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International Conference on Minority Languages in Friesland

With four inspiring keynote speakers, ten colloquia, almost 90 paper presentations, and seventeen poster presentations, the 17th International Conference on Minority Languages in Ljouwert/ Leeuwarden (NL) was a great succes. Professor Itesh Sachdev did the wrap-up on Friday and concluded that the passion and depth of knowledge of all researchers was impressive, the sign language interpretors were fabulous and the vegan food was delicious. Although the ICML welcomed guests from all continents, Sachdev would like to see more African, Asian and South American approaches and research in the future. The next ICML Conference will be hosted in Bilbao in the Basque Country in 2021.

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CoE Ministers underline importance sign language

“I welcome the support expressed today by the Committee of Ministers to the promotion and protection of sign languages in Europe”, stated Timo Soini, Chair of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Committee underlined the importance of sign languages as natural languages of deaf persons. "I hope that the Council of Europe will continue to pay close attention.”

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Strenghtening protection of national minorities in Serbia

The Council of Europe and the EU will continue to support protection and promotion of national minority rights in Serbia as it is beneficial for Serbian society, but it also largely contributes to the EU accession path of the country. This was one of the conclusions of the 'Expert report of the existing models of minority language education in Serbia'.

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New Welsh curriculum for teachers by teachers

A new Curriculum for Wales has been developed for teachers by teachers in partnership with Welsh Government, regional educational consortia, Estyn (Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales) and researchers from the Camau project at the University of Wales Trinity St David and Glasgow University. 'Languages, Literacy and Communication' is one of six Areas of Learning and Experience in the curriculum and it is proposed that pupils will learn Welsh, English and international languages from primary school. The draft is now available, the curriculum is due to be published in January 2020.

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Regional Dossiers; Udmurt, Cornish, Occitan, Turkish

The Mercator Research Centre publishes four new Regional Dossiers about the educational system in European regions that have an autochthonous lesser-used language. The dossier about Udmurt in Russia is completely new, the other three (Cornish in the UK, Occitan in France, Turkish in Greece) are revised editions.

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Free online self-study Lower and Upper Sorbish

The free self-study programme "Learning Sorbian Online" has had a major update by the Multimedia Language Learning Center of the Technical University of Dresden. Learners now have the opportunity to scale levels A1 to B1 Upper and Lower Sorbian, referring to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

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Dutch television broadcasted the Eurovision Song Contest with sign dancers: dancing sign language interpretors.


New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joins Sign Language Week

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Catalan Week on Irish Maynooth University

CUSC-UB researcher Avel·lí Flors-Mas participated in the Catalan Week at the Maynooth University in Ireland, organised with Institut Ramon Llull in Barcelona. Flors-Mas gave a lecture on the sociolinguistic situation in Catalonia, and presented the results of a research on the linguistic uses of Catalan and Valencian adolescents.

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Enhancing competences for highly-skilled refugees

The Erasmus+ funded project Critical Skills for Life and Work aims to enhance the employability and societal integration of skilled refugees. The consortium cordially invites you to join the free CSLW conference at Friday 21 June at Newcastle University, where a new learner and teacher toolkit will be launched. The latest CSLW newsletter is now online.

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Digital Language Survival Kit for minority language communities


The digital presence and usability of a language is something that must be carefully planned, taking into account the actual technological provision, but also the needs and expectations of speakers’ communities. The Digital Language Survival Kit, published by the Digital Language Diversity Project, is a set of recommendations intended to support minority language communities in the task of of planning and developing effective measures for the digital development of a language. The Kit offers a complete methodology that will guide language planners from evaluation of current digital vitality state to informed selection of the most appropriate actions to be undertaken.

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New Low Saxon and Limburgian learning line

Language teachers of the Dutch national Living Languages Association, have set up separate departments for the Low Saxon and Limburgian languages. They are committed to a new Lower Saxon and Limburgian learning line for primary education. In addition to developing teaching materials, this also includes encouraging a positive attitude towards the use of these languages.

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Luxembourgish at home; French in the workplace

Luxembourgish remains the most-spoken language at home in Luxembourg, whilst the French language dominates in the workplace. This is the result of surveying 6000 people by the Luxembourg's statistics service Statec. Most households are monolingual, a third is a multilingual. After Luxembourgish and French, the languages most spoken at home are Portuguese, English, German and Italian.

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"Danish molingualism marginalises children"

"In Denmark is a wide-spread understanding that the normative situation is such that everybody speaks one language: Danish", writes professor Martha Sif Karrebæk (University of Copenhagen) in a new article. "The orientation to standard Danish and monolingualism leads to marginalisation of some children and alienation of others."

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Seminar on Latgalian in education and research

The seminar 'Latgalian writing language in education and research: examples of the other regional and lesser-used languages” was one of the events of the annual Latgale Congress Day in Riga (Latvia). Mercator's Cor van der Meer was invited to give a presentation about the Frisian language and new developments in education.

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Documentary: How do the minorities from Plovdiv, Sápmi and the Val d’Aran think about the European Union?


The relation between the minorities in the European Union and the European institutions is in need of some relation therapy. Frisian broadcaster Omrop Fryslân investigated the support for the EU from the minority perspective. Minorities used to be in favour of the European Union, but are sometimes disappointed about the state of the current EU. This resulted in three documentaries, titled ‘De grinzen fan Europa’ (‘The limits of Europe’). Episode 1–the Roma, Episode 2–the Sámi and Episode 3–Val d'Aran can be viewed online.


7 June 2019, Toulouse (France)
The recognition of the cultural and linguistic heritage: an instrument to stimulate the economy (NPLD Conference)
Organised by the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) .

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

20 - 21 June 2019, Groningen (The Netherlands)
40th TABU Day 2019, International Linguistics Conference
Organised by University Of Groningen.

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

1 July 2019, Ghent (Belgium)
Symposium: The various guises of translanguaging
Organised by the Ghent University and Lancaster University.

2 July 2019, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment
Organised by the University of Cambridge.

3 - 5 July 2019, Soria (Spain)
Fifth International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity in Schools and Society
Organised 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)
Organised 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
Organised 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)
Organised by the Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

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

26 - 27 September 2019, Stirling (United Kingdom)
Languaging in Times of Change (tlang#2)
Organised by University of Stirling.

14 - 15 November 2019, Udine (Italy)
2nd International Colloquium on Plurilingualism (2nd ICP )
Organised by Udine University / Centro Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo.

20 - 22 November 2019, Graz (Austria)
Languages in an Open World 2019 (LOW 2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 June 2019
Organised by SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator European Research Centre (NL), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CiDLeS), and the University of Graz /Plurilingualism Research Unit – Treffpunkt Sprachen (AT).

28 - 29 November 2019, Brussels (Belgium)
European Language Council (ELC) Conference on 'Language and Education'
Organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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