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Keynote Speakers
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Professor Jasone Cenoz

University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain 

'Bilingualism, metalinguistic awareness and third language acquisition: psycholinguistic and educational views'

 For many years bilingualism has been associated with cognitive advantages including metalinguistic awareness (Bialystok, 2001; Kroll & Bialystok, 2013). However, this issue has become more controversial in the last years because some studies report no advantages for bilinguals in some cognitive tasks (see for example Paap & Greenberg, 2013). This controversy is relevant for language learning because metalinguistic awareness has been associated with advantages in the acquisition of additional languages (see Cenoz, 2013 for a review). In this presentation I will discuss the possible implications of psycholinguistic studies on the acquisition of additional languages in educational contexts. First I will compare the methodology used in psycholinguistic and educational studies and then I will argue for a holistic approach in educational research. This approach focuses on multilingual competence and the whole linguistic repertoire (Cenoz & Gorter, 2015). 


 Bialystok, E. (2001). Bilingualism in developmentlanguageliteracy and cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Cenoz, J., (2013). The influence of bilingualism on third language acquisition: Focus on multilingualism. Language Teaching 46: 71-86. 

Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D. (Eds.) (2015). Multilingual education: between language learning and translanguaging. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  

Kroll, J.F., and Bialystok, E. (2013). Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology (Hove). 25, 497–514. doi:10.1080/20445911.2013.799170.

Paap, K. R., & Greenberg, Z. I. (2013). There is no coherent evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive processing. Cognitive Psychology, 66(2), 232–258. 

Professor Anne Pauwels

SOAS, University of London, UK

'Multilingual practices and language regimes: a linguistic ethnography of an asylum reception centre in France'

Between 2015 and 2017 Europe experienced a massive influx of migrants and refugees estimated to be above 3 million according to European Asylum Support Office. The main source countries are Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq as well as some African nations notably Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia. This influx has been described as the largest movement of people in Europe since the Second World War. It soon transpired that many European countries (EU and non-EU) were poorly prepared to deal with this situation administratively, politically, socio-economically, culturally and last but not least, linguistically. The linguistic issues and hurdles facing this ‘wave’ of migrants and refugees in the ‘acceptance process are wide-ranging: from being subjected to language tests to prove their origin for asylum legitimacy, managing life in legal and illegal camps and refugee centres to winding one’s way through the application processes. Despite the relative recency of these developments, the ‘community’ of linguists – applied, sociolinguists and others – has started working and commenting on various linguistic aspects of this situation, including the linguistic problems surrounding the widely used LADO  test [Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin], the multilingual repertoires of the current refugee populations, the impact on urban linguistic landscapes as well as reconfiguring adult language learning in this new context. With this talk I wish to make a contribution to the study of this ‘new’ linguistic scenario that is becoming a prevalent one in an increasing number of countries.  Using an ethnographic approach (incorporating a linguistic landscape orientation) my main focus will be on documenting the linguistic rules governing the interactions between asylum seekers and various levels of authority as well as contrasting these with the ‘actual’ linguistic practices of both parties as observed in a French asylum/refugee reception centre located in Paris – Porte de la Chapelle -. The data upon which I draw for this presentation derive from a current interdisciplinary project in which I am a co-investigator entitled LIMINAL – Linguistic and Intercultural Mediations in the context of International Migrations- This project, funded by the French National Agency for Research – ANR, examines the linguistic and cultural issues of asylum seekers in three French reception centres located in Paris, Ventimille and Grande Synthe (Calais).


Professor David Lasagabaster 

University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, Spain

'Multilingualism at university level: assets, side effects and challenges'

European institutions are staunchly committed to the promotion of language learning and the protection of linguistic and cultural diversity as one of Europe’s main inherent features and as a treasure to be cherished. As far as multilingualism is concerned, Spain is a very interesting case in point, because of the 20 million speakers of lesser-used languages in the European Union, 50% are found in this State. In the Spanish bilingual regions the education system must guarantee that Spanish and the co-official language (be it Basque, Catalan or Galician) are taught at school and university. As a result of this language policy, minority languages are taught alongside Spanish, but English is also included in the linguistic equation because there is broad social agreement about the dire need to increase students’ proficiency in the currently hegemonic foreign language. In this talk I will analyse the evolution of the Basque educational system, the benefits that the spread of multilingualism yields, and how it affects the stakeholders’ language attitudes. Attention will also be paid to the challenges that the implementation of English-medium instruction programmes at university level poses in a bilingual context such as the Basque Autonomous Community. 

Last Updated: 21 February 2019

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