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Frisian Speakaboo upcoming

In October 2019, the Fryske Akademy kicked off  the Frisian Speakaboo-project. During the project the Fryske Akademy will develop a Frisian adaptation of the multilingual app Speakaboo together with Royal Dutch Kentalis. Speakaboo is a tool for speech therapists that allows them to assess the phonological development of young multilingual children in their native language and other language(s) in a playful manner, even if the speech therapist him/herself does not speak that language. Speakaboo can be used with children between 3-6 years old and is currently available in 18 languages. The development of the Frisian adaptation is financed by Stichting De Friesland.

Royal Dutch Kentalis and the Fryske Akademy also have plans to develop Speakaboo adaptations for other minority languages. If the reader would like to join this consortium as partner on behalf of a specific minority language, please contact Jelske Dijkstra of Mercator European Research Centre (Fryske Akademy) for more information.

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Dossier updated

The Mercator European Research Centre has published the second edition of 'the Võro language in education in Estonia'. This dossier was originally compiled by Dr. Kadri Koreinik of the Võro Institute. Dr. Kara D. Brown (University of South Carolina), Dr. Sulev Iva (University of Tartu, Võro Institute), and Dr. Kadri Koreinik (University of Tartu, Võro Institute) updated the dossier in 2018.

Click here for an overview of
Mercator's dossiers


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Ukraine, NATO issue statement on minority rights after Hungary threat

31 October - Ukraine and NATO ohave issued a joint statement committing to uphold minority rights in Ukraine, a step welcomed by the Hungarian authorities who had threatened to block Kiev's NATO membership over the issue. Hungary has clashed with Ukraine over what it says are curbs on the rights of roughly 150,000 ethnic Hungarians to use their native tongue, especially in education, after Ukraine passed a law in 2017 restricting the use of minority languages in schools.

Read more on the REUTERS' website

VirtuaLApp presents its 1st multiplier event: Virtual Classrooms

VirtuLApp in

17 and 18 October 2019 VirtuLApp organized its first multiplier event in the form of a 2-day workshop at the LUCA School of Arts in Gent, Belgium. The event included the introduction of the character Babel who guided participants - keen on checking their general knowledge on languages and multilingualism - through VirtuLApp’s new quiz. The reader can take this quiz by clicking on Babel's icon at the bottom right of the VirtuLApp website. In addition, Dr. Orhan Agirdag (KU Leuven and the University of Amsterdam) spoke of the challenges a researcher faces when collecting data on multilingualism in schools. VirtuLApp presented its first video on best practices in the classroom and offered a sneak preview of its AR-multiplayer game which will be available in Autumn 2020.
During several practical sessions participants were able to learn about augmented reality, how to create short video clips using their phone, how to raise awareness on multilingualism and how to put translanguaging into practice.

VirtuLApp's next multiplier event will be held March 3, 2020 in Dublin. Save the date!.

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“Promoting minority languages to achieve equal opportunities for migrants”

16 October - “To integrate migrants and guarantee them equal opportunities, we must encourage the implementation of a language policy that promotes minority languages”, stated Andrew Dawson (United Kingdom, ECR), Congress rapporteur, at the Intergovernmental Conference on “Achieving Equal Opportunities for All Migrants Through Learning and Assessment” in Strasbourg, France.

Read more on the Council of Europe website



Call for papers:
“Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces”

The objective of this international conference is to question the way social “inclusive” spaces such as schools, universities and cultural centers take into consideration minor languages. The conference will take place May 25-26-27, 2020 in Paris (France).
Abstracts should be submitted online. Submission deadline is December 1st, 2019.

Visit the conference website

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COMBI project concluded

August 31 2019, the Erasmus+ funded COMBI project was concluded. For four years the six COMBI partners from five European countries worked together to promote the need for minority language skills in the workplace among migrant workers and to develop innovative tools to meet this need. All products have been published under an open license in four to six different languages and are freely available on the COMBI website.

Visit the COMBI website



Province of Limburg and the Netherlands sign covenant on Limburgish

6 November the Dutch Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and the province of Limburgh signed an agreement concerning the Limburgish language. This agreement (re-)confirms recognition by the Dutch government of the Limburgish language as a full-fledgedand autonomous regional language in the Netherlands. The agreement underlines Limburgish culture and identity and the commitment of both Kingdom and province to keep the language safe, to forward its use and its status.

Visit the conference website

Winner Coling photo contest:
In our own words


October 26 the RISE COLING research project announced the winners of its photo contest In our own words. Many stunning entries were received. Prizes were awarded for five categories: "Me, Human", "My word - my world", "Sounds of our souls", "Naturally!", and "Mobility".
Congratulations to the winners and a thank you to all participants for taking part!

Blogpost by Mercator researcher Ruth Kircher


"Leaver or remainer, you’ll probably agree that the current political climate in Great Britain is difficult, to say the least. The debates about immigration, and about the ways in which ethnocultural diversification supposedly affects British culture and values, have greatly altered the atmosphere. But how has all of this borne upon language ideology?"

                                                      Mexican youth
                                                      award 2019

Omar Aguilar Sánchez wins the Mexican Nacional Youth Awards

21 October - The #CoLING team and all project participants congratulate Isu Yuku Savi = Omar Aguilar Sánchez who won the Mexican Nacional Youth Award.


As a participant in the #CoLING Project and an #ARENET fellow, his research focuses on his Mixtec community Ñuu Savi, considering contemporary and historical influences on cultural heritage through a multi-disciplinary approach.


Read more on the

#CoLING Facebook page


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Constitutional court rules in favour of Stellenbosch's English language policy

10 October 2019 - The constitutional court in South Africa has upheld the high court's decision that Stellenbosch University was correct in implementing its 2016 policy which gave preference to English over Afrikaans.
Part of the constitutional court judgment read: “This court finds that the university’s process in adopting the 2016 policy was thorough, exhaustive, inclusive and properly deliberative. The university’s motivation for introducing the 2016 policy was to facilitate equitable access to its campus, teaching and learning opportunities by black students who are not conversant in Afrikaans.”

Read more


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.

25 - 27 May 2020, Paris (France)
Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 December 2019.
Organised by INSHEA.

18 - 19 June 2020, Flensburg (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingual Practice (ICOMP)
Organised by European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) and the Danish Central Library for South Schleswig (DCBIB).

1 - 3 July 2020, Soria (Spain)
6th International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity, in Schools and Society
Organized by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education

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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