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New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe

Opportunities and Challenges
Area: 
Multilingualism in institutions and society
Project management:

Bernadette O'Rourke (Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UK), Alexandre Duchêne (Head of working groupe "Transnational workers")

Duration: 
01.2013 to 12.2017
Team:

Federica Diemoz (University of Neuchâtel), Matthias Grünert (University of Fribourg)

Status: 
In progress
Description: 

European Cooperation in Science and Technology, ISCH COST Action IS1306

Globalisation, increased mobility and transnational networking transform the linguistic ecologies of contemporary societies. In this COST Action, the aim is to bring multilinguals into the focus of these processes by investigating the challenges and opportunities involved in acquiring, using and being understood as a “new speaker” of a language in the context of a multilingual Europe. New speakers, from this perspective, are all multilingual citizens who, by engaging with languages other than their “native” or “national” language(s), need to cross existing social boundaries, re-evaluate their own levels of linguistic competence and creatively (re-) structure their social practices to adapt to new and overlapping linguistic spaces.