The New Speakers Blog

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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… 

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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…

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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.

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Research Impact in Action Workshop Event Programme Refugees, New Speakers and Global Law 23rd and 24th March

Our workshop ‘Refugees, New Speakers, and Global Law’ in Tilburg University, March 23-24 2017, is fast approaching. Please see our final event programme attached.

After the event we will post podcasts of the presentations and the plenaries from Max Spotti 'Language and asylum: the paradox of naming places and web truths' and Marcos Ezequiel Filardi 'Accomplishments, challenges and tensions in refugees´ protection in Argentina'. Through the presentations we will discuss how the law experienced through themes related to rights, protections, and voice and legality. We will also see language and legitimacy as central to this experience as we explore the issues of language learning, refugees voices through literature and as they are documented in historical narratives. Through the inclusion of community-led NGOs, refugees and other practitioners who work on asylum issues, we will finally consider how we as researchers can create impact.

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New Speakers on the Red Carpet

Recently, the FilmG awards, otherwise known as the ‘Gaelic Oscars,’ were held in Glasgow. Although you might not see the likes of Meryl Streep or Brad Pitt there, in the world of Scottish Gaelic Film and TV, it is no less important. This year, two of the winning films in the Open Competition — Gàidheal Gu Luath and Cheating Our Language —  both centred on new speakers of Gaelic.

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