Skip to main content

PhD student awarded linguistic seminar funding

8 February 2016

Gwennan Higham, a PhD student at the School of Welsh, will present a seminar entitled New plurilingual pathways for integration: Immigrants and language learning in the 21st Century, as part of the BAAL-CUP Seminar series in May 2016.

The seminar will be delivered in conjunction with Nicola Bermingham, PhD student, Languages & Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University, following a successful submission to the Executive Committee of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL).

The Seminar series, now in its fourth year is funded by BAAL and the Cambridge University Press (CUP) demonstrating their commitment to research, and promotion of that research, in Applied Linguistics.

The two-day seminar has been co-organised with COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and received support from the Intercultural Research Centre and the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Heriot-Watt University.

Gwennan said of the successful proposal: “Nicola and I are grateful for this opportunity to bring sociolinguistic researchers, government officials and community practitioners together to discuss key questions relating to immigrant integration and language learning in the 21st Century. Despite a pervading hegemonic ideology of ‘one nation, one language’, the seminar will consider the multifaceted nature of citizenship and language such as in Wales, as well as in other parts of the UK. It aims to identify key themes in order to advance future research and collaboration in this field. “

Dr Jeremy Evas, a lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, congratulated Gwennan on achieving funding for the seminar and said: “Gwennan is contributing significantly to this field of study, a research theme which is very important to us here at the School of Welsh. Language planning, policy, acquisition, and application are important topics in contemporary Wales and internationally. We wish Gwennan the very best of luck with this seminar and look forward to the outcomes.”

The event will encourage interdisciplinary dialogue with a variety of papers from different migration and language contexts and cross-sector round table discussions. Key themes for discussion are the opportunities and challenges for immigrants who learn new languages, the extent to which immigrant speakers challenge current conceptions of integration, cohesion and citizenship and what initiatives could facilitate a more comprehensive view of integration, cohesion and citizenship in national and minority language contexts.

Speakers have been confirmed and include keynote addresses from:

  • Professor Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNET) at the University of Glasgow.
  • Professor Máiréad Nic Craith, Chair in European Culture and Heritage, Director of Research and Director of the Intercultural Centre at Heriot-Watt University.

Read more about the seminar and the keynote speeches as well as ways to contact the organisers.

Share this story