The New Speakers Blog

Professor at Heriot-Watt University and Chair of EU COST Action New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe

Bernie O’Rourke is Professor in Spanish and Linguistics at Heriot-Watt University. Her research focuses on the role of language in the construction of social difference and social inequality. Drawing on theoretical frameworks and concepts in sociolinguistics and the sociology of language, she examines these processes as they unfold in minority language contexts with a particular focus on the Irish and Galician cases. She is Chair of the COST Action New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges.

Cultural tools - impact in the public arena

New Speakers has commissioned Deirdre MacKenna, Director of 'Cultural Documents' to produce a series of cultural 'tools' which mediate New Speakers' work in public situations.

Deirdre and I first met at one of the regular GRAMNet collaboration development meetings in Glasgow in November 2016 and our fluent dialogues began to map out ways which could bring valuable academic research to the attention and use of people in related contexts and situations, such as multi-cultural communities… 

Continue reading
270 Hits
0 Comments

Why is a person with a career in contemporary visual art working for a language project…?

New Speakers has commissioned Deirdre MacKenna, Director of 'Cultural Documents' to produce a series of cultural 'tools' which mediate New Speakers' work in public situations. Here, she tells us a bit more about her background:

I am one of the lucky few to have had great jobs in the glamourous, cutting-edge world of public art galleries… For over twenty years my role was to develop programmes and projects of unique and ambitious artistic vision within the rarefied ‘white cubes’ of the contemporary art gallery. But despite the successes and rewards of the work, I started to see the galleries as limited in their capacity to enable deep engagement, or attract people who were not already familiar, thus I became worried that we were only ‘preaching to the converted’ and that the good work was missing its target… One day I sat down in an attempt to put a name to what was bothering me and was shocked to find a much longer list than I had expected…

Continue reading
185 Hits
0 Comments

Symposium on “Educational Language Policy for Integration and Peace”

We are happy to announce a one-day symposium which will take the New Speaker concept to Latvia: It will take place on April 10 in the European Union House in Riga.

In order to familiarize the readers of this blog with the situation of languages and language policies in Latvia, we would hereby like to provide a short background of languages and society in which the symposium will take place.

Continue reading
281 Hits
0 Comments

My research in a nutshell #2

Natasha Ringblom is a member of the COST Action New Speakers network, from Stockholm University.

Here, she gives us a brief overview of her research on new speakers:

Continue reading
293 Hits
0 Comments

My research in a nutshell #1

Maite Puigdevall Serralvo is a member of the COST Action New Speakers network, from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Here, she gives us a brief overview of her research on new speakers:

Continue reading
239 Hits
0 Comments

Posts Calendar

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar