CFP: Re-thinking bilingualism - Challenges of multilingualism and communication in classroom settings

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Jan 18 17:45:00 UTC 2009

Forwarded From: edling at

"Re-thinking bilingualism - Challenges of multilingualism and
communication in classroom settings"

Örebro University, Sweden

14-15 May, 2009

The traditional discourse of bilingualism has in the last two decades been
strongly challenged. Approaches to bilingualism have tended to assume a
monologic understanding of language use. Such a point of departure fails to
recognize the dynamic emergence of meaning through social interaction.

At the same time, these traditional approaches have revealed a monolingual
bias in that 'monolingualism' has been regarded as the 'normal' state while
bi-or multilingualism has been treated as the exception rather than the
'rule'. A monolingual perspective favours a monolithic view of language in
which languages are discrete entities - one which is increasingly contested
by, for example, the fl uent mixed vernaculars of bilingual speech. The term
'bilingualism' is therefore used in the context of this International
Research Symposium/Workshop with a critical recognition of its limitations.
The research community has started attending to issues related to the
broader concept of multilingualism, the implications of communication and
the sociocultural environment of language use. These challenges are
particularly relevant for school classroom settings.

The International Research Symposium/Workshop intends to be a forum for:

- Presentation and discussion of research outcomes of various kinds dealing
with new dimensions of what (in relation to education) has traditionally
been called bilingualism.

- Discussion of conceptual and methodological implications for education of
approaching bilingualism with a multifaceted view.

The outcomes of the International Research Symposium/Workshop are expected
to be a more detailed analysis and discussion of multilingual issues as well
as the challenges currently faced by traditional approaches to bilingualism.

The discussion in the symposium/research workshop is expected to help
develop more informed methodologies with which to approach the complex issue
of multilingualism. The forum is also expected to raise issues regarding the
implications of new approaches for school practices.

Keynote speakers, paper presenters and discussants are challenged to go
beyond traditional approaches with an analysis that could be meaningful for
further research that this complex theme demands.

Organizers and venue

The Research Symposium/Workshop is organised by the Research group

KKOM-DS (Communication, Culture and Diversity- Deaf Studies) at

Örebro University, Sweden.

Organizing committee:

Chair: Associate Professor Lázaro Moreno Herrera

Committee members: Jenny Rosén, Karin Allard, Marie Nordmark, Oliver St
John, Reidun Carlsson, Sara Fröden, Åsa Wedin

Venue: Örebro University, Forum-huset, 14-15 May, 2009

Programme outline

The four invited key note presentations will deal with various dimensions of
multilingualism based on empirical work or theoretical analysis. A limited
number of papers will be accepted. Papers, presented in parallel sessions,
will be critically commentid by a discussant followed by a dialogue open to
all participants.

Two thematic sessions will be scheduled:

Theme 1. Bilingualism re-contextualized. The role of communication and
sociocultural environment.

Theme 2. Methodological issues in research on multilingualism. A focus on
social practices.

A panel session will be scheduled where key note speakers will be invited to
focus upon the implications of a more plural approach to multilingualism for
school practices.

Key note speakers

* Francis Hult, Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, University of
Texas at San Antonio, USA.

* Clark Taylor, The College of Public and Community Service (CPCS),
University of Massachusetts, USA.

* Gisela Håkansson, Malmö University, Sweden.

* Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Örebro University, Sweden.

Registration fee

1300:- SEK


Please submit an abstract of 120 words, including author/s details (full
name, institution, mailing address and email) to: bilingualism at

Only a limited number of papers will be accepted. Selected papers will be
considered for publication.

Deadline: February 28, 2009. Notification of acceptance will be given to the
main author by the end of March 2009.



Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at

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