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Multilingualism and identity

Exploring multilingualism and identity in Cambridge

MoMMs recently presented their research at an international conference

Members of the project "UNGSPRÅK" after presentation in Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge
Members of the project "UNGSPRÅK" after presentation in Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge (left to right: Irina Tiurikova, André Storto, Åsta Haukås)
Photo:
Camilla Bjørke

On 12-13 September 2019, MoMM members (Heike Speitz, Camilla Bjørke, Gro Anita Myklevold, Åsta Haukås, André Storto, Irina Tiurikova) took part in the conference “Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” The event was organised by Linda Fisher and Wendy Ayres-Bennett as part of the research project, Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS), and took place in Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.

World-leading keynote speakers

The conference focused on multilingual identities in higher education, schools, urban and rural communities. It brought together emerging and world-leading scholars from all over the world. The keynote speakers - Patricia Duff, Alastair Pennycook, David Block, Alison Phipps, and Bonny Norton - gave thought-provoking insights into their current projects covering the issues of globalisation and language identity, connections between languages and cities, problems of decolonising of languages in rural settings, reader identity and multilingualism.

Presentations by MoMMs

Following the keynotes, participants discussed the issues of multilingualism and identity in the parallel sessions. The research group MoMM was presented in two of them. On 12 September, Gro Anita Myklevold gave a talk on operationalising multilingualism at the upper secondary school level in Norway. The next day, MoMM members Åsta Haukås, André Storto and Irina Tiurikova presented the preliminary results of the research project “UNGSPRÅK”. In their talk, they discussed how language learning can be connected to the development of multilingual identity and students’ open-mindedness, curiosity and positive attitudes towards socio-cultural differences.

An edited volume on multilingualism and identity

Prof. Haukås also took part in a side event of the conference – a workshop on a volume on multilingualism and identity to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Together with other prominent scholars in the field, she will contribute to the book with a chapter discussing multilingualism in the Norwegian context.