Seminars & Events

Workshop: Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe

Workshop: Linguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe

This two-day workshop will be focused on a cross-linguistic examination of discursive competence in child and adult migrants, as well as linguistic identity of new speakers in a multilingual Europe. Discursive competence (narrative abilities) is crucial for academic achievement, employment and income prospects. What is also crucial for functioning in the society is the entire set of attitudes and beliefs concerning language values. Are identity issues and attitudes towards multiple languages reflected in any way in the narrative discourse of a new speaker in a multilingual Europe?

We aim to run a cross-linguistic examination of migrant identities and attitudes towards migrant languages in society. We plan to focus on instances of linguistic discrimination of bilinguals and multilinguals by “native speaker” communities, as reported by migrants and we aim for a large, coordinated research on linguistic attitudes across the various case studies within our Cost Action IS1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges.

There are going to be presentations and discussions by various researchers with respect to the data collection (oral and written) cross-linguistically, picture-based story elicitation, by monolingual, bilingual and multilingual children, adolescents and adults, and data analysis in terms of macro and micro structures (Hickmann et al., 1995; Gagarina et al., 2010, 2015), mental/cognitive verbs (Adrian et al., 2005; Dunn and Brophy, 2005), theory of mind (Astington and Bairds, 2005), causality, subjectivity, referential and relational coherence (Sanders et al., 1992) and conceptual complexity of discourse connectives (Evers-Vermeul and Sanders, 2009).

This workshop will promote the idea of facilitation of structural dialogues and collaboration among the researchers. The creation of new tools for assessment of oral production, narratives, production and comprehension of multilingual children, adolescents and adult immigrants is crucial for their education, future employment and for being a legitimate part of the community. It is important to test language competence and performance of multilingual children, adolescents and adult immigrants in each of their languages (L1 and adopted languages), paying attention to their social identities and practices, linguistic spaces, integration into host society, in this way, promoting multilingual and multicultural societies, linguistic diversity and equal opportunities, integration, social cohesion and economic collaboration and eliminating socioeconomic hierarchies and inequalities, discrimination and exclusion.

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