SIL International Media Release

International conference focuses on mother-tongue-based multilingual education

(July 2008) In conjunction with the UN-designated International Year of Languages, the 2nd International Conference on Language Development, Language Revitalization and Multilingual Education in Ethnolinguistic Communities is being held 1–3 July in Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer, Director of UNESCO's Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, will present the keynote address.

Purposes of the conference

  • Raise awareness about the purposes and benefits of MT-based MLE programs (MT-based MLE)
  • Share information about best practices in language development, language revitalization and MT-based MLE in ethnolinguistic communities, especially from the people who are actively engaged in such programs
  • Develop and expand networks of individuals and organizations engaged in these efforts

Plenary speakers and panels

Dr. Ana Taufeulungaki, from the Ministry of Education, Tonga, will speak on "Language Development and Language Revitalization in Ethnolinguistic Communities."

Dr. Carol Benson, International Consultant in Multilingual Education, University of Stockholm, Sweden, will address the topic "Multilingual Education Programs."

Dr. Dennis Malone, International Consultant in Multilingual Education for SIL International, will speak on "Research and Evaluation of Mother-tongue-based Multilingual Education Programs: Issues and Innovations in Ethnolinguistic Settings."

Plenary panels bring together international experts on the topics of Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage, and Language and Language-in Education Policies.

Parallel sessions

Participants involved in mother-tongue-based multilingual education and other language development programs will present papers at parallel sessions. Working sessions are planned for the same topics:

The seven joint sponsors of the event are SIL International, the Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development at Mahidol University, UNESCO-Bangkok, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), UNICEF, Care International and Save the Children (United Kingdom).

The 1st International Conference on Language Development, Language Revitalization and Multilingual Education in Ethnolinguistic Communities was held in Bangkok in 2003.

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