(New) Speakers in multilingual contexts (roundtable event)

Location: London, UK

Date: 3 April 2017

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(New) Speakers in multilingual contexts: towards a sociolinguistics of the speaker

We would like to invite you to attend a public round-table discussion.

The roundtable is part of a larger discussion taking place within our European network on New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe within the intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). In our Action we have been using the “new speaker” label as a lens through which to understand the linguistic practices of multilingual speakers who, by engaging with languages other than their “native” or “national” language(s), need to cross existing social boundaries, re-evaluate their own levels of linguistic competence and creatively (re)structure their social practices to adapt to new and overlapping linguistic spaces.

Language policy issues in ‘new speaker’ contexts (workshop)

Critical ethnographic perspectives

Location: Université de Namur, Business & Learning Center, Rue Godefroid 5-7, B-5000 Namur

Dates: 16 & 17 March 2017

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Fuelled by the work of Working Group 9, this two-day workshop addresses the complex and multi-sited nature of language policy and planning processes in various ‘new speaker’ settings across Europe.

During the workshop, the invited speakers will present papers from a range of different contexts (including historical minority languages, migration settings and transnational workplaces).

Mainly rooted in critical ethnography the papers will help to clarify how language policy matters are dealt with by speakers ‘on the ground’ as well as by language policy and planning officers and other agents in managerial positions.

The workshop will help the speakers to discuss and fine-tune the first draft of a paper for a special issue on language policy and new speakerness that will be submitted to Language Policy in the second half of 2017. 


Educational Language Policy for Integration and Peace

Location: Riga, Latvia

Date: 10 April 2017

Organizer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Rēzekne Academy of Technologies, University of Latvia, DAAD Information Centre Riga)


New Speakers in Latvia: Educational Language Policy for Integration and Peace (Symposium including a Round Table Discussion)

European Union House, Aspazijas bulvāris 28, LV-1050 Riga (opposite Latvian National Opera) 

The event is supported by the COST New Speakers Action, the Latvian Language Agency, Rēzekne Academy of Technologies and the DAAD Information Centre Riga.

This one-day conference will introduce the concept of New Speakers to a broader audience in Latvia. It will bring together academics, stakeholders and media representatives interested in language policies, integration of minorities and languages in education in order to discuss Latvian perspectives in a European context.

Two presentations will provide an overview of topics and challenges relevant to migrant new speakers of a national language (e.g. Germany) and speakers of an autochthonous minority language (e.g. Gaelic in Scotland).

These experiences from Western Europe will be contrasted to perceptions of three groups of new speakers in Latvia:

  • members of the minority groups who settled in Latvia during Soviet times, many of whom have only within the past two decades started to acquire Latvian;
  • more recent migrants to Latvia from different countries in the world in the Latvian context where Western European-style processes of migration are still relatively new;
  • speakers of the regional variety of Latgalian in Eastern Latvia (a variety closely related to Standard Latvian but traditionally mostly restricted to the homes and other non-formal domains) in their attempts to revitalize their language and to gain more recognition in society.

The symposium will contextualize the New Speakers concept in Latvia as a post-Soviet society in which societal experiences with migration, the acquisition of the main language of society by minorities and the revitalization of regional languages differ considerably from Western Europe. In this way, the event attempts to contribute to understanding existing practices regarding the three groups of new speakers in Latvia under discussion and to contextualizing existing challenges in a European perspective. Thereby, we hope to assist language policy makers in Latvia in developing successful language management, particularly in education (formal and informal).

The event is open to everybody (no prior reservation required), but we particularly invite representatives of national and local administrative institutions, education policy-makers and the media who are working on language questions of societal integration.

5th Round of Workgroup Meetings

Location: University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus

Dates: 30-31 of January 2017

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Book of abstracts



Day 1: Monday, 30th of January 2017

09:00 Registration and welcome

09:30 Discussion of Workgroup reports 09:30-09:50 Workgroup 7 presentation

09:50-10:10 Workgroup 7 discussion

10:10-10-30 Workgroup 8 presentation

10:30-10:50 Workgroup 8 discussion

10:50 Coffee Break

11:20-11:40 Workgroup 9 presentation

11:40-12:00 Workgroup 9 discussion

12:00-12:20 Workgroup 10 presentation

12:20-12:40 Workgroup 10 discussion

12:40-13:00 Discussion

13:00 Lunch break 14:00 Discussion of MoU goals achieved and not achieved

15:00 Writing retreat: WGs write down final versions of reports incorporating issues raised in discussion

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Kathryn Jones WG5 – overview of dissemination and impact activity

17:45 Impact case studies Skakeholder activities proposed for Coimbra

18:30 Closing

19:00 Dinner

Day 2: Tuesday, 31st of January 2017

Open Event: New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: A Transdisciplinary View from Cyprus

8:30 Registration

9:15 Welcome note by Rector of UCLan, Cyprus ̶ Dr Melinda Tan

9:30 Bernadette O'Rourke (Heriot-Watt University,Edinburgh, UK) and Joan Pujolar Cos (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain) "New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe-Opportunities and Challenges"

09:50 Fofi Constantinidou (University of Cyprus, Center for Applied Neuroscience) "The effects of language and culture on verbal and non-verbal cognitive performance"

10:15 Yiasemina Karagiorgi and Alexandra Petridou (Centre for Educational Research and Evaluation, Pedagogical Institute, Cyprus) “Constructing a Validity Argument: The Case of the Greek Language Test ‘Milas Ellinika I’ in Cyprus Schools”

10:40 Coffee Break

11:10 Elena Ioannidou (University of Cyprus) "Performing 'languaging': multilingual practices among youth and young children in Cyprus"

11:35 Martha Neokleous (European Commission Representation in Cyprus, Directorate-General for Translation Field Office in Nicosia) "The case of Cyprus: a multilingual contradiction"

12:00 Round table-Discussion

12:45 Award ceremony of the essay competition: “Being able to speak more than one language has invaluable potentials. How can children’s multilingualism be promoted? ”

13:00 Lunch break 14:00 Chair presentation of activities programmed for 2017

15:00 Kathryn Jones WG5 –dissemination and impact activity ctd. Impact case studies. Skakeholder activities proposed for Coimbra

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Kathryn Jones WG5 ctd.

17:15 Closing

19:00 Dinner

Workgroup reports should take into account the following issues:

1. Did new findings emerge that were not identified in phase one? (e.g. new profiles of new speakers, new conceptual angles)

2. Did additional research questions emerge?

3. Did any findings suggest the possibility of applications or policy initiatives?

4. Did your workgroup publish any practitioners’ publications of initial findings?

Pending lines of work in relation to stakeholders:

1. Identify and incorporate private and public organizations with a multilingual workforce and/or customer base. E.g.: http://polyglotte.eu/fr/ (translators),

2. Integrate in one of the activities the European Observatory for Plurilingualism (ww.observatoireplurilinguisme.eu), and the Mercator network (http://www.mercator-research.eu/).

3. Invite official from the Directorate General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth

4. Other options to consider: government departments which deal with immigration policies, bodies connected with cross-border immigration officers, police, health care workers and the social housing sector.

Selection of key outputs and objectives of phase 3

1 Identify guidelines for policy changes relating to new speaker practices.

2. Identify the key areas that still need to be investigated to further enhance an understanding of new speakers practices in a multilingual Europe

3. Research teams identified from Action participants to develop research projects identified in the final Action framework.

4. A series of practitioner publication articles on final findings published.