This seminar intended to identify and discuss emerging trends in the study of minority languages in new media and technology. This includes the ways in which minority languages are supported through their presence in new media, and how minority language users are making use of their languages in digital landscapes traditionally dominated by global languages such as English.
The seminar focused on emerging trends in the use of minority languages in new media within the European and African contexts. The European and African contexts differ in a number of aspects such as degree of linguistic diversity, socioeconomic development, political engagement in linguistic issues, and education systems and quality. However, they are being affected increasingly by similar pressures resulting from globalisation, such as the use of new media and technology and the dominance of global or majority languages to the threat of minority languages. New Media refers to digital communication platforms such as online news sites, blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and other Social Media.
The seminar drew out the similarities in these contexts, which are often perceived to be divergent, and sought to highlight and strengthen the ways in which minority language issues can be studied and addressed across Europe and Africa. While often minority language issues are viewed as unique to specific locations, this seminar provided a platform to discuss and evaluate minority language issues through a global lens. As growing use of new media and technologies are influencing the use of languages globally, the seminar will highlight how minority languages are utilised in these contexts and how minority language speakers are using their languages in these new online environments.
The seminar highlighted research which are currently being undertaken into the minority language contexts to establish what the current pressing issues and emergent ideas are, and how current research into minority languages can provide new ways to address the preservation and revitalisation of minority languages.
As part of the seminar, we are in the process of establishing a network of doctoral and early career researchers working on contemporary issues in minority languages in Europe and Africa.
Elvis Yevudey, Aston University
Colin Reilly, University of Glasgow
This seminar is funded as part of the British Association for Applied Linguistics/Cambridge University Press Applied Linguistics Seminar Series.