Cultural Documents is delighted to present ‘New Speaker Stories’ as part of the methods, research findings and policy recommendations of the Final Whole COST Action Conference ‘New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Policies and Practices ‘ at the University of Coimbra in Portugal.
Focusing on Policies and Practices, the New Speakers’ Network Final Whole Action Conference will bring together the work which emerged from dialogue and collaboration between researchers, policy makers and stakeholders working together over the past four years on the dynamics involved in becoming a “new speaker” of a language in the context of a multilingual Europe. From this perspective, new speakers are 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, complex and overlapping linguistic spaces.
The Network has sought to understand the potential social tensions that emerge from unequal access to participation of new speakers in Europe’s multilingual projects. These inequalities pose challenges to European integration, social cohesion and economic collaboration, as well as to the full participation of territorial and immigrant minorities.