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UK Government announced £200k funding for Cornish language

UK Government Communities Minister, Lord Bourne, announced £200,000 funding for Cornish language and culture at the UK National Minorities Summit, hosted by Cornwall Council in Falmouth, Cornwall. The minister said it would be “unacceptable” for a Government to stand by and do nothing as a language dies and it was important to provide support. He said the language was a “uniquely valuable asset” and the Government was “committed to protecting it”. European Language Equality Network (ELEN) Secretary-General, Davyth Hicks, while welcoming the announcement, underlined that Cornish language revitalisation will need long term substantial funding and political support to be effective, and that the Government should ensure that the next UK Census has a Cornish tick-box.

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Authors wanted for Regional Dossiers

The Mercator European Research Centre is looking for authors for the Regional Dossiers series. Are you an expert in the field of Papiamentu, Croatian, German, Kashubian, Lithuanian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Basque, Sami, Ukrainian or Polish as a small or minority language? More information about the dossiers and the vacancies can be found on Mercator's website.

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New EU developments for online multilingualism

The diversity of European languages in use online could be improved soon. New developments are on their way, says EU’s Commissioner for Education and Culture Tibor Navracsics, without giving further details. A 2018 UNESCO report on Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) explains that as much as 21 out of 80 European languages might become digitally extinct if nothing is done.

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Symposium on education policy for regional languages

Language and education are an inextricable pair, yet for regional languages this is not as obvious as for national languages. Recent studies point to the decline of language use of regional languages, although ample evidence is provided of the advantages of multilingual education at home and in school, also when it concerns a standard language combined with a regional or minority language. At AILA 2020 in Groningen, the Netherlands, this theme brings together case studies on regional language(s) in education, in order to learn of the do’s and don'ts to create support from governmental and educational authorities and civilians, to raise funding and to apply educational programs of high quality for regional languages. You are invited to submit your proposal through the abstract system of the AILA conference, on 16 September 2019 at the latest (symposium number 5042).

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Language discrimination by Spanish officials

A worker of a Palma de Mallorca Airport services company is accused of putting safety at risk by speaking Catalan to the Guardia Civil, instead of Spanish. This occurred while the worker passed the security control to access his workplace. A few days earlier, in Valencia, a cyclist was arrested for addressing the local police in Valencian.

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Educational guidelines presented at CoE

The classroom activities for pupils to learn about the European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages were presented at the Council of Europe in July in Strasbourg. These educational guidelines to address linguistic diversity at school is an initiative of the Council of Europe, universities from Vigo, Freiburg and Poznań and the NPLD.

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Student creates more than 100 new signs to help deaf people express themselves when talking about science.


New study: Spanish case is anomaly with regard to medium-sized languages

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Using the tools of language in the classroom

"All students have a linguistic toolkit", says Ramón Martínez, assistant professor at Stanford, "an assortment of competencies such as multilingualism, code-switching or translanguaging and interpreting or translating. Sometimes teachers rifle through those toolkits carelessly, searching for that one thing", he says. "But it needs to be fully unpacked in order to understand the competencies these kids bring to class."

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Crowdsourcing speech to diversify voice recognition

A lack of diverse representation at major tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook causes AI to cater more readily to white men. Mozilla, a free software community, created therefore “Common Voice”, a tool that crowdsources voices as a dataset to diversify AI and represent the global population, not just the west. Currently, there’s more than 2,400 hours of voice data and 29 languages represented.

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What’s the best way to teach children a second language?

In the context of child second language (L2) learning, it has been argued that children learn primarily implicitly and that the most important component of aptitude may be memory ability. However, researchers from the University of Essex now found that although aptitude and metalinguistic awareness were (still) dynamic, they significantly predicted children’s achievement in L2 French. This finding suggests that it may not be level of cognitive maturity alone that determines children’s approach to L2 learning.

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Multilingual education to save indigenous languages

UN Assistant Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, stressed the importance of providing multilingual education to indigenous communities. Nearly half of the world’s estimated 6,700 languages are in danger of disappearing and inclusive education has a fundamental role to play in preserving them.

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Third and final newsletter Critical Skills project

The Critical Skills for Life and Work project (CSLW) aims to design and implement effective training tools for highly-skilled refugees and the language teachers who work with them. This Erasmus+ cooperation is now coming to an end: the 3rd and final newsletter is published online.

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Saving rare recordings of Indigenous languages


Hearing the words of her Yuin nation language being spoken by her ancestors decades ago was a powerful moment for archivist Narissa Timbery. These 'voices' are among a treasure trove of Indigenous recordings contained on magnetic tapes by the National Archives of Australia (NAA). As the technology to play the old tapes becomes obsolete, time is running out to save thousands of hours of audio-visual recordings, some of which include rare Indigenous languages. The archives must be digitised by 2025 or the precious material will be lost without being heard again.


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.

26 - 28 September 2019, Cracow (Poland)
2nd International Conference on Child Foreign/Second Language Learning: Facing Heterogeneity in the Young Learner Classroom (CFSLL2019)
Organised by Pedagogical University Cracow.

8 - 9 October 2019, Brussels (Belgium)
META Forum: Introducing the European Language Grid
Organised by the European Language Grid consortium.

17 October 2019, Donostia/ San Sebastian (Basque Country/ Spain)
NPLD-Coppieters Campus 2019: 'Activating the social use of minority languages'
Organised by the NPLD and Coppieters Foundation.

28 - 29 October 2019, Antwerp (Belgium)
Multilingual Awareness and Multilingual Practices
Organised by Thomas More University of Applied Sciences.

29 - 31 October 2019, Saarbrücken (Germany)
5th Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching
Organised by Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) des Saarlandes.

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

20 - 21 November 2019, Agadir (Morocco)
2nd International Conference on Multilingualism: Challenges, Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Implications
Organised by Faculty of Languages, Arts, and Humanities Campus Universitaire Ait Melloul.

20 - 22 November 2019, Graz (Austria)
Languages in an Open World 2019 (LOW 2019)
Organised by SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator European Research Centre (NL), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation - CiDLeS (PT), 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.

5 - 7 December 2019, Paris (France)
Conference: Family languages: attitudes, uses, policies and experiences
Organised by the Sorbonne 3 University.

14 - 15 December 2019, Prague (Czech Republic)
Multilingual and Multicultural Learning: Policies and Practices (MMLPP2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 15 October 2019.
Organised by the Charles University, Faculty of Arts.

24 - 26 February 2020, Szczecin (Poland)
International Conference on Multilingual Practice (ICOMP)
Organised by the Uniwersytet Szczeciński.

9 - 14 August 2020, Groningen (the Netherlands)
AILA 2020: World Congress of Applied Linguistics
* Deadline Call for Papers: 16 September 2019.
Organised by the University of Groningen, Multilingual Matters and others.

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