Re-visiting Identity, marginalization and bilingualism

An international symposium on re-visiting Identity, marginalization and bilingualism
Monday 2 June 2014
Organizers: CCD & LIMCUL

Sheila Ridell, professor of inclusion and diversity, University of Edinburgh. Holder of the Swedish Research Council 2014 Kerstin Hesselgren guest professorship in Sweden

Presentation title: Shifting forms of accountability in special and additional support needs in England and Scotland

Abstract: This presentation will consider the nature of accountability reflected in reforms of special and additional support needs education in England and Scotland. In both countries, new legislation appears to place greater emphasis on children's rights, but place less weight on mechanisms. In England, the growing complexity of the education system, with a rapid growth of academies and free schools which are free of local government control, makes accountability for parents more difficult. External forms of accountability for children's performance, such as those used in the USA via No Child Left Behind, appear to be little used in the UK. The implications of these changes, particularly in the context of ongoing austerity politics, are discussed.

Liisa Husu, professor of gender science, Örebro University

Presentation title: Internationalisation and multilingualism in universities: reflections on Nordic contexts

Abstract: Nordic universities, among them Örebro University, are increasingly promoting internationalisation of their staff and research and teaching activities, and for that purpose drafting strategy documents, with specified goals and earmarked funding. The ”language issue” is at the core of the internationalisation debates in university settings. The presentation reflects on and interrogates the diverse and often conflicting understandings of ”the language issue” in the process of internationalisation in small Nordic country settings, on the basis of long-term academic work experience in Swedish and Finnish universities, and as a multilingual university teacher teaching in three languages.

S. Imtiaz Hasnain, professor of Sociolinguistics, Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University

Presentation title: Languaging and Identification through Time and Space: Approaching Complexity of Language and Script in a Competing Multilingual Situation with reference to Urdu

Abstract: Language is one of the mediating tools of the mind, and therefore, forms a dialectic relationship between cognition and languaging. One of the ways through which mind uses tools for achieving this mediation is script. Script shapes and reshapes our cognition and in the process it gives meaning and sense of belonging and relatedness between individual and community. It also provides evaluation of self and self by others. Languaging allows us to initiate a discursive negotiation of cultural differences and also gives voice to one's own identity.

Script is not merely an innocuous medium for reducing speech to writing, nor script-identity nexus can remain hermetically sealed from categories of religion. Urdu enjoys unique distinction of having religion associated with script. Notwithstanding social-communicative and pragmatic considerations surrounding the choice of script, issues concerning relationship between identity and script are bound up with some of the most troubling phenomenon of our times- communal & ethnic violence, discrimination and suspicion on the basis of religion & ethnicity. For, as poststructuralist theories of discourse inform us, script as a material act of inscription extends beyond the purely material to foreground its symbolic significance in the making of the self and thus, facilitates the ideologies of identification and languaging to work with iconicity, recursiveness and erasure.

Ofelia García, professor of Urban Education and of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Presentation title: Language and bilingualism in education: Misconstructions and reconstructions

Abstract: As bilingualism has become a most important feature of education throughout the world, scholars have begun to question the traditional separation of languages that has been the hallmark of language education programs. By deconstructing traditional understandings of language and bilingualism, this presentation lends support to the idea that translanguaging, that is, the use of the entire linguistic repertoire of bilingual children, is an important practice in educating children bilingually.

Reimb2014 is sponsored by the Swedish Research Council

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Content updated 2016-11-22






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