion of Multiple Languages in Mainstream Education (ECER)
Organized by the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

12 - 13 September 2018, Birmingham (United Kingdom)
French in Multilingual Urban Centres
Organized by the Aston University.

13 - 15 September 2018, Lissabon (Spain)
XIth International Conference on Multilingualism and Third Language Acquisition
Organized by the University of Lisbon.

26 - 29 September 2018, Osnabrück (Germany)
Le français en contact et en conflit : Minorités linguistiques, variétés sous-standard et langues de migrants
Organized by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

27 - 28 September 2018, Sestri Levante, Genoa (Italy)
3rd International Conference on the Sociolinguistics of Immigration (Slimig2018)
Organized by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Modern Cultures of the University of Turin.

14 - 16 November 2018, Berlin (Germany)
Big Cities, Small Languages
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 15 July 2018
Organized by The SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator Research Centre, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation and the Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft.

22 - 24 November 2018, Talinn (Estonia)
Multilingual Awareness and Multilingual Practices (MAMP18)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 15 August 2018
Organized by Tallinn University, School of Humanities.

29 - 30 November 2018, Madrid (Spain)
Language and Society Conference on Bilingualism and Interculturality (BIUNED)
Organized by Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

29 - 30 November 2018, Madrid (Spain)
II International Conference on Language and Migration (2CILEI-18)
Organized by University of Alcalá.

25 - 27 March 2019, Valetta (Malta)
2nd International Conference on Bilingualism
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 1st August 2018
Organized by University of Malta.

15 - 16 May 2019, Hamar (Norway)
Multilingual Childhoods: Education, Policy and Practice (MC 2019)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 30 October 2018
Organized by Inland Norway University and Oslo Metropolitan University.

22 - 25 May 2019, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 1st October 2018
Organized by Mercator Research Centre.

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