Interactive workshop (Edinburgh)

What does it mean to speak a minority language?

Dispelling myths and raising awareness through theatre

15 April 2016 - Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh

Interactive workshop with actor and playwriter Brian Thunder.


Brian Thunder will engage with different profiles of people:

  1. speakers of a minority language
  2. people doing research on minority languages
  3. practitioners or people who use a minority language at work
  4. language planners

The workshop will not be about theatre per se. Instead it will involve Brian engaging with people about their personal or professional experience with the minority language they speak and research. He will use these insights to help develop ideas for his play.

He wants to understand the following:

  1. What it means for you to be a 'speaker' (be that native, new speaker) of a minority language
  2. What are the challenges for you and other people you know when it comes to using a minority language
  3. Why minority language speakers choose to hold onto their language and attempt to pass it on?
  4. Why some don’t?
  5. Why do people who have no connection with Welsh decide to adopt it as their own language?
  6. What kind of attitudes do speakers of a majority languages (e.g. English) and minority languages to each other?

Theatre proposal linked to New Speakers of Minority Languages

The COST network will work with actor/theatre maker to develop a theatre proposal around what it means to be a 'speaker' (be that native, new speaker) of a minority language. He is based in Scotland so Gaelic will be the focus but he wants to frame it in the context of minority language speakers more broadly.

The event will bring together academics who are expert in the area of minority languages and also actual 'speakers' of some of the languages we are studying.

The date for the event is 15th and 16th April for the first scoping workshop which will take place in Edinburgh.

This activity would be linked to our stakeholder/public engagement WG5 activities. The idea for the play would be to raise awareness amongst people who don't speak minority languages and to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions that are often in circulation.

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