Event: A Celebration of Faith and Language Diversity

25 June 2019, 6:30pm-9pm, at Manchester Cathedral

Join us to celebrate the threads of language, faith and culture that are woven through Manchester life. Take part in open conversations in themed workshops, listen to multilingual prayers and readings from a range of religions, and enjoy choir and dance performances, as we look together at the bridges that language can help us to build across communities.

‘A Celebration of Faith and Language Diversity’ is an event co-hosted by Multilingual Manchester (The University of Manchester), Manchester Cathedral, We Stand Together and Faith Network for Manchester, with support from Creative Manchester (School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, The University of Manchester).

Register to attend on Eventbrite: https://faithandlanguage.eventbrite.co.uk

Event programme:

6:30pm-7pm: Welcome, exhibition of holy books and Multilingual Manchester’s interactive exhibition, light refreshments

7pm-8pm: Workshops (more information below)

8pm-9pm: Service and keynote speech by Rona Barbour (Storyteller), prayers and readings in a range of languages, live performances

Workshops information:

Guests have the opportunity to attend two short, informal workshops, on themes related to languages in Manchester. When you click ‘register’, we will ask you to choose your two preferred workshops, from a total of six workshops that will be taking place at the same time around the Cathedral. Your first workshop will last for 20 minutes, then you will move on to your second workshop, before everyone comes back together for the service.

Each workshop will be led by a different person or group, who will kick-start the conversation; you are then encouraged to use the workshop as an open forum to discuss, ask questions and share your own experiences.

The workshop themes are:

1. Young Interpreters – Pupils from Burnage Academy will lead this workshop and explain how they are celebrating their language skills at school

2. The Multilingual Museum – What are the challenges and opportunities for cultural institutions in a city of 200 languages? Staff from Manchester Museum will share an exciting insight into their work

3. Language, Religion and Scripture – This workshop will explore the role that language plays in practising religion and ‘accessing’ faith, and speakers will share perspectives from a range of religions

4. Language Biographies – Listen to personal accounts of individual language journeys, as a variety of speakers describe how they use and how they feel about languages, in the context of their own families, jobs and lives

5. Manchester Deaf Centre – Learn more about Manchester Deaf Centre’s work, British Sign Language and the experiences of the deaf community in Manchester

6. The Benefits of Bilingualism – Dr Julio Villa-García (The University of Manchester) will introduce what research says on the benefits and opportunities that languages can bring

Please let us know which two workshops you would like to attend when registering on Eventbrite.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact mlm@manchester.ac.uk.

‘Modern languages’ and ‘Community languages’: A plea for a domestic language policy agenda

While enrolment in Modern Languages courses at secondary school and university has been in decline for more than a decade, the number of pupils attending supplementary (weekend) language schools is rising. Yaron Matras, who leads the Multilingual Communities strand of the AHRC-OWRI consortium Cross-Language Dynamics: Re-Shaping Community, calls for a research and public engagement strategy that embraces community language initiatives, and for a national language policy that gives more attention to the domestic arena. Read the full text here.

Call for Papers: Rethinking Language and Community. Diversity in Global Settings

Abstracts are invited for an inter-disciplinary conference on “Rethinking Language and Community: Diversity in Global Settings”, which will take place on 16 and 17 May 2019 at The University of Manchester.

The purpose of this conference is to explore and discuss different and new ways of understanding ‘community’ in its relationship with language, and to critically assess the notion’s relevance in times of superdiversity. We aim to bring together PhD students and early career researchers working on the topic or related aspects from across disciplines, including language, linguistics, literary and cultural studies, film/media studies, area studies, migration studies, human geography, ethnography and anthropology.

Abstracts of 250-300 words (excluding bibliography) should be sent to mlm@manchester.ac.uk by 22 March 2019. Please use ‘Community Conference 2019’ in the subject heading and include authors’ names, affiliation and contact details in your abstract.

Please see the full Call for Papers here: http://mlm.humanities.manchester.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/CfP-Rethinking-Language-and-Community.pdf

International Mother Language Day 2019

On 21st February 2019, Manchester will celebrate International Mother Language Day with exciting events taking place across the city.

Activities include fun, family-friendly games, crafts and performances, a panel discussion, workshops and a multilingual mushaira.

An online programme, with more details of the events, is available here.