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Celebrating one of our Emeritus Professors’ contribution to language policy

27 March 2024

Two men standing are standing and smiling at the camera. Both men are wearing a suit and are standing in front of a blue banner.
Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, and Professor Emeritus Colin H. Williams

International experts have come together to give thanks to Professor Emeritus Colin H. Williams for his scholarly contribution to language policy.

Organised in collaboration with the School of Welsh, Cymraeg 2050 and Welsh Government, the 'Innovation and Good Practice in Language Policy'  conference was held on 8th February in the Main Building, Cardiff University.

As a specialist in language policy and planning, Professor Emeritus Williams has contributed greatly to the field of language policy over the years. His research interests include language policy and multilingualism, and over the past 50 years, he has written and contributed to many publications.

Dr Dylan Foster Evans, who is Head of the School of Welsh, said the following: "For us at the School of Welsh at Cardiff University, the expertise, generosity and support that Professor Colin H. Williams provides on a daily basis is an inspiration.

"This conference was an opportunity to see and appreciate the impact that such qualities have on our colleagues and friends from around the world.

"It was a privilege to be part of this event held in Colin’s honour, and as always, his contributions in the discussions were insightful, enterprising and innovative.

"For each of us in our respective fields of study, challenges lie ahead, but Colin inspires us all to face them with confidence."

A lecture theatre full of people sitting on blue and grey chairs.
The conference was held in Cardiff University's Main Building

As well as thanking Professor Emeritus Williams, an opportunity was also provided to discuss the challenges and successes associated with the protection of minority languages.

During these discussions, speakers from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Canada discussed their experiences and ideas in subject areas such as language transmission, legislation, and promotion. In addition to this, there was also a discussion about the challenges which face politicians and wider society in that regard.

Professor Emeritus Williams said:- "It was wonderful to learn about experiences in other countries as they discussed common topics on how to draw up language policies and advance good practice.

"I am grateful to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language for having supported civil servants in Welsh Government to arrange this event in conjunction with the School of Welsh, Cardiff University.

"It was certainly an invaluable occasion that drew an international audience. And, at a more personal level, it was great to see so many familiar faces and to meet old friends. A day fit for kings!"

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