Dr Deirdre Ní Loingsigh, Aonad na Gaeilge & School of English, Irish and Communication, UL participated in the Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning Conference 2018 at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) 23-25 August 2018. She reports on the event below.
“Highlights of the conference for me were the three inspiring and thought-provoking plenaries by Tiffany S. Lee, From Taking Speakers to Creating Speakers: Stories of Indigenous Language Change; Monica Heller, The Institutionalization of “Language Policy”: The Cold War, “Development”, and “Decolonization”; and Kristin Snoddon, Sign Language Planning and Policy in Ontario Teacher Education.
“I had the opportunity to learn much about legislation and scholarship relating to indigenous languages in Canada, and indeed on indigenous language education policies for language reclamation and revitalisation across the globe. I was particularly inspired by a presentation on a community-based approach in a project relating to the an adult immersion programme in the Oneida language. I also had the privilege of attending a talk by Enrica Piccardo on the concept of “mediation” as theoretical underpinning of plurilingual inclusive education, a presentation which has inspired me to explore more deeply the role of the language advisor as mediator in the language learning process.
“The title of my own presentation was The Five Ps of Language Advising in an Irish Workplace: Professional Practice, Participatory Research, Person-Centredness, and Policy.
“It was my first time bringing a practitioner focus from the field of language advising to a language policy forum and the post-presentation discussion, relating to the scope of the practice of advising to bolster language learning and use both within the workplace and in the community beyond, was lively. I have also benefited from suggestions for further reading on language policy models and these will influence how I frame my work in future discussions with practitioner-researchers.
“One further fruitful outcome of the presentation is that it has lead to new collaborations with Monika Jezak, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute, University of Ottawa and Carsten Quell, Official Languages Centre of Excellence, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. I have been invited to present a “lunch and learn” session to their colleagues, via video conference, in October 2018.
“My work on language support for the workplace, and the language advising model I have created, is considered pertinent as they are currently working on a series of recommendations for change, made in the Borbey-Mendelsohn 2017 report (The Next Level), regarding the use of both French and English as official languages in the public service in Canada.
“Drawing on my own research and experience, I am interested in recommendations made in the Report that “a more rewarding and less stressful second language learning and testing experience for public servants” should be explored, and that learner support should be strengthened. I look forward to an energetic exchange of ideas in October.
“As for Toronto itself, what a vibrant, diverse and wonderful city it is! The OISE building is located right in the heart of the city and a two-kilometre walk from my Downtown accommodation to the university and back each day gave me a great sense of the connectedness between the institution and the community. We have much to aspire to at UL!
“I’d like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the AHSS Faculty Research Committee and the HEA Special Provision for the Support of the Irish Language (2017/18) which funded my participation in the conference. Is mór agam an tacaíocht airgeadais seo.”
D’fhreastail An Dr. Deirdre Ní Loingsigh, Aonad na Gaeilge, Scoil na Gaeilge, an Bhéarla, agus na Cumarsáide, Ollscoil Luimnigh ar an gcomhdháil Multidisciplinary Approaches in Language Policy and Planning 2018 ag Ollscoil Toronto, Ceanada ag deireadh mhí Lúnasa. Chuir an taithí agus an plé bríomhar ann go mór lena cuid tuiscintí ar mhórcheisteanna polasaí teanga go hidirnáisiúnta agus tugadh deis di féidearthachtaí an chomhairlithe teanga mar chleachtas gairmiúil a chur i láthair ag fóram polasaí don chéad uair. Tá tús curtha aici le comhpháirtíocht nua le rialtas agus le comhghleacaithe acadúla i gCeanada chun féachaint ar réiteach na faidhbe a bhaineann leis an imní theangeolaíoch san ionad oibre, agus i gcomhthéacs na reachtaíochta a bhaineann le teangacha oifigiúla ach go háirithe. Ag súil lena thuilleadh plé a dhéanamh ar mholtaí praiticiúla chun dul i ngleic leis an bhfadhb seo atá sí nuair a thugann sí faoi cheardlann eolais ar an ábhar, do lucht spéise Cheanada, a stiúradh ar líne i mí Dheireadh Fómhair 2018.