Sustaining a Global Society: Languages of the Wider World

Date: 29 March, 2012 - 30 March, 2012
Location: SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, Russell Square Campus, London
Event type: Conference

Location map | Programme

LLAS Centre for Languages Linguistics and Area Studies organises a conference entitled Sustaining a Global Society: Languages of the Wider World which aims to bring together scholars, teachers and postgraduate students working with or having an interest in languages which are under represented in the education system in the UK, including minority, endangered and heritage languages as well as languages of countries with emerging economies. The conference will try to bridge the gap between the world of academia and various language communities in the UK and beyond, by offering people working in these too often separated spheres an exciting opportunity to share practice, knowledge and expertise.  

Major themes for this event are: 

  • Teaching LWW as community languages
  • Policy/ies and potential opportunities for LWW
  • Projects focussing on LWW
  • Cross-sector projects (e. g. projects which involve collaborations between HEIs and language communities
  • Training teachers in LWW
  • The sociolinguistics of LWW
  • LWW for accessing research
  • Technology to support research and practice in LWW
  • Developing language expertise in LWW
  • Curriculum development for LWW in the primary, secondary and further education sectors
  • LWW for sustainable development: ethnicity, gender and culture
  • Language revitalisation

An additional theme sponsored by the Higher Education Academy Islamic Studies Network is :  Learning languages to study Islam and Muslims

The programme will include plenary and paper sessions focusing on projects and research conducted for/in the following geographical areas :

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Central Europe
  • Indian subcontinent
  • Middle East
  • Scandinavia
  • South-Asia 

This conference is organised in partnership with five language-based centres, White Rose East Asia Centre, British Inter-University China Centre, Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies, Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies.

Keynote Speakers :

Dr Charmian Kenner, Goldsmiths, University of London
Joanna McPake, University of Strathclyde
Dr Sharon Handley, Manchester Metropolitan University
ISLAMIC STUDIES STRAND : Dr Stefan Sperl and Dr Sarah bin Tyeer, SOAS

Prize draw

The following book has been kindly donated by  and will be offered to delegates taking part in our prize draw:
'The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar,' edited by K. Alexander Adelaar and Nikolaus Himmelmann

Twitter tags

Tweets about the conference use the twitter hashtag #llaslww12. We encourage you to tweet before, during and after the conference to share your experience with the whole community.


This is a paying event. When registering please specify which days you wish to attend in the comments section of the registration form.

Registration fee :

  • Standard rate :
    £190 to attend both days / £95 to attend one day

Concessionary rates available for Postgraduate students:

  • Standard Rate
    £95 to attend both days / £50 to attend one day

We will require the name and contact details of your tutor when submitting your registration form.

Please note that we reserve the right to retain half the registration fee if you do not notify us by Monday 20 February 2012 that you are unable to attend.  Full details of our charging policy are available.

Remember that you can apply for the HEA UK travel fund to attend this event. To find out more, visit the HEA website or download the application form here

You can also find this event on  and  


A provisional programme for the 29 and 30 March is available to view here


The following presentations have been kindly provided by the speakers who took part in the conference:

"Supporting non-Arabic dyslexic learners to overcome Arabic orthographic challenges"
Muntasir Al-Hamad and Owen Barden, Manchester Metropolitan University

"Learn to teach-teach to learn: a modern application with classical Arabic" + video
Mohammed Amejee
, University of Cambridge International Examinations

"Creating resources for the development of reading skills in Polish at ab initio level"
Marta Becquet
, PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow

"Indonesian and Malay for accessing Islamic Communities in Southeast Asia"
Teresa Birks

"Script choice for sustainable development: how to help language communities to get an alphabet for their language. A case study from Ethiopia"
Tafera Endalew Yayeh
, SIL Ethiopia

"Mother tongue based multilingual education as a means to quality for minority language communities: lessons from India and Bangladesh"
Pamela McKenzie
, International Network for Development

"Bilingualism in pre-school provision (Gaelic medium teaching)"
Joanna McPake
, Strathclyde University

"An assessment of the Arabic language programme for human sciences students at International Islamic University Malaysia"
Badri Najib Zubir and Maskanah Mohammad Lotfie, International Islamic University Malaysia

"Chinese Poetry Competition: a project with community schools"
Eileen PunManchester Chinese Centre / Routes Languages, Manchester Metropolitan University

"Growing up with Languages: Reflections on Multilingual Childhoods"
Claire Thomas
, Minority Right and Waltham Forest Bilingual Group

"The African Language in the classroom: what happens when children’s home languages are used in education?"
Agatha Van Ginkel
, SIL International

"Promoting language competence and cultural awareness through class blogging (Chinese)"
Hongfen Zhou
, University of Manchester