Following the two seminars on Languages within the contexts of Social Inclusion and Intercultural Communication, a highly successful international conference took place at the LSE on 15th and 16th April 2010, entitled “Unlocking the Gates of Languages”.
The two day event was very well attended (despite volcanic ash travel chaos which meant some last minute changes to the programme). Since participants were given the space to develop ideas and discussion, it was a lively and interactive event with input from employer representatives, policy makers, students from EU countries and language professionals.
The detailed programme of the event is available here. The European policy context was set Teresa Condeço (EU Commission) and Dr Waldemar Martyniuk (Council of Europe) both of whom placed multilingualism and multiculturalism firmly at the heart of Europe and EU Commission policy.After a review of key issues in a panel session chaired by Professor Itesh Sachdev (SOAS), there were major plenaries from David Crystal and Joe Lo Bianco (University of Melbourne, via video link). David Crystal’ fascinating and challenging contribution on Multilingualism and the Internet can be read in full and is linked to from this website. Joe Lo Bianco’s excellent exposition of Language Policies for the 21st Century is also available on the linked podcast.
During the discussion groups, participants worked on developing the key themes of the LETPP project process which had emerged from the previous two seminars:
• Multilingual cities
• Language and identity
• Languages of newer citizens
• 2020 vision - languages for the next generation
• The case of English
• Languages and class
• Economic arguments for multilingualism
• Education systems and how they might need to adapt to promote multilingualism
• What can policy bodies/governments do
The results of these discussions are published in the ‘LETPP Manifesto’ which is a not so serious summary of slogans and outcomes highlighting the main ideas debated during the conference.
The discussions were also supported and informed by presentations from a number of coordinators of European projects and by an international group of student representatives, giving a practical edge to the theoretical framework of the policy context.
The main outcome of the LETPP project will be a Report outlining the main issues, current good practice and proposals for future action to overcome obstacles and promote positive conditions where linguistic diversity will flourish.
The project will also lead to the establishment of a working group which will study how to create a network of ongoing support for multilingual policies and to facilitate greater synergy between theory, policy and practice in this sphere.
Workshops and Presentations
David Crystal: Multilingualism and the Internet
Lucija Čok, Science and research centre Koper (Capodistria), University of Primorska, Slovenia, With English and not just English
Joe Lo Bianco, Unlocking the gates of languages: towards more productive language planning for Europe
You can view photos from this event by clicking here.
To download a podcast, right-click on the relevant link below and choose 'Save target as' or 'Save link as'
Conference: Unlocking the Gates of Languages: Part 1 (MP3 27MB)
Conference: Unlocking the Gates of Languages: Part 2 (MP3 22MB)
Conference: Unlocking the Gates of Languages: Part 3 (MP3 20MB)
Conference: Unlocking the Gates of Languages: Part 4 (MP3 18MB)