The Inclusion, Mobility, and Multilingual Education Conference: Exploring the role of languages for education and development
We are all presently witnessing unprecedented levels of human mobility. Alongside an increasingly mobile workforce and increased mobility for higher education, we are also seeing the highest levels ever of involuntary displacement, with over 68.5 million people forced from their homes, including 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under 18.
In the Asia-Pacific region, huge populations are moving for work and higher education, with internal displacement and cross border migration due to conflict, poverty, climate change and social injustice creating increasingly complex ethnolinguistic landscapes. Challenges of inclusion, social cohesion and peace-building are raised, for mobile populations but also stable but linguistically marginalized populations, including issues of access to civic participation, justice, health and information.
At a time when many more children are in school, but many are still not learning, and in particular in the context of the declared United Nations Year of indigenous languages, fundamental questions remain about the balance of local, national and global languages in education.
We are pleased to announce that this year the 13th Language and Development Conference (LDC) and the 6th Multilingual Education Conference will address the important issues of language, human mobility, multilingual education and development in a single event to be held in Bangkok over three days in September 2019.
Language and Development Conferences have been held every two years since the early 1990s. The conference series provides an opportunity for policy-makers, researchers, development personnel, teachers and linguists to come together to share views and explore issues concerning language use in development contexts. Details of previous L&D conferences can be found here.
Since 2003, the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group has been organising international conferences on language and education every two to three years, sometimes referred to as the multilingual education or MLE conferences. These conferences bring together policy-makers, researchers, practitioners, and development actors to promote multilingual education with a focus on mother tongue-based learning and broader language issues in sustainable development. Details of the previous MLE conferences can be found here.
Bringing the two conferences together represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the shared mission between the LDC and the Language and Education Conference and to raise the profile of the language issues affecting achievement of the SDGs globally in the context of global mobility.
The overall aim of the conference is to provide a space for practitioners, NGO staff, researchers and government representatives to explore and exchange on issues of language, inclusion, and mobility in education and development.
The Conference aims to:
- Explore how an open and inclusive multilingual approach, especially in the context of education and wider society, can maximise outcomes and well-being for different groups and for an increasingly mobile population;
- Create linkages between policy, practice and research on how multilingual approaches can be used to advance (civic) participation, access, and learning for children and adults from marginalised and mobile communities;
- Investigate the role of, and balance between, different languages – local, national, and international – in the context of diverse and mobile populations, and social and educational practice;
- Identify policy priorities for advancing multilingual approaches to social and educational policy-making, learning and development;
- Raise awareness among participants in key thematic areas.