On Monday 15th of June Isabelle Barth (Multilingual Café) and Hilde De Smedt (Foyer) animated the online seminar on the project Planting Languages. It is possible to see the recorded seminar on
the website www.plantinglanguages.eu.
The seminar could count on more than 70 participants.
The seminar was opened by Hilde De Smedt, who gave a clear overview of recent research on Family Language Policy.
During her presentation, Hilde had explained the concept of erosion of home language. One participant asked if this erosion is real or only a perception of the parents. Hilde answered that the erosion is real and it concerns mainly the vocabulary, which is very limited in the home languages of families of the second of the third generation. Participants who conducted researches in Australia and North Africa confirmed the erosion of heritage languages.
Nathalie Auger gave the information about the existence of an interesting project on the heritage language of the Roma communities https://research.ncl.ac.uk/romtels/strands/.
Pauline Van Straten informed us that The European Speech Therapists Committee CPLOL (www.cplol.eu) developed tools that can be used by parents of multilingual children.
In the second part of the webinar, Isabelle Barth professionally presented the project, his goals, the tools, which will be developed. All the tools will be available in 5 languages: Dutch, French, English, Greek, and Polish. After Isabelle’ presentation, Jana Novak-Milic asked if there is a relationship between religion/faith and minority language proficiency? She has conducted research in Australia on attitudes and home language maintenance and it was evident that more religious families were much better in maintaining the home language. Here the reference to Jana’s research "Parental attitudes towards Croatian as the heritage language in Australia (Jasna Novak-Milic)". In Language and its Effects. Bern, Switzerland: ,. Retrieved Jun 15, 2020,
Hilde confirmed that there is a relationship between religion and minority language proficiency; she gives the example of the witnesses of Jehovah, an Italian religious community which is very present in Belgium. The members of this community have excellent proficiency in the heritage language even if they are third or fourth generation.
The seminar ended with congratulations for the project and the speakers and with the will from some of the participants to use the tools of Planting Languages.
First published on www.plantinglanguages.eu
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"un enfant autochtone ou appartenant à une de ces minorités ne peut être privé du droit d’avoir sa propre vie culturelle, de professer et de pratiquer sa propre religion ou d’employer sa propre langue en commun avec les autres membres de son groupe" -
article 30 de la Convention Internationale des Droits de l'Enfant - 20 novembre 1989 - ratifiée par 195 nations
Multilingual Café - Association sans but lucratif 1901 - 59 193 Erquinghem-Lys
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