Please join the team of The New Speaker Network for the launch of The New Speaker Guide, a new mini-publication introducing COST The New Speaker Network, a partnership of 28 countries working together to better understand the benefits and challenges involved in becoming a New Speaker.
The event will be introduced by Pof. Bernadette O’Rourke, Francesca La Morgia and Deirdre MacKenna who will introduce their work exploring the linguistic experiences of people in communities in which globalisation, mobility and transnational networking are transforming how people use languages. These include people who speak a minority language as their mother tongue (such as Gaelic or Basque) so are used to adopting the dominant national language any time it’s required; immigrants, who adopt new languages as part of their integration over long periods of time, and transnational workers who might adopt and use language for shorter periods for employment reasons.
The term ‘New Speakers’ refers to people who learn languages in addition to what they would consider their ‘native’ or ‘own’ language, or their ‘mother-tongue’. In doing so, these New Speakers transcend the dominant culture and society around them by broadening their horizons and adapting to new language and social opportunities.
Deirdre created The New Speakers Studio’ by working with cinematographer Gordon James to film a series of semi-structured interviews with Agata Urbanska, Brian Thunder, Daniele Sambo, Hanneke Scott-Van Weil, Leena Nammari, Miren Manias, Nadifa Essa and Nina Bacos, who shared their
stories and opinions about learning and using a language other than their mother-tongue in Scotland today; being a New Speaker.
In order to avoid the audience being distracted by images of the interviewees (their age, gender, cultural styling etc) Deirdre asked the interviewees to identify an object which could act as a visual-substitute. Images of these objects were filmed and photographed and along with animated text and audio, the interviewees’ narratives and language journeys have been brought to life.
The film and photography works in the exhibition have been created by Deirdre MacKenna, drawing from new research funded by the EU COST programme ‘The New Speakers Network’ which is chaired by Bernadette O’Rourke of Heriot Watt University and comprises members from 28 EU countries. The New Speakers Network focuses on the dynamics involved in becoming a ‘New Speaker’ in European communities in which globalization, mobility and transnational networking are transforming how people use languages.
Download ‘The New Speaker Guide’ here
Launch events in June 2017: