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[ENGL Seminar] Multilingualism: Identity & Vitality

by Professor Itesh Sachdev, Professor Emeritus of Language and Communication, School of Oriental and African Studies, Unversity of London, United Kingdom

Date                  5 October 2015
Time                  4:30pm-6:00pm
Venue                AG434
Medium             English

“Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities…have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimation” (Article 2:1, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, 1992)

Languages, accents, dialects and other linguistic variations not only provide important cues for the categorization of speakers on the socio-cultural map but can also emerge as the most salient dimensions of group identity. The main aim of this paper is to examine the complex relationship between language and group identity in multilingual communication, illustrated with data from indigenous and immigrant minorities and majorities around the world. The notion of the vitality of multilingualism will also be introduced.

About the speaker
Itesh Sachdev is Emeritus Professor of Language and Communication in the Department of Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research foci include ethno-linguistic vitality and identity in relations between members of minority and majority groups, multilingualism and multiculturalism, the role of attitudes and motivation in language teaching and learning, and intercultural communication.

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