Symposium – Teaching and learning diasporic languages in post-pandemic era

Lyon, AILA 20th Anniversary World Conference

The MIGDIA project organised a symposium on teaching and learning diasporic language as part of the applied linguistics AILA 2023 World Congress (17th to 21st July 2023) in Lyon, France.

The symposium focused on teaching and learning diasporic languages in the post-pandemic era. By diasporic languages we refer to languages that have been dispersed outside their traditional geographic area by either voluntary or involuntary migration. The focus of our symposium was on mother tongue and heritage language teaching and on approaches that utilize trans- and multilingual pedagogies in mainstream education or emergency education. 

Our symposium took place on the fifth conference day, Friday 21 July and comprised the following four presentations:

  • Maija Yli-Jokipii (with Inkeri Rissanen & Elina Kuusisto) from the University of Tampere: Multilingual learners mother tongue teachers` competences for culturally and linguistically responsive teaching   
  • Irina Piippo & Mikko Lehikoinen & Maria Ahlholm from the University of Helsinki: Navigating multidialectalism and plurilingualism in classrooms of mother tongue instruction in Arabic 
  • Jonas Yassin Iversen from the Inland Norway University: Subject positions in Arabic and Sámi language teaching in Norway 
  • Yin Yu & Nanfei Wang, Family language policy and the design of homescape in transnational families: initiating children’s Chinese literacy development

The symposium was well attended despite the large number of parallel sessions held simultaneously. There was a particularly lively discussion taking place among the Nordic colleagues present, continued over an informal networking dinner with the symposium’s presenters.