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Hungarian Academy of Sciences faces restrictions and the interference with academic freedoms

Countless letters of support from all over the world are sent to Mercator Network partner Hungarian Academy of Sciences/ Research Institute for Linguistics (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia). Every letter expresses the anxiety at the restrictions now forced upon the Hungarian Academy and the interference with academic freedoms by the Orbán government. The Academia Europaea, for example, calls on the government to respect the financial, legal and scientific autonomy of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This European non-governmental association urges the Minister and the government of Hungary to re-consider and to reverse their dogmatic action, for the sake of the future standing of Hungarian research across the international landscape. Read the full story and the support letters on (or go the translated website in English).

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New report on national minorities in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is characterised by intercultural and interreligious tolerance. However, minorities cannot fully exercise their rights due to the absence of comprehensive legislation and consultative mechanisms for national minorities as well as the restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. These are key findings of the new opinion on Azerbaijan by the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

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50 year anniversary Brittany and Celtic Research Center

The CRBC (Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique) celebrates its 50th anniversary with a year full of presentations, expositions and guided tours. The CRBC is a research laboratory that brings together researchers, doctoral students and staff from the universities of Brest & Rennes. It is a specialized library, unique in its kind, located at the Faculty of Arts of Brest and associated with the CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique).

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Thousands of protesters: “No Occitania without Occitan!”

Amazigh (Berber)

Thousands of people joined a protest in downtown Toulouse (France) against the abolition of Occitan language in public education. The initiative came from the Regional Center of Occitan Teaching of Toulouse (CRÈO Tolosa), after the French authorities had announced an end to the specific funding of Occitan classes in secondary education, starting from the academic year 2019-2020. Protesters, carrying the slogan the slogan 'No Occitania without Occitan!', fear that some 15,000 students will be left without the opportunity to learn Occitan.

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Integrating asylum seekers into higher education

Eurydice published the report 'Integrating Asylum Seekers and Refugees into Higher Education in Europe: National Policies and Measures'. It aims at assessing to what extent national systems are able to respond to the needs of asylum seekers and refugees in higher education. While there is a strong potential demand for higher education among refugees, it cannot be taken for granted that this demand is easily met.

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EESC multilingualism policies under evaluation

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) agreed to strengthen the cooperation to promote multilingualism and linguistic diversity at EU level. Special attention was paid to the inclusion of regional and small state languages in EESC communication, focusing on the Irish language, which is still not included by the EESC.

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Tarjimly (YCW18)


App to connect bilingual speakers to translate for refugees

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Little effect with early foreign language education

More and more Dutch primary schools start teaching English in group 1 (four-year-olds), instead of in group 7 (10-year-olds). However, the lessons seem to have little effect. "Although there are no negative effects on Dutch language development," says linguist Claire Goriot, "I have also found hardly any positive effects on English language development". With this research, Goriot obtained her PhD at Radboud University.

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Conference 'The languaging in times of change', Stirling

The University of Stirling (UK) organises a two-day international conference on 26-27 September 2019. The theme is ‘Languaging in times of change’. It covers translanguaging, advocacy and activism, superdiversity, time/space, digital words, voice and literacies. Proposals are invited for individual papers, colloquia, posters, and roundtable discussions. The deadline is midnight on 1 April 2019.

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Endangered languages in the Iberian Peninsula

CIDLeS, SOAS and FRONTESPO cordially invite scholars to join the 2nd International Symposium on Endangered languages and language varieties in the Iberian Peninsula (LAPI 2019), that will take place on the 4th and 5th of July in Lisbon, Portugal. The deadline for abstract submission is March 31, 2019.

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Foto van Cor

'Bilingualism in Turkish/ Muslim minority education'

On the 2nd of March, the well-attended conference 'Bilingual education: a question for minorities' took place in Komotini, Greece. The subject was bilingualism in Turkish/ Muslim minority education and the different approaches in the world. Mercator's Cor van der Meer gave a presentation about 'Education system of Frisian minority in The Netherlands'.

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'Promoting minority languages in a global world'

Language revitalisation research network Revitalise and the NPLD will organise a one-day symposium entitled "Promoting Regional or Minority Languages in a Global World" on the 10th of April in the Wales House in Brussels. Themes covered will include the impact of mobility and migration on language use, language transmission and language promotion.

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Final multiplier event COMBI in Swansea (UK)

On 12 April 2019, COMBI's final multiplier event takes place at the Swansea University (Taliesin Create). The Erasmus+ funded project COMBI will present resources, developed during the project, for training migrants in bilingual health care settings. Keynote presentations will be given by Meri Huws, Prof. Sari Pöyhönen and Dr Gwerfyl Roberts.

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Launch of the International Year of Indigenous Languages


On 28 January, Mercator's Tjeerd de Graaf attended the launch event of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, co-organized by UNESCO. De Graaf: "To be held under the theme “Indigenous languages matter for sustainable development, peace building and reconciliation”, the event gathered high-level governmental representatives, indigenous peoples, civil society, academia, media, UN agencies, and documentation institutions. A large number of high-level speakers addressed new paradigms for safeguarding, promoting and providing access to knowledge and information for the indigenous languages’ users. In the final section several representatives of indigenous groups presented songs and other musical performances which demonstrated the richness of their cultures."

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Deadline ENROPE for early career researchers extended

ENROPE is an international, cooperative project aiming to provide high-quality qualification and networking structures for junior researchers in the field of language education and plurilingualism. The Call for Papers for the Intensive Study Week in June in Berlin is extended to 15 March 2019.

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Critical Skills for Life and Work Newsletter

The Erasmus+ funded project Critical Skills for Life and Work aims to design and implement effective training tools for enhancing key skills and competences of highly-skilled refugees and the language teachers who work with them. They published their first newsletter online.

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22 - 24 March 2019, Reading (United Kingdom)
ECSPM Symposium: multilingual challenges: mediating images, languages and language pedagogy
Organized by ECSPM and the Centre of Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM), University of Reading.

25 - 27 March 2019, Valetta (Malta)
2nd International Conference on Bilingualism
Organized by University of Malta.

4 - 6 April 2019, Moscow (Russia)
Linguistic Forum 2019: Indigenous languages of Russia and beyond
Organized by the the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the CIPL.

8 - 10 April 2019, Jönköping (Sweden)
Multilingualism, Diversity and Democracy (MuDD) Conference 2019
Organized by the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University.

12 April 2019, Swansea (United Kingdom)
Language learning of migrant health care workers in bilingual workplaces (Multiplier event COMBI project)
Organized by Swansea University.

9 - 11 May 2018, Corfu (Greece)
Multilingual Language Theories and Practices (MLTP2019)
Organized by MultiLingNet and Ionian University.

15 - 16 May 2019, Hamar (Norway)
Multilingual Childhoods: Education, Policy and Practice (MC 2019)
Organized by Inland Norway University and Oslo Metropolitan University.

21 - 23 May 2019, Bielefeld (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education (ICMME 19)
Organized by Bielefeld University.

22 - 24 May 2019, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII)
Organized by Mercator European Research Centre.

29 - 30 May 2019, Västerås (Sweden)
Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2)
Organized by Mälardalen University.

17 - 19 June 2019, Jyväskylä (Finland)
Thinking, Doing, Learning: Usage based perspectives on second language learning (TDL4)
Organized by University of Jyväskylä.

26 - 28 June 2019, Leeuwarden/ Ljouwert (The Netherlands)
International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 10)
Organized by Fryske Akademy.

2 July 2019, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment
* Deadline Call for Papers: 7 April 2019
Organized by the University of Cambridge.

3 - 5 July 2019, Soria (Spain)
Fifth International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity in Schools and Society
Organized by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education.

4 - 5 July 2019, Lisbon (Portugal)
2nd International Symposium on Endangered languages and language varieties in the Iberian Peninsula (LAPI 2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 31 March 2019
Organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLeS, SOAS World Languages Institute and the project FRONTESPO.

8 - 11 July 2019, Athens (Greece)
12th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
* Deadline Call for Papers: 11 March 2019
Organized by the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) and the Athens Journal of Philology.

27 - 28 August 2019, Chania (Crete, Greece)
International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2019 (ISMBS 2019)
Organized by the Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

17 - 20 September 2019, Barcelona (Spain)
6th Barcelona Summer School on Bi- and Multilingualism (BSBM)
Organized by Pompeu Fabra University.

26 - 27 September 2019, Stirling (United Kingdom)
Languaging in Times of Change (tlang#2)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 April 2019
Organized by University of Stirling.

14 - 15 November 2019, Udine (Italy)
2nd International Colloquium on Plurilingualism (2nd ICP )
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 April 2019
Organized by Udine University / Centro Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo.

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