- Minority languages
- Research & Projects
In the 21st century all European citizens live in a multilingual environment. In their daily lives they come across many different languages. Consequently there is a growing interest in multilingualism and an increasing need for language communities to exchange experiences and to cooperate. The Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, part of the Fryske Akademy, meets this need by collecting, researching and studying, circulating, and applying knowledge in the field of language learning and use at school, at home and through cultural participation. The Mercator Research Centre is an independent and recognised reference centre for policymakers and professional workers in the field of multilingual education and language learning. The Mercator Research Centre brings Europe to Fryslân and Fryslân to Europe.
Mercator Research Centre (Fryske Akademy) and SOAS (University of London) are organising a two-day international expert meeting on Multilingualism and Social Media. This conference offers an international forum for discussion of the impact social media and attendant technologies are having on language communities, attitudes, linguistic identities and behaviour, and on the new possibilities and opportunities the world of social media is bringing to the world of languages.
Speakers include Lorna Carson, Mandana Seyfeddinipur, Durk Gorter, David Little, Sarah Cartwright, Jannis Androutsopoulos, Daniel Cunliffe, and Lysbeth Jongbloed. Discussions will particularly focus on areas of language learning, minority, regional and endangered languages.
The expert meeting will be held in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, on 28 and 29 November 2014. For more information and registration see the Multilingualism and Social Media expert meeting page.
The Expert in the Spotlight feature gives you the chance to interact one-on-one with our Ask the expert-section. The feature also provides interesting and insightful comments regarding the subjects mentioned above, in-depth content and exclusive Q and A’s.
Mirjam Vellinga is project manager for the language promotion division at the Afûk, which is the organisation in Fryslân that promotes the Frisian language and culture.
"One of the major challenges in my field of work is to convince and educate the Frisian people that they can use their language proudly, in any circumstance they wish or want," Mirjam says. "We (Frisians) all tend to have a bit of an inferiority complex, but we also hate it when someone tells us what to do..."
575 Experts in the field of European minority languages, bilingualism and multilingualism, language learning, education and language policy already subscribed to the Mercator Database of Experts! This database creates an easy and quick access to all expertise and it facilitates contacts and cooperation amongst colleagues. Are you an Expert in one of the mentioned fields and not in our Database of Experts yet? Please subscribe now!
The Regional dossiers describe the position of lesser-used languages in education, give information on national and regional education systems, and include the latest statistics regarding lesser-used languages in education in Europe.
The work on Endangered Languages (Phonetics and Ethnolinguistics) at the Fryske Akademy and the Mercator Research Centre is focused on the study of language contrasts, language contact and language change. We investigate the phonetic aspects of languages and dialects of minority and regional languages, in particular those of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries. This work is supported by grants from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Organisation INTAS of the European Union, the British Library, Japanese Foundations and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.
The Network of Schools' mission is to create a platform for multilingual schools in minority regions within Europe in order to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences.