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Language Bridges

Why do some people learn a new language easily, while others struggle?  Why do some individuals have no interest in a language, while others become enthusiastic for it? How can the status of a language be elevated? These are the main questions addressed by the researchers involved in the "Language Bridges" project, both at EURAC and its partner institutions.

 The project aims at deepening four common issues:

1. motivation and attitudes in language learning
One cornerstone is a study on the significance of motivation in language learning, particularly concerning the languages of directly neighbouring areas. The important role of beliefs, attitudes and identity in language acquisition shall become clearer thanks to this study.

2. status of languages
A further emphasis of the project is the comparison of the legal status and prestige of the languages in the multilingual areas of the partner regions. Some languages are official languages, others are not, but are taught at school.  What actions have elevated certain languages to prestigious status in these individual regions, and can they be applied to other languages in other regions? 

3. language and new technologies
Languages and new language technologies form the third emphasis:  Through exchange of experience, existing internet learning tools are combined, and their transferability to other languages is tested. 

4. raise awareness on language learning
The fourth issue rounds out the project's strong public emphasis: language campaigns enhance the learning of the languages of the neighbours.
In addition, public discussions and expert meetings address the role of languages in border regions.

Dialogues & Conference:
A series of public discussions and expert meetings in the participating regions are organised to stimulate broader language consciousness. An important goal is to strengthen consciousness in the population that linguistic variety in a united Europe is culturally valuable, as well as economically important.

European Academy Bozen/Bolzano, Italy
24.-26. August 2006

The linguistic diversity in Europe is a source of richness that is highly valued not only as an element of identification. This conference on multilingualism in Europe provides a forum for researchers from the fields of linguistics, language teaching and language policy for discussion and exchange of findings and outlooks.

Multilingualism is certainly an aspect that will shape the future of many parts of Europe. Already today we find many European border regions living this multilingualism. One aim of this conference is to present research reports and examples of good-practice from such regions, where individual and institutionalized multilingualism form already a part of their tradition.

At the same time this conference will be the closing event of Language Bridges, a project that examines and puts in contrast various aspects of multilingualism in six European border regions.

Where does motivation for language learning come from? What are the needs of European regions in the fields of multilingualism? How can experience and the findings of recent researches in language learning be transferred to other regions? How much potential arising from multilingual situations can still be discovered in European regions? These questions and many others should be discussed at this conference.

We welcome submissions in the following areas:

  1. Language learning and motivation (key words: attitudes, beliefs, representations, innovative methods of language learning/teaching, BLL, CLIL…)
  2. Status and prestige (key words: status versus prestige of languages, language and law, parallel drafting, minority languages…)
  3.  Language learning and new technologies (key words: CALL, teaching and learning with new methods, electronic dictionaries, internet resources…)
  4. Sensitisation and promotion of language awareness (key words: good practice, introduction of language projects)
  5. Language Evolution: anthropological and social approaches (key words: brain, language evolution, Indo-European theories, memes, co-evolution, language and ethnicity)

Scientific Committee:
- Prof. Brunetto Chiarelli (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
- Prof. Johann Drumbl (Libera Università di Bolzano)
- Prof.ssa Rita Franceschini (Libera Università di Bolzano)
- Dr. Pius ten Hacken (Prifysgol Cymru Abertawe, University of Wales Swansea)
- Prof. Kurt Kohn (Universität Tübingen)
- Prof. Christer Laurén (Vaasan Yliopisto, University of Vaasa)
- Prof.ssa Carla Marello (Università di Torino)
- Prof. Oskar Putzer (Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck)
- Prof. Marcello Soffritti (Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna)
- Dr. Oliver Streiter (National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
- Prof. em. Claude Truchot (Université Marc Bloch)

Programme

 

Andrea Abel, Mathias Stuflesser, Magdalena Putz (ed.) (2006) Multilingualism across Europe: findings, needs, best practicesProceedings 24.-26.08.2006. Bozen-Bolzano: EURAC research.

ISBN: 88-88906-27-4 [pdf version]

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Andrea Abel, Mathias Stuflesser, Magdalena Putz (ed.) (2006): Additional Online Papers - Multilingualism Across Europe. Bozen-Bolzano, 24th-26th August 2006. Bozen-Bolzano: EURAC research.

 [pdf version]

 

 

 

Andrea Abel; Mathias Stuflesser; Leonhard Voltmer (ed.) (2007): Aspects of multilingualism in European border regions : insights and views from Alsace, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the Lublin Voivodeship and South Tyrol. Bozen-Bolzano: EURAC research.

ISBN: 978-88-88906-34-8 [pdf version]

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The project is conducted as part of the European Community Interreg IIIC initiative within the Regional Framework Operation "Change on Borders".

Andrea Abel
+39 0471 055 121
andrea.abel@eurac.edu

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