This two-day international symposium will bring together a wide range of people with an academic, cultural and political interest in bilingualism and multilingualism to address questions including:
- What is language and what is bilingualism and multilingualism?
- How do we produce language and how does the bilingual and multilingual mind process language?
- To what extent does Wales make the most of the intellectual, social and creative potential of its bilingualism?
- How do we unlock this potential in the face of the threat of language extinction to realise government goals of promoting a vibrant culture and achieving a million Welsh speakers by 2050?
The event will encompass lectures, panel discussions and interactive sessions by leading international experts and cultural practitioners. The symposium has been curated by a group of leading Welsh academics in the field, led by Professor Mererid Hopwood of University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Confirmed speakers for the symposium include:
- Lǐ Wéi, Chair of Applied Linguistics at University College London.
- Novelist and academic Patrick McGuinness.
- David Gramling, associate professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona.
The programme for the two days will explore the following themes:
Introduction: Through the language prism
Understanding the benefits of bi- and multilingualism.
Theme 1: Language and thought
Exploring ideas about language and its impact on identity and belonging.
Theme 2: One mind, more than one language
What do we know about the neurology of bi/multilingualism and how bi/multilingualism affects our emotions?
Theme 3: Language and translation
How the search for meaning can assist with translanguaging.
Theme 4: Language and creativity
The creative force of linguistic diversity and working across languages.
Theme 5: Language extinction
To what extent can language planning, rights and legislation combat the threat of language extinction?
Theme 6 (part 1): Language and education
What role can education play in achieving a million Welsh speakers by 2050?
Theme 6 (part 2): Language and education
How can we motivate and enthuse younger learners in Wales to continue their multilingual language journey in schools and beyond?
Theme 7: Language and a prosperous society
What does a linguistically prosperous society look like?