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Humanities Lecture: Language Policy in Europe

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  1. Humanities Lecture: Language Policy in Europe October 28, 2013 D25 – 0.02 Jacomine Nortier j.m.nortier@uu.nl

  2. Literature for today: • Language policy: Steps to be taken • Theoretical background • Transition form colony to independent state • Factors related to /influencing language policy Today: European language policy

  3. Program for today: • Economic value of languages • European language policy: official and regional languages; migrant languages • LRE project • Interpreters in Brussels • LUCIDE Break: • Language policy in individual countries: exchange your findings • Discuss criteria for the status of language/dialect

  4. 1. Economic value of languages Societal level: model de Swaan • Peripheral Ls (98%; e.g. Limburgs, Berber) • Central/national Ls (e.g. Dutch, Yoruba) • SupercentralLs (e.g. Spanish, Chinese) • Hypercentral L: English Learning: upward

  5. Economic value of languages (cont.) Individual level: • Totally different • L1 acquisition is more than learning a set of rules and words! • For primary socialization any language will do. • A good command of L1 facilitates the learning of additional Ls

  6. 2. European language policy: official and regional languages; migrant languages 28 member states. Guess: • How many official languages? • How many regional languages?

  7. Български(Bălgarski) - BG - Bulgarian Čeština - CS - Czech Dansk - DA - Danish Deutsch - DE - German Eesti - ET - Estonian Elinika - EL - Greek English - EN Español - ES - Spanish Français- FR - French Gaeilge - GA - Irish Italiano - IT - Italian Latviesuvaloda - LV - Latvian Hrvatski – KR - Kroatian 14. Lietuviukalba - LT - Lithuanian 15. Magyar - HU - Hungarian 16. Malti - MT - Maltese 17. Nederlands - NL - Dutch 18. Polski - PL - Polish 19. Português - PT - Portuguese 20. Română - RO - Romanian 21. Slovenčina - SK - Slovak 22. Slovenščina - SL - Slovene 23. Suomi - FI – Finnish 24. Svenska - SV - Swedish 24 Official EU-languages:

  8. Officially recognized regional minority languages, sometimes spoken in more than one European state • Albanees (Griekenland, Italië) • Aragonees (Spanje) • Armeens (Bulgarije, Cyprus, Hongarije, Polen) • Aroemeens (Bulgarije, GriekenlandalsBalkanromaans, Roemenië) • Asturisch (Spanje) • Baskisch (Frankrijk, Spanje) • Berber (Spanje) • Bosnisch (Duitsland, Kroatië, Oostenrijk, Slovenië) • Bretons (Frankrijk, VerenigdKoninkrijk) • Catalaans (Frankrijk, Italië, Spanje) • Chinees (Frankrijk, Italië, Roemenië, Spanje, UK) • Cornish (UK) • Corsicaans (Frankrijk) • Elzassisch (Frankrijk) • Arpitaans (Italië) • Fries (Duitsland, Nederland) • Friulisch (Italië) • Galicisch (Spanje) • Karaims (Litouwen, Polen) • Kasjoebisch (Polen) • Ladinisch (Italië) • Letgaals (Letland) • Lijfs (Letland) • Limburgs (België, Duitsland, Nederland) • Luxemburgs (Luxemburg) • Macedonisch (Bulgarije, Griekenland) • Manx-Gaelisch (VerenigdKoninkrijk) • Mirandees (Portugal) • Occitaans (Frankrijk, Italië, Spanje) • Oekraïens (Estland, Hongarije, Letland, Litouwen, Polen, Roemenië, Slowakije, Tsjechië) • Russisch (Bulgarije, Cyprus, Duitsland, Estland, Finland, Frankrijk, Griekenland, Hongarije, Letland, Litouwen, Polen, Roemenië, Slowakije, Tsjechië, UK) • Roetheens (Hongarije, Polen, Slowakije, Tsjechië) • Samisch (Finland, Zweden) • Samogitisch (Litouwen) • Sardijns (Italië) • Schots-Gaelisch (VerenigdKoninkrijk) • Servisch (Duitsland, Hongarije, Kroatië, Oostenrijk, Roemenië, Slovenië) • Sorbisch (Duitsland) • Tataars (Estland, Litouwen, Polen) • Turks (Bulgarije, Cyprus, Griekenland, Roemenië) • Welsh (VerenigdKoninkrijk) • Wit-Russisch (Estland, Letland, Litouwen, Polen) • Etc.

  9. Regional minority languages spoken in one state but with an official status in another state • Bulgaars (Griekenland, Hongarije, Roemenië, Slowakije, Tsjechië) • Deens (Duitsland) • Duits (België, Denemarken, Estland, Frankrijk, Hongarije, Italië, Letland, Litouwen, Polen, Roemenië, Slowakije, Tsjechië) • Fins (Estland, Zweden) • Grieks (Bulgarije, Frankrijk, Hongarije, ItaliëalsGriko, Tsjechië) • Hongaars (Kroatië, Oostenrijk, Roemenië, Slowakije, Slovenië, Tsjechië) • Iers (Ierland, VerenigdKoninkrijk) • Italiaans (Kroatië, Slovenië) • Kroatisch (Hongarije, Italië, Oostenrijk, Slowakije, Slovenië, Tsjechië) • Lets (Estland) • Litouws (Estland, Letland, Polen) • Maltees (Italië, VerenigdKoninkrijk (Gibraltar)) • Nederlands (Frankrijkals West-Vlaams) • Pools (Estland, Hongarije, Letland, Litouwen, Slowakije, Tsjechië) • Portugees (Spanje) • Roemeens (Bulgarije, Hongarije) • Slowaaks (Hongarije, Oostenrijk, Polen, Roemenië, Tsjechië) • Sloveens (Hongarije, Italië, Kroatië, Oostenrijk) • Tsjechisch (Oostenrijk, Polen, Slowakije) • Zweeds (Estland, Finland)

  10. Immigrant groups in the Netherlands (January, 2007): Based on Extra, 2011

  11. How reliable are these numbers? • No exact numbers • People without a legal status – ‘invisible’ • Nationality vs. ethnicity • Ethnicgroups: how do we call them? (Kurdsfrom Turkey, Iraq, Syria; Chinese from China, Vietnam, Indonesia)

  12. How to cope with the multilingual European reality? • It starts with fact finding: LRE http://www.language-rich.eu/fileadmin/content/pdf/LRE_English_version_final_01.pdf • Example: Interpreters in Brussels.

  13. Main objectives of European language policy (2008): • To raise awareness of the value and opportunities of the EU’s linguistic diversity and encourage the removal of barriers to intercultural dialogue • Tostimulate the development of a healthymultilingualeconomy • Make European lawaccessibleforitscitizens in theirownnationallanguage • To give all citizens real opportunities to learn to communicate in two languages in addition to their mother tongue. Member States were invited to offer a wider range of languages more effectively within the education system from an early age up to adult education and to value and further develop language skills acquired outside the formal education system. Moreover, the EC stated its determination to make strategic use of relevant EU programmes and initiatives to bring multilingualism ‘closer to the citizen’.

  14. 3. Language Rich Europe (LRE) Investigated how individual countries handle these objectives. Using the key European documentation as a framework, the LRE research team developed 260 questions on the policy and practice of multilingualism. These were divided across eight ‘domains’ (five broad ones with education also sub-divided into four areas): • Official documents and databases • Pre-primary education • Primary education • Secondary education • Further and higher education • Audiovisual media and press • Public services and spaces • Business 25 European countries and regions participated

  15. [Recently added: sign languages. What do you know about sign languages?]

  16. The relation between meaning and form is arbitrary, except for a few onomatopoeias • Also in sign languages!

  17. CANDIDATE (NGT)

  18. EMANCIPATION (NGT)

  19. http://www.aslpro.com/cgi-bin/aslpro/aslpro.cgi • https://veiligbetalen.gebarencentrum.nl/proefwoordenboek.asp

  20. LRE (cont.) Some outcomes (educational): Immigrant languages: Most countries reported a failure to support or value what some described as the ‘gold mine’ of immigrant languages. At a time when the need for an ever wider range of language skills is needed, this linguistic capital is generally neglected. In many countries a lack of understanding about teaching the national language to newcomers is also reported. The second class status of immigrant languages also arose in relation to issues of identity and social cohesion.

  21. LRE Outcomes (cont.) Coherence Many education systems are struggling to create coherence and continuity across all phases of language learning from primary to university, and between the different languages taught and the learning of the national language. There is also an identified disconnection between school and home/community learning

  22. LRE Outcomes (cont.) Standards The level of achievement in school language learning is a widely expressed concern, in particular for languages other than English. Very much related to this concern was the frequently articulated demand for further and improved training of language teachers.

  23. LRE Outcomes (cont.) The role of English English is the most widely chosen language learned in school. A number of countries reported this as something which was becoming a substitute for multilingualism and which undermined diversity. There were also concerns expressed about the loss of domains for even established national languages as a result of the influence of English in higher studies, especially postgraduate.

  24. Examples: Netherlands: At a time of increasing language diversity and globalisation, the Dutch government places emphasis on the Dutch language. This is in line with EC and CoE policy. On the other hand, EC/CoE policy also stresses the inclusion of minority, foreign and immigrant languages within education and in other sectors of society. Especially with regard to immigrant languages, Dutch policy could be aligned better with European policy. Romania: Romania presents a situation where national, minority and foreign languages seem to be well promoted especially in the education system. While some minority languages, for example, Hungarian, are represented in educational and cultural activities, others such as Romani are not. The businesses researched here appear to use foreign languages adequately, but do not invest significantly in language skills for employees.

  25. 4. Interpreters in Brussels Relevant for the forthcoming discussion on the status of languages! (Implicitly) • Officially: 24 working languages • Official meetings: interpreters. • Money for each language and each country. If more is needed, countries have to pay themselves • Interpreters are used according to the so called ‘besoinsréels' ("real needs"). Based on • the level of importance of a certain meeting, • the language needs/wishes of the delegates • the presence of (sufficient) cabins (for the interpreters) in the conference rooms.

  26. Interpreters (cont.) • The demand for interpreters differs per country. France: interpreters for almost every meeting • Other countries (e.g., Nl) have a more reserved attitude. • Mainly due to delegates' knowledge of other Ls • Besides, national pride plays a role, too. Relatively strong among the French, in comparison to the average Dutch delegates who easily switch to other languages than their own.

  27. Interpreters (cont.) • All interpreters are per definition proficient in a number of languages. • Interpreters from ‘small Ls countries’: 4 to 5 Ls, sometimes even more. • Only few of them (usually newcomers) speak fewer than four to five foreign languages. • Interpreters from the new member states usually do not speak more than one or two foreign languages. • Language use amongst interpreters may, therefore, vary.

  28. Interpreters (cont.)Is English the lingua franca among interpreters? • Only when there is no other common language, a major language like English or French is chosen among interpreters. • They use the Ls they have in common in the first place. Since they are proficient in more than 2 Ls, the chances that they share and, therefore, use other languages than English are higher than among ‘ordinary’ people

  29. Interpreters (cont.) • Romanians: French as their 1st FL • Czechs: German • Russian was the most important L2 during the Soviet era. Now: the younger generation does not speak Russian anymore and besides: Russian is not a EU language. • English is not favoured by people from southern European countries and even when they speak it they ask for interpreters. • Though it changes.

  30. Interpreters (cont.) • During several meetings there is a ‘restricted language regime’: • For example, 10 Ls are being spoken and 6 cabins with interpreters are used. • As a consequence, for instance, the Dutch are allowed to speak Dutch, but there is no interpretation available into Dutch. • Therefore, another L (e.g., English) to understand, say, a Czech speaker. • Dutch switch active use of English (hearing a L often leads to speaking it). Contrary to Spanish delegates who postpone meetings. • Dutch overestimate their knowledge of English: Let’s continue this meeting tomorrow, because today we have hardly worked’ or ‘We have gas in our bottom’

  31. 5. LUCIDE Example of research project that I participate in http://www.urbanlanguages.eu/

  32. Thank you for your attention and now it’s your turn!

  33. Break: • Language policy in individual countries: exchange your findings • Discuss criteria for the status of language/dialect