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Mercator Symposium

The Effects of Migration on the Position of Minority Languages

    Date and time: Friday 11 November 2016 | 10.15-17.00
    Plak: De Koperen Tuin, Prinsentuin 1, Leeuwarden (NL)
    Participation is free and includes lunch. Online registration is obligatory via this online form (please register before 4 November 2016)
    Contact person organisation: Jorrit Huizinga

One theme that has become more and more important in recent years is the relation between immigration, migrant languages and regional and minority languages. Especially in light of the ongoing refugee crisis, this has become a hot topic, not least for those concerned with minority language education. In a symposium for experts and practitioners, Mercator Research Centre wants to shed light on the how migration affects the position of minority languages.

It is clear that a strong influx of people with different backgrounds can have considerable effects in society. One of the areas for which this is true is (language) education. A rise in the number of pupils with foreign mother tongues has consequences, for example in language education (on the choices that are made with regards to time allocation and intensity), but for example also on classroom dynamics. The situation becomes even more complex with bi- or trilingual education systems. Nevertheless, there has been relatively little serious attention in Fryslân for the consequences a stronger inflow of migrant children can have for (education in) the Frisian language.

At the symposium, six speakers, each an expert of multilingualism and surrounding issues, will give their own (international) perspective on the problem at hand. After this, time will be made for the participants to discuss – possibly in groups – how the experts’ views can be ‘translated’ to the situation in Fryslân. Outcomes of the symposium will be put to paper and made publicly available.



10.15Registration with coffee/thee
10.45Opening words by Cor van der Meer, coordinator Mercator Research Centre

Migration in sub-state territories with historical-linguistic minorities: main challenges and new perspectives
Roberta Medda-Windisch (European Academy, Bolzano)

11.45Multilingual education as asset and aim
Joana Duarte & Alex Riemersma (RuG/NHL)
13.30The multilingual turn: integrated approaches towards dealing with diverse languages at school
Gabriela Meyer (University of Exeter)
14.15Learning about multilingual education from bilingual schools - Slovene and German as bridges in the eyes of pupils, parents and teachers
Judith Putkarthofer (University of Oslo)

How immigrant languages can benefit the learning of Irish: the case of Scoil Brhíde, Blanchardstown
David Little (Trinity College, Dublin)


Coffee/tea and discussion: What can Fryslân learn from all this?

16.45Closing remarks



Registration is obligatory via this online form. Please register before 4 November 2016.