SU Language Centre creates platform for discussions on language policy

A conference on language policy, language planning and language support in higher education is the Stellenbosch University Language Centre’s latest contribution to the language debate in higher education. This international conference, where the Centre wishes to explore the challenges of multilingualism from all angles, takes place at the Spier Estate just outside Stellenbosch from 17 to 20 November 2009.

According to Prof De Stadler, Director of the Language Centre and Conference Chair, the three main themes that will be the focus are the development, implementation and management of language policies; the language-planning foundation (which includes appropriate management, structure and services) that should be laid for language policies; and the selection of language-support initiatives required in a higher-education setup.

Keynote speakers at the conference will include local heavyweights in the field of language policy, namely Prof Neville Alexander and Prof Victor Webb – hailing from the University of Cape Town and the University of Pretoria, respectively – to international experts such as Prof Suzanne Romaine (Oxford University), Prof Dianne Larson-Freeman (University of Michigan) and Dr Anu Virkkunen-Fullenwider (University of Helsinki).

A first call for papers was made in February already and the closing date for the submission of abstracts is 27 July 2009. A powerful new fusion of knowledge could come about from guest speakers’ presentations and participants’ papers, which could be applied with great success. In addition, the conference is a great opportunity to develop a handy new network of contacts and to exchange thoughts and experiences. All stakeholders and interested parties are cordially invited to the conference.

Conference fees for registration before 17 August amount to R3 350. Later entries are welcomed as well. The conference itself extends over three days and is preceded by a day of pre-conference workshops, more details of which will follow later. Around 300 guests are expected to attend and the Language Centre is already preparing for an unforgettable event.

To register, submit abstracts or obtain more information, please visit the conference homepage at http://www.langhighered2009.co.za

 Feel free to e-mail Prof De Stadler at lgds@sun.ac.za if you have additional enquiries.