The following are the speakers that were at the event. Expand each name to read more:
Speakers K - M
Minority language students in local-language medium classrooms: using EGRA data to quantify the scope of the L1/MOI mismatch and its impact on learning outcomes
In many local-language medium classrooms, there is still a percentage of students for whom the local language is not their home language (L1). This presentation uses data from recent administrations of the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) in multiple countries in Africa and Asia in order to quantify: 1) the percentage of students in local-language medium classrooms for whom that local language is not their home language; and 2) the performance gap in reading outcomes, if any, between these students and their peers whose home language matches the medium of instruction.
Karon has a background in linguistics and 20 years’ experience in education in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa, specialising in literacy and second language acquisition.
Official and co-official languages in Sub-Saharan Africa: what about other languages?
The official status of languages was recently studied in 22 Sub-Saharan countries (where the overwhelming majority speaks Bantu languages). In only six cases, 60 years after independence, widespread national languages are recognised as co-official. Particular attention will be paid to these co-official national languages. However, other national languages do not have any status. As a consequence, speakers of these and especially of languages of small marginalised communities feel left out from the national development, and their languages are gradually being given up.
Karsten: in academia/African languages and Linguistics (teaching and research, focus on Bantu languages, recently Nilotic Akie) since 1968; University staff member in Tanzania (1975-79, 1983-86 UDSM-lecturer), Namibia (1994-2000 UNAM-Professor), Gothenburg (2001-2010: Professor Emeritus).Swedish Gothenburg DarEsSalaam project coordinator, ELDP-London and VWS-grantee (language endangerment/minority marginalisation, language documentation/UNESCO’s Memory of the World).
Southern multilingualisms in inclusive and sustainable diversity for all
We often engage in discussions of multilingualism as if there were a common understanding of the phenomenon. This presentation argues that multilingualism in one setting is not the same as in another. Whereas recent northern discussions of multilingualism in education suggest that ‘translanguaging’ is a new phenomenon, this presentation argues that it is only the term that is new, the practices are certainly not new. Rather they are evident in a long history of scholarship of codeswitching, codemixing, and multilingualism in Africa. The presentation further shows how explicit use of these multilingual practices can be designed to build on students’ existing repertoires of knowledge, language and faith, in order to enhance inclusive, quality, and sustainable education.
Kathleen is a socio-applied linguist who specialises in language policy, and planning research. She focuses on multilingualism in education and she has led large-scale and system-wide studies in African countries.
Creative multilingualism: connecting cultures and enriching education
The talk presents research conducted in response to the “modern languages crisis” in the UK. The crisis has its roots in the fact that English has become the global lingua franca. The first part of the paper considers the UK government’s inadequate response to this challenge, and the problems caused in this context by a teaching methodology that is narrowly functional. The second part of the talk presents research on the interaction between multilingualism and creativity as a pathway towards invigorating language teaching and enhancing the cognitive and cultural dimension of linguistic diversity.
Katrin is a Professor of German at the University of Oxford. She is currently leading a major research programmeme on "Creative Multilingualism", which is investigating the interaction between linguistic diversity and creativity.
Access to first language instruction in Southeast Asia
Target 4.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls for “equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations”. Although language of instruction is not explicitly mentioned, it is well-known that many children do not have access to education in a language they speak at home. However, credible data do not yet exist in most countries on the proportion of children with access to instruction in their home or first language.
This paper will discuss recent developments in language and education policies in the 11 countries of Southeast Asia; estimate the percentage of children in each Southeast Asian country who have access to education in their home or first language; discuss the challenges in conducting such an assessment; and recommend means of data collection that would facilitate better monitoring of language of instruction issues in Southeast Asia.
Kimmo is a consultant for multilingual education with SIL International and lecturer at Payap University, Thailand. His work has focussed on non-dominant languages, multilingual education, and language policy.
Deaf development and inclusion through signed language documentation in Nigeria
This presentation argues that government policies and certain cultural practices in Nigeria and other African countries, where deaf stigmatisation thrives, do not support the linguistic and sustainable development goals. It makes a case against the inclusive public schools, where deaf students are marginalised by the culture and policies of those schools, and calls on researchers, linguists to embrace the study and development of the Nigerian Sign Language.
Kindness is a professional Sign Language Interpreter and a deaf advocate working with deaf families.
Follow Kindness on Twitter @okorokindness17
Responding to employers’ needs for better English: The English Language Support Programme (ELSP) for Tunisia
Recent British Council research into the levels of English and soft-skills in the four Maghreb countries of north-west Africa shows serious gaps in supply and demand. In particular, many employers cannot find job applicants with the levels of English they require, underlining the link between language and economic growth. The English Language Support Programme (ELSP), a Tunisian Ministry of Education and British Council project, aims to support a more just, inclusive society, where every young Tunisian has the same access to quality basic education to improve their employability when they look for jobs. This presentation will look at some of the findings of English & Soft Skills in the Maghreb and the structure of the (ELSP) response.
Kiros works for the British Council, managing the English language programme across the Maghreb countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
Follow Kiros on Twitter @LangstonKiros
Kyungah Kristy Bang
Asia-Pacific multilingual education working group: past, present and future
Over the past eight years, the Asia Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group (MLE WG) has been instrumental in creating a strong regional momentum towards achieving education for all by creating a more vibrant mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB MLE) community, promoting positive policies, and enhancing MTB MLE knowledge base. With the adoption of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), MLE WG will need to take more active role in implementing SDG 4 by assisting countries to assess and report on the status of access to quality education and development for ethnolinguistic groups. The five-part presentation will highlight the work of the MLE WG.
Kyungah is responsible for UNESCO Bangkok’s regional programmes on early childhood care and education and multilingual education. She is also the coordinator of the MLE WG.
A comparison of language policies and practices among low-cost private English-medium schools and government Hindi-medium schools in Bihar, India
While India’s Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act has recently achieved its goal of near-universal national primary school enrolment, many states are struggling to provide the mass-scale quality public-sector education required of this development. This has led to the proliferation of parallel market of largely unregulated low-cost English-medium primary schools, a practice that runs counter to India’s national language-in-education policy, which advocates the mother tongue as the language of instruction, with English learnt as a curricular subject.
This study represents a rare glimpse inside a sample of low-cost English-medium private primary schools in a state in India and compares their language-related ideologies, teaching practices, and learner experiences with those of a mother tongue-medium government school in the same district.
Lina is a lecturer in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK.
Multilingualism and Multiliteracy: Raising learning outcomes in challenging contexts in primary schools across India - Project Rationale and Task-Design
This talks looks at the development of multilingualism and multiliteracy in challenging contexts in India. The linguistic diversity of India in multilingual instructional settings and its impact on learning will be studied in a longitudinal manner for 24 months. Data will be collected from 1200 primary school children in grade four across three regions. The methodology of the project will be presented, which offers an illustration of an innovative approach to support the use of mother tongue in instructional settings, to promote sustainable development in multilingual Indian learners, and to ensure inclusive and quality education under challenging socio-economic conditions.
Lina is Associate Professor at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India.
Follow Lina on Twitter @lina_eflu
The opportunity of digital for local language accessibility in health, citizen rights, environmental protection, and crisis relief
Today, mobile technology is capable of connecting every man, woman, and child on the planet. Digital innovation has given rise to the Information Revolution with its promise of putting the sum of all human knowledge into the hands of even the world’s poorest. For these bottom billions, the digital divide is within a hair’s breadth of being bridged by cheap, internet-enabled devices. But technology’s promise of universal access to knowledge is just a pipedream as long as language barriers stand in the way.
This talk seeks to shine a light on the neglected issue of language through the stories and examples of the work being done by Translators without Borders and other NGOs to take down language barriers to work at the forefront of humanitarian and technological innovation.
Lori is a Canadian language activist who is passionate about local languages and technology for global access to knowledge. She founded the leading language non-profit, Translators without Borders, and a Paris-based translation company, Lexcelera.
Follow Lori on Twitter @lorithicke
STEPS for inclusive education through foreign language learning
This presentation will analyse and discuss the role of Multilingualism for Quality, Equitable and Inclusive Education through a real example of foreign language teaching/training to support sustainable development of young Syrian refugee children in Lebanon through the STEPS (Strengthening Teacher Education in a Plurilingual Society) project. The session will illustrate the pedagogical aspects of the training, highlight the challenges faced, and analyse the observation stage in which trainers, teachers, and students were involved. It is hoped that this will provide teachers/trainers with ideas which can be employed to have a positive approach to cultural and language diversity and enhance students’ learning of foreign language.
Lucy is a teacher, teacher-trainer and supervisor at the British Council Milan Italy. She has worked in the EFL field for 20 years in Europe, Asia and in Lebanon.
Follow Lucy on Twitter @LucyCostaEFL
Language and democracy in Senegal
Democracy is one of the most commonly used concepts in the world, in general, today, and in Senegal, in particular. Yet in Senegal, many of our fellow citizens have a little more than approximate understanding of this concept, of Greek origin. If, for some, it means the total freedom of the citizen to say and do what he wants without being worried - we are in democracy, we often say - for others it concerns the political actors and their reported centralised power. Thus we often speak of "respecting the democratic game between the actors" or "we must be democratic". The purpose of this presentation is, based on examples drawn from recent legal-political conflicts in Senegal and the need often expressed by some actors, notably political parties, to speak the language of the people during electoral contests and to raise inconsistencies related to the exercise of democracy in a foreign language.
Mamarame has a PhD in linguistics. She is a researcher and head of the linguistics laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar.
Mame Thierno Cisse
The expression of good governance and sustainable development, from French to Wolof.
This presentation will take as its source material the French and Wolof versions of the “Charter of democratic governance” and the Sustainable Development Goals in order to demonstrate that translation into local Senegalese languages should not be limited to a simple word for word translation of content. In fact, it requires an entire rewriting process in order to not only inform and educate peoples but additionally as a way of promoting the use of local languages in view of their eventual introduction into the education system. In each of the translations that this presentation will look at the use of vocabulary from the source language, the vagaries between the translation and the concept being translated, and the problems posed by linguistic cultural differences allow us to see with the naked eye the difficulties posed when undertaking a translation. This will in turn demonstrate the need to, on the one hand, improve translator training and to establish institutions that control the quality of translation and, on the other hand, create databases of terminology for each domain and to create dictionaries for use by translators.
Mame Thierno is a professor specialising in general phonetics at the Language and Linguistics department of the University Cheikh Anta Diop. He was head of the department from 2008 – 2012. He is a member of the “Lexicologie, Terminologie, Traduction” network and vice-president of the Senegalese Academy of Languages.
The place of sign language in a multilingual curriculum: illustrations from Zimbabwe
This presentation is based on a research study on educational policy and practice issues related to Zimbabwean Sign Language (ZSL) in a multicultural context where mother tongue-based multilingual education is encouraged. The study found contradictions where, on one hand, legal and some policy positions viewed ZSL as a real language for education, while on the other hand there were policy positions which took ZSL as a crutch to augment broken communication. There were several inconsistencies within and across policies which will be explored in this talk.
Martin holds a PhD (Deaf Education) from the University of the Witwatersrand and taught deaf children for 15 years before becoming Associate Professor of Deaf, Special Needs and Inclusive Education at Great Zimbabwe University.
Using participatory and visual arts-based methodologies to bridge the language divide in the multilingual South African classroom: evidence from the field
HIV still poses a great threat to the stability of many Sub-Saharan African countries, and challenges the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 4, 5, 8 & 10) through creating barriers to quality and inclusive education, and increasing economic and gendered inequalities. Education is the greatest vaccine the world has against new HIV infections among the youth; however, teachers are not capable of effectively executing this task due to language challenges.
The sensitive and taboo nature of sex talk requires innovative ways to enable quality teaching and learning in pre-service teacher training about HIV and AIDS. Findings show that Participatory and Visual Arts-based Methodologies (PVAM) such as cellphilms, poems, and music are effective in creating humanising spaces for knowledge production; thus highlighting the importance of using local and youth friendly languages and methods to enable them become knowledge producers.
Mathabo holds a PhD in Gender and Education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department: Postgraduate Studies in the School of Educational Research and Engagement at the Nelson Mandela University.
English for the underserved: alternative technology to close the digital divide
Researchers have observed that the so-called ‘digital divide’ is preventing learners in emerging economies from gaining equitable access to global education and knowledge resources. But new and alternative technologies can help bridge this digital divide. This talk will outline those alternative technologies and their impacts in the area of English language education using research data and evidence from edtech development projects, in primary and secondary school contexts, to look at how the less privileged learners in low resource contexts can gain access to global knowledge.
Michael is managing director of Highdale Learning and has held senior management roles at the British Council, IH, and Cambridge English. His focus is digital learning and teacher development.
Follow Micheal on Twitter @mcarrier3
Multilingualism and migration management in Senegal
In Senegal, there is considerable migratory movement, from the countryside to the cities, and from the country to the other countries of the world (external emigration which interests us here for this presentation). These migratory movements are not about to abate any time soon. We must learn to manage them. But how? The perspective taken in this presentation is that we must help the emigration candidate discover what their real status will be when they migrate to their ‘host’ country. We must recognise that the official lexicon of migration available today is in English and French (languages that the emigrant does not always master). This makes it particularly difficult for them during their migration experience. In this presentation, we will show that multilingualism and the interpersonal communication that it promotes are real challenges confronting today's societies, and we must pave the way for more thoughtful immigration that is both better controlled and better understood.
Momar is a member of Senegal's National Language Academy. His fields of interest include discourse analysis; terminology; translation; communication techniques; and intervention in the workplace.
Mouhamed Abdallah Ly, Abdourahmane Seck and Yamar Samb
Different perspectives on language, law, and development in Africa
This panel discussion will bring three viewpoints together on the axis where “language”, “law”, and “development” meet. “Language” will examine the ambiguities within French-language legislative texts and the socio-political tensions that emerge as a result of these ambiguities. “Law” will consider the absence of these legislative texts in local languages and the linguistic difficulties that result from the language-medium used in a legal context. “Development” will sketch out several research themes related to the area of jurilinguistics.
Mouhamed holds a PHD in Language Sciences and is a researcher at IFAN (l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire) at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop. His current research is focused on linguistic attitudes.
Abdourahmane is a research professor at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis. His research is focused on issues of memory related to social and economic transformation affecting Africa in general and Senegal in particular.
Yamar is a retired lawyer previously a member of the bar of Montpellier, holds a PHD in Law and is a research professor at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis. He is currently interested in the domain of international law
Muhammad Zaman Sagar
Providing easy access to education through mobile school system for a marginalized goat-herder community of northern Pakistan in their own mother tongue
Among preliterate communities in Northern Pakistan is a large nomadic population with little to no access to formal education. To assist these “hidden” people, Bakarwal Mobile Schools (BMS) was introduced to the nomadic Bakarwal, pastoral shepherds living in Northern Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir. After a successful pilot project, BMS was established in 2010 as a mother tongue based, multi-lingual programme with the goal of bringing Gojri and Urdu literacy to select nomadic, semi-nomadic and, recently, settled Gujar communities. Initially the centres were focused on educating children, but over time more and more adult men and women started to study with their own kids.
Muhammad has been working on language development since 1992 and with FLI since 2004, as a trainer, researcher, advocate, mobilisation person for marginalized language communities.
Follow Muhammad on Twitter @zamansagar