Youth Engagement in Minority and Regional Languages
We are living through a critical juncture in the evolution of languages. Half of the estimated 6,500 spoken languages in the world are predicted to die out by the end of this century; yet we know from experience that language extinction can be avoided through careful and visionary language planning.
While the role of children and adults in the preservation of minority and regional languages has been studied in some detail, the role of youths or teenagers has not been studied to the same extent. Yet statistical evidence reveals that the engagement of youths – those between 12 and 19 years of age – in several minority and regional languages has a strong impact on the use and continued development of those languages.
This conference aims to unite two growing fields of contemporary scholarship: the study of youth and the study of minority and regional languages. The main body of research that currently exists in this field relates to youth engagement with traditional and new media. However, the role of youths in the direction of minority and regional languages is increasingly becoming a subject of interest in other fields: sociolinguists are aware that youth is a pivotal period in terms of an individual’s independent engagement with or disengagement from minority and regional languages; historians of youth are beginning to study involvement of youths in language and cultural movements; while educational practitioners have noted that bilingual youths often become increasingly reluctant readers in their minority language as they progress further into their teenage years.
This conference aims to bring together scholars from various linguistic backgrounds and disciplines to discuss the ways in which youths engage in minority and regional languages, whether through structured activities devised by adults, or through youth-led initiatives. Possible topics relating to minority and regional languages include:
- Educational Systems, Pedagogy and Policy
- Extracurricular Activities for Youths
- Historical Studies of Youth
- Young Adult Literature
- Youth Theatre and the Performing Arts
- Music and Culture
- Youth Organisations
- Traditional Media and New Media
- Youth Engagement in Sport
- Language Attitudes among Youths
- Language Policy and Planning
- Youth Engagement in Sleeping and Re-awakened Languages