The 13th biennial Language and Development Conference (LDC) will be held in conjunction with the 6th International Conference on Language and Education in Bangkok, Thailand later this month (24-26 September 2019). The theme of this joint event is conveyed in its title, Inclusion, Mobility, and Multilingual Education Conference: Exploring the Role of Languages for Education and Development (IMMLE).
I missed the call for participation (CFP) earlier this year, so by now all that’s left before the event itself is the registration period, which ends on 15 Sept.
The purpose of IMMLE is described this way (from the conference page linked above) and a page on the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019) site:
We are all presently witnessing unprecedented levels of human mobility. Along side 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.
The conference objectives are described in this way:
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.
Linking the two conference series
The LDC is held every 2 years in different locations, and I posted on this blog about the previous two: 2017 in Dakar, Senegal; and 2015 in New Delhi, India. Per the current conference site, this 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.”
The International Conference on Language and Education, also known as the Multilingual Education (MLE) conference, is organized by the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group and held every 2-3 years, For information on the previous two events, see 2016 (Mahidol University website) and 2013 (SIL International website).
Again, per the IMMLE background page:
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.