Department of Language Studies, Umeå Uiversity, SwedenAre happy to announce the first international conference at Umeå on the theme of young children learning second and foreign languages
Early Language Learning: Theory and Practice in 2014
Umeå: 12th -14th June, 2014
In the year when Umeå celebrates its role as European Capital of Culture 2014, we would like to welcome you to join us during the long summer days in northern Sweden for an international conference, “Early Language Learning: Theory and Practice in 2014″ at Umeå university.
The conference focuses on early second and foreign language learning in school contexts, reviewing contemporary challenges for young children, aged 3-12 years, learning languages in many different school contexts worldwide. This specialist conference offers opportunities for researchers, language teachers, language advisers and policy makers to develop links and establish networks, helping to expand the pool of research expertise in this field.
Language is about much more than just about talking to each other; it’s one of the bases of identity and culture. But as the world becomes increasingly globalised and reliant on technology, English has been reinforced once again as the lingua franca.
The technological infrastructure that now dominates our working and private lives is overwhelmingly in English, which means minority languages are under threat more than ever.
But it might also be true that technology could help us bring minority languages to a wider audience. If we work out how to play the game right, we could use it to help bolster linguistic diversity rather than damage it.
As more public services go online, the language in which those services are presented is all important. At the European level, around 55 million speak languages other than one of the EU’s official languages. In the UK, the total speakers of Welsh, Cornish, Scottish Gaelic and Irish number hundreds of thousands.
Language technology advances mean it will be possible for people to communicate with each other and do business with each other, even if they don’t speak the same language.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DG Translation) is organising a contest for schools in the European Union that has been going on since 2007.
If Europeans are to be “united in diversity“, as the EU’s own motto puts it, we need to be able to understand languages other than our own.
In the long run, learning languages will bring us closer and help us understand each other’s cultures. And it will make it easier for you – the adults of tomorrow – to study and work around Europe.
Studies show the ever growing need for translation and translators in Europe. Student should better be ready for this! Juvenes Translatores raises awareness about how translation skills are important and how the use of translation as a “mediation” between languages should be reassessed in language learning.
The contest has proved hugely popular – 99% of schools that took part in previous contests would like to do so again.
The unifying theme of the conference is ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION: THE SYNERGY OF CREATIVITY AND QUALITY STANDARDS, which allows you to choose from a broad range of topics such as Quality Standards in Language Education, Quality Assurance and Assessment, Creative Approaches to Language Teaching and Learning, Suggestopedia, Innovations in Teacher-Training and CPD (Continuous Professional Development), ICT in Language Education, Plurilingualism and Multilingualism in Language Education, Developing and Assessing Intercultural Competence, Teaching Language through Literature and Art, Teaching English Across the Curriculum, Teaching Young Learners, Testing, Material and Syllabus Design and many others. A section of the conference will be dedicated to Quality Assessment Training.
English language has “borrowed” words for centuries. But is it now lending more than it’s taking, asks Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Knowledge of what is being borrowed, and from where, provides an invaluable insight into the international relations of the English language.Today English borrows words from other languages with a truly global reach. Some examples that the Oxford English Dictionary suggests entered English during the past 30 years include tarka dal, a creamy Indian lentil dish (1984, from Hindi), quinzhee, a type of snow shelter (1984, from Slave or another language of the Pacific Coast of North America), popiah, a type of Singaporean or Malaysian spring roll (1986, from Malay), izakaya, a type of Japanese cafe (1987), affogato, an Italian dessert made of ice cream and coffee (1992).
One obvious thing that these words have in common is that not all English speakers will know them.