MINELRES: Mercator Newsletter - No.19, Nov. & Dec. 2005

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Dec 23 16:46:00 2005

Original sender: Mercator <secretaria@ciemen.org>

Mercator Newsletter - No.19, Nov. & Dec. 2005 




>From January 2005 the Mercator Common Newsletter is a monthly
newsletter. This way you will be kept informed with more recent and
updated information. 

Legislation News 
Media News 

20 new members from five different minority language communities join
European Network of Schools - ME 

Publications and projects
- Working Paper n.20 online - ML 
- Database of Experts - ME 
- Conference on Creating Outsiders; Endangered Languages, Migration and
Marginalisation- ME 

20 new members from five different minority language communities join
European Network of Schools

In the past two months the Mercator Education Team has made a lot of
effort to involve more schools in the European Network of Schools. The
results of these efforts are very successful and we are proud to
announce that 20 new schools from five different minority language
communities (Catalan in France, Galician and Basque in Spain, Frisian in
The Netherlands and Hungarian in The Slovak Republic) have decided to
join our network. These involve both bilingual, trilingual and immersion

The extensive growth of the school network has led to the need of a
structured filing system in which all relevant information of the member
schools could be organized. The result is a well-organized database in
which general information such as contact details and more specific
information regarding teaching methods of all 52 member schools have
been documented. The database is not only for administration purposes,
it will also smoothen the process of linking like-minded schools to each
other. For more information regarding our Network of Schools, please
contact Martine van der Meulen (mvdmeulen@fa.knaw.nl)

20 new schools from five different minority language communities join
Mercator Education.

News Nov. & Dec. 2005 (links to the Mercator websites) 
Legislation news - Mercator-Linguistic Rights and Legislation
EU support for the Romanian Bill on National Minorities (Eurolang) 

The European Commission calls for action to promote languages and
launches a new web portal (Eurolang)

The proposal for the reform of the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian
Country does not recognize the unity of the catalan language

UNESCO adopts the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the
Diversity of Cultural Expressions

OSCE mission to Serbia and Montenegro backs the use of minority
languages in the courts

The Council of Europe’s opinion on the implementation of the framework
Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Italy and The
Czech Republic, made public

Media news - Mercator-Media 
?11.5m boost for the Gaelic channel 

Gaelic Gags on BBC Scotland

Claims of Discrimination on Wanadoo.fr Discussion Forum Against French

After France Bleu, France 3: Media Decentralisation Causes Turmoil


Working Paper n.20 
- Mercator Linguistic Rights and Legislation. Soon Working Paper n.21 on
Cornish Language and legislation will be online.
In its Working Paper. 20, Mercator-Linguistic Rights and Legislation
publishes the 'Legislation and practice in the usage of the Basque
language in the Foral Community of Navarre'. 

Projects: Database of Experts - Mercator Education
Mercator 's main goal is to gather, store and distribute information
through a documentation and information network for regional and
minority languages in the European Union. In order to achieve this goal,
one of the initiatives executed by Mercator-Education, is the creation
of the Database of Experts. This database creates an easy and quick
access to all expertise in the field of European minority languages and
it facilitates contacts and co-operation amongst colleagues in this

We believe that you as a reader of our newsletter can play a significant
role. Perhaps you consider yourself an expert in the field of minority
languages, language policy, education, bilingualism and multilingualism,
or maybe you have a friend, colleague or acquaintance with a lot of
knowledge in the field. Experts are requested to subscribe to our
database by filling in the form on our website, in which we ask for your
name and e-mail address. After having filled in the form, we will
contact the expert for the additional information. To subscribe to our
database, click on: 


Should you require any further information regarding our Database of
Experts, please contact Cor van der Meer (cvdmeer@fa.knaw.nl) or Elly
Albers (ealbers@fa.knaw.nl). 

Conference on "Creating Outsiders; Endangered Languages, Migration and
Marginalisation" - ME
>From 18 until 21 November 2005 Tjeerd de Graaf (Mercator Education,
Fryske Akademy) attended a conference on Creating Outsiders; Endangered
Languages, Migration and Marginalisation. This conference was held in
Stellenbosch, South Africa and organised by the Foundation for
Endangered Languages. During this conference the migration of peoples
was considered and its effects on language communities: how it dissolves
them, and changes their status; how these communities have re-formed in
foreign places, and how incomers are related to the established peoples.
Indigenous peoples often speak of the sensation of being outsiders in
their ancestral lands. 

Being in South Africa the conference participants got acquainted with
some special languages: Khoe and San of the Bushman, smaller Bantu
languages, which can trace their origins to the Equator, and Afrikaans,
once so advantaged. Further they heard about the Edu North vernaculars
in Nigeria, the marginalisation of Mosuo in China, Makhuwa spoken by the
descendants of slaves from East Africa and Bhojpuri, the language of
indentured Indian labourers in KwaZulu-Natal.

Some of the questions discussed were: Why are migration histories so
treasured as sources of language identity? Do language-communities
always have better prospects of survival in their home territories? Can
there be effective support between language-communities at home and
scattered across the world? Can small language-communities create new
identities in remote territories? Can new communities build a new
identity based on a shared language? What is the value of cultural
resources? Can technology help? 

During the conference a special evening session was devoted to a panel
discussion on South Africa's language policy. The university of
Stellenbosch has traditionally Afrikaans as its teaching language, but
more and more courses are also presented in English in order to reach a
greater number of possible students. Recent discussions show that many
people fear that the position of Afrikaans is threatened by this
development and other aspects of globalisation. Also attention should be
paid to some of the other official 11 languages of the country, in
particular Xhosa, the third language of South Africa’s Western Cape

On Monday 21 November, an expedition has been organised on language
policy in the Western Cape province. A group of conference participants
visited the !Khwa ttu San Education and Culture Centre, near the West
Coast National Park, with speakers of Khwedam and !Xun, and descendants
of the Khoikhoi and N/u-speaking Khomani San. During this most
interesting part of the visit to South Africa they could meet with
representatives of the Provincial Government's language and culture
desk, the president of the National Khoisan Consultative Conference,
representative of the Griqua National Conference, and other authorities
who reported on the local language policy in street signs,
administration, and

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