The members of the New Speakers network share an interest in examining the opportunities and challenges involved in being, becoming, and being understood as a “new speaker” of a language in contemporary multilingual societies.
As is well known, globalization, increased mobility and transnational networking have radically transformed the linguistic dynamics of the world. Engaging with these processes, our network focuses on multilinguals and the diverse facets of not only acquiring and using a new language, but also being understood as a “new speaker” of that language, in the context of a multilingual Europe.
We view new speakers as multilingual individuals who engage with languages other than their “native” or “national” one(s). In doing so, these speakers are often faced with crossing existing social boundaries, (re-)evaluating their own levels of linguistic competence, and adapting to new and overlapping linguistic spaces.
Our members consist of academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners with expertise in different multilingual contexts.
Regional minority languages, such as Irish, Galician, Catalan, etc., are one area of research and expertise represented in the network.
Immigrant contexts constitute another principle area of interest for our members, as does the concept of new speakers as workers, taking into consideration diverse workplaces and (trans)national situations.
By taking part in the network, you can join us in our efforts to identify common themes across all of these different multilingual spheres and to compare “new speaker” profiles from different multilingual contexts.
This comparative approach will help us develop a more holistic understanding of multilingualism and to rethink how languages are managed at all levels and in all spaces, including education, healthcare, the workplace, family, community, the media, cyberspace and public institutions.
Our core working group themes are profiled below.
Core Working Group Themes
- New speakers and indigenous minorities
- New speakers in the context of migration
- New speakers as workers
We welcome your contributions and would love to hear about your research on these and related themes.