Multilingualism is all around us and it plays an important role in today’s society. In a world of globalisation, people who do not speak the same language meet more often every day. Being able to deal with these multilingual practices in an effective way can give you an advantage in your daily life and work .
The main aim of this interactive course by the department of Frisian Language and Culture and Campus Fryslân of the University of Groningen is to deepen your understanding of the most important aspects of societal and individual multilingualism. Examples of the topics the course will be tackling are: what language ideologies arise in multilingual societies? How does multilingualism change the urban scenery around us? To what extent do families transmit their multiple languages to the following generations? What are the benefits and challenges of multilingual education? And what are recent trends in policy-making around multilingualism?
Who is this course for?
This course will thus cover a wide range of subjects, making it attractive for a broad audience. For instance, policy makers or other learners who are interested in how people speaking different languages can best be integrated will find out more about successful policies to support multilingualism in education and society. The same goes for teachers and parents who want to learn more about how to give multilingual children the best opportunities at developing their skills and talents and how multiple languages work in our mind.
The challenges that we will speak of will be recognisable for learners. The course will also introduce you to real families for whom multilingualism is an important factor in daily life. They will share their personal experiences with their multilingual situations with you, such as their doubt about whether they should teach their children their mother tongue or the language of the country they are living in - or both. The issues arising from the individual situations of our families will then be looked at from a scientific perspective. Every week, renowned experts in the field of multilingualism will comment on the central concepts of the week. In addition, you will read texts prepared also by key-researchers providing you with a summary of the field in question.
Apart from the individual perspective of the families, the course highlights the challenges and opportunities of today’s multilingual societies. Current societal issues will thus be tackled: how can societies profit from their multilingual speakers? Or: how to design language policies that assure the protection of minority languages? These are questions that still must be answered in most of today’s globalised societies. The course will help you to look for your own answers.
Over four weeks, this course will explore how multilingualism can work on personal, scientific and policy levels. We will look at:
- linguistic landscape and policy;
- multilingualism at home and at work;
- multilingualism at school from a cognitive perspective;
- the position of minority languages and dialects.
After following this course you will be able to:
- identify central aspects around societal and individual multilingualism;
- evaluate the benefits of multilingualism of both minority and migrant speakers;
- recognise issues that arise when people who do not share the same languages meet;
- critically evaluate multilingual language policies for both migrant and minority languages;
- analyse multilingual practices.
The course will be taught in English by lecturers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and leading experts in the field of Multilingualism will share their ideas with you! It includes quizzes, (research) activities, articles, discussions and videos. During the course we will hear different opinions and ideas about Multilingualism from experts in the field, but we want to hear yours too! What do you think of multilingual education? What is your position in the debate on the protection of minority languages?
So, if you would like to share your views on Multilingualism and explore Multilingual Practices, join the course now!