This seminar is 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 seeks to focus 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 will draw out the similarities in these contexts, which are often perceived to be divergent, and 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 will provide 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 will highlight research which are currently being undertaken into the minority language contexts to establish what the current pressing issues and emergent ideas are, and to highlight how current research into minority languages can provide new ways to address the preservation and revitalisation of minority languages.

While the term ‘minority’ languages escape a consensus definition, it will be used broadly to refer to any and all languages spoken in, or across, nation states which are not the majority languages. The appropriateness of this definition as well as the appropriateness of the term ‘minority’ languages will indeed be an area for discussion at the seminar.

The seminar will focus on the active participation of doctoral students and early career researchers, bringing together individuals who are currently involved in researching contemporary issues in minority languages.

As part of the seminar, we will establish a network of doctoral and early career researchers working on contemporary issues in minority languages in Europe and Africa.

 

Seminar organisers

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Elvis Yevudey, Aston University

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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.