MINELRES: Mercator Newsletter n.20 - Jan. 2006

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Tue Feb 7 21:10:43 2006

Original sender: Mercator <secretaria@ciemen.org> 

Mercator Newsletter - n.20, Jan. 2006 
Mercator-Education (ME)
Mercator-Legislation (ML)
Mercator-Media (MM)

Legislation News 
Media News 

17th Frisian Philology Conference at the Frisian Academy


Legislation Publications - ML 
- Working Paper n.21 
- Dossier n.19 
- Bulletin n.64 

Education Publications - ME 
- Two new dossiers 

- Minority Media Project Seeks Researchs- MM 
- Friulan film hits the news in the Italian press - MM 
- New titles Library - ME 

17th Frisian Philology Conference at the Frisian Academy


For the seventeenth time, the Frisian Academy in Ljouwert organized the
Frisian Philology Conference. The conference, which was held on 15 and
16 December 2005, was built around three central themes: the literary
canon in minority languages; multilingualism and education; and (renewal
in) lexicography. Sytske de Jong and Martine van der Meulen from
Mercator-Education attended the sessions that were related to the second
theme: multilingualism and education.

After the opening of the conference by Durk Gorter who dedicated a few
words to the sudden death of education expert Jehannes Ytsma, the floor
was given to Kees de Bot, University of Groningen, who was asked to take
care of the plenary session. Kees de Bot elaborated on foreign language
acquisition at an early stage. He started his presentation by touching
upon some myths that exist with regards to multilingualism. One of these
myths is the assumption that early bilingualism would lead to cognitive
and emotional disorders. Mr de Bot explains that assuming that such a
correlation exists would be as irrational as assuming that there is a
connection between having two arms and stuttering. 

Throughout the day it became clear that many myths indeed exist with
regards to bilingualism. Not only among parents, but also among
professionals such as speech therapists and teachers. Ms Hilde
Hacquebord for example explained that in the Netherlands both children
of immigrants and autochthonous children from the countryside seem to
lag behind in their linguistic competences at school. Speech therapists
groundlessly ascribe this phenomenon to the discrepancy of the language
used at school and spoken at home. Research done in Eastern Groningen by
the Groningen Expertise Center (ETOC) has taught us that the use of a
regional language has no influence on the achievement of linguistic
competences at school at all. In fact, when talking about the
achievement of linguistic competences by children, this research has
proven that the most determining factor is the level of education of the
mother. In her speech, Bernie van Ruijven confirmed that there is no
connection between the language used at home and the school performance
of the children. She highlighted that the subject of conversation at
home, for example more abstract subjects, is more determining than the
language of conversation.

Now that research has proven that bilingualism at home and in education
has no negative effects on the development of children, it is a
challenge to transfer this knowledge to teachers. Margriet Kat,
Instituut Service Management, presents teachers with the possibility to
get a professional degree as language coordinator. Coaching and policy
planning are key competences of a language coordinator. ‘Early Bird’,
developed by the CED-Groep, is an initiative that helps teachers to
introduce a foreign language in primary school. Aartje van Dijk and
Eugenia Codina elaborated on this initiative on behalf of the CED-Groep,
which is a center for educational advice.

The closing presentation was done by our colleague Tjeerd de Graaf. He
spoke about small language communities in Southern and Eastern Russia.
Here initiatives are taken to preserve endangered languages through
education. Such initiatives are inspiring to all of us involved in
minority language education: preserving a language with so little
speakers and years of repression requires a great deal of hard work and

Sytske de Jong & Martine van der Meulen

News Jan. 2006(links to the Mercator websites) 

Legislation news - ML
Expolangues 24th edition to be held in Paris 

The European Parliament prevents MP from using Catalan 

The European Commission launches new website on Rom

A Draft Bill proposes making Friulan Compulsory

Welsh Language Board issues a statement on the legislative position of
the Welsh Language

CoE Parliamentary Assembly debates on the concept of ‘Nation’

Media news - MM 

Scottish Executive to bridge Gaelic TV Funding Gap (Eurolang)

New IT tools available in Basque

New Local Daily Newspaper in Basque

Celtic Film and Television Festival 2006 – Shortlist Announce

Conference on "New technology and the Breton Language"

Legislation publications - Mercator-Linguistic Rights and Legislation
Working Paper n.21: Cornish: Language and Legislation 

Dossier n.19: The Catalan language and the Proposed Revision of the
Catalan Statute of Autonomy

Bulletin n.64 

Media publications - Mercator-Media
Mercator-Education published two new Regional Dossiers last month:
Catalan. The Catalan language in education in France, written by Mr.
Daniel Sanchez. The other one is an update: Slovene. The Slovene
language in education in Austria 2nd edition compiled by Eithne
Mclaughlin. Both dossiers are online available at our website.
Minority Media Project Seeks Researchers - MM 
Six doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in social sciences are to be
recruited for the European project MINORITYMEDIA (2006-2010):

· 2 Early Stage Researchers: 1 PhD student full time + 1 PhD student
half time 
· 4 Experienced Researchers: 3 post-doctoral full time + 1 post-doctoral
half time 
Successful candidates will be recruited for 2 years renewable once and
be attached to MIGRINTER (a CNRS research centre), University of
Poitiers, France.

The research MINORITYMEDIA will examine ethnic media (newspapers, radio
and TV channels created by and for immigrants and/or minority groups),
from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. 
Friulan film hits the news in the Italian press - MM 
It’s not often that the main Italian newspaper, Corriere Della Sera,
dedicates a full page spread to an independent film produced with a
budget of less than 500 Euros. This was recently the case for “Lidris
cuadrade di tre” (Square root of three), a horror film by Friulan
director Lorenzo Bianchini. It’s not often either that the press give
attention to a film shot not in Italian nor English, but in Friulan.
New titles Library - ME 
· Slovak: The Slovak language in education in Hungary / Anton Paulik;
[ed. by] Tsjerk Bottema. – Ljouwert [Leeuwarden]: Mercator-Education,
2005. – 34 p. – Regional Dossiers Series – signature 100S00631 

This message was sent using Endymion MailMan.
http://www.endymion.com/products/mailman/ http://www.microlink.com/