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INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research

MultiLing in partnership with South Africa and USA

Alternative title: MultiLing i partnerskap med Sør-Afrika og USA

Awarded: NOK 3.3 mill.

MultiLing's goal is to generate cutting-edge scientific knowledge on individual and societal multilingualism across the lifespan, including multilingual competence, multilingual practices, and multilingualism, language ideologies and language policies. Our primary goal is to bridge the gap between psycholinguistic/cognitive and sociolinguistic approaches to the study of language and multilingualism. While there is increasing attention to mobility and linguistic diversity resulting in widespread multilingualism in a European context, there is a growing interest and need to draw attention to global experiences of multilingualism, mobility and diversity. The latest developments in our research point to a new focus on multilingualism in the individual and society: Learning, globalization and social justice. This provides the basis for a longer-term institutional partnership with our South African collaborators and our additional partner in the USA. MultiLing in partnership with South Africa and USA (MultiLingNet) (2019-2022) is an INTPART-project where MultiLing enters into a research and teaching partnership with South Africa's top universities (MultiLingSA): University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, and University of the Witwatersrand and a top USA university - Georgetown University. Joint activities include workshops and conferences, guest researcher visits through mobility grants, exchange of research and teaching staff, as well as administrative staff; postgraduate student exchanges; discussions towards enriching course and curriculum development; and joint research presentations at international conferences and joint publications in leading international journals. The project's second phase started with a launch conference with lecture presentations and panels in Stellenbosch, South Africa, March 5-7 2019. A workshop on Social Justice, Language Diversity, and Globalization was held at Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, later the same year. An international week-long Summer School was hosted in Cape Town in December 2019 by the University of the Western Cape, entitled Multilingualism and Vulnerability. Participants from all the partner institutions took part in and presented at these events, including senior researchers, postdocs and doctoral students. A major milestone of the project was the conference GURT 2020/ Georgetown University Round Table 2020 with the theme: Multilingualism: Global South and Global North Perspectives. There was wide international interest, as witnessed by the more than usual number of submitted abstracts. INTPART scholars were among the keynote speakers, leaders of invited panels, and those to hold papers and posters. The event was scheduled for 13-15 March 2020 but was cancelled at the last minute due to the escalating pandemic. The PIs at Georgetown University did a tour de force and launched the event as a digital one, truly one of the first such conferences that went digital: https://www.hf.uio.no/multiling/english/news-and-events/news/2020/gurt-2020-virtual.html. The pandemic has resulted in new forms of digital collaboration and participation and INTPART project members have availed themselves of this. Moreover, there are publications in the works resulting from the above-mentioned events and collaboration between INTPART partners. Project members have submitted proposals in 2021 for 6 panels with INTPART collaborators to be held at international conferences in 2022; these conferences will be hybrid, thus allowing physical as well as digital participation. In September '21, a hybrid seminar was held in Oslo with international digital (and some physical) participation, in conjunction with the publication of two volumes by prestigious Routledge (to appear in 2022). Many INTPART colleagues, from both South Africa and the US, have contributed to these MultiLing publications and took part in the seminar. Plans have been made for a digital Summer School at the end of November '21, organized by the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Places were reserved at MultiLing´s Summer School in September '21 for INTPART PhD candidates. However, because of the time difference (for the US students) and difficult internet access (for SA students), they declined. There is clearly a need for, and a goal to, have continued physical participation in workshops, meetings, Summer Schools and conferences in the final year, if possible. This type of mobility and networking is a hallmark of INTPART projects. The extent to which MultiLing in partnership with South Africa and USA (MultiLingNet) can fulfil this aim in the time to come remains unclear. Until then we will continue to be resourceful with digital solutions for networking.

MultiLing in partnership with South Africa and USA (MultiLingNet) (2019 – 2021) is an INTPART Phase 2 project that builds on the successful Phase 1 project MultiLing in partnership with South Africa's top universities (MultiLingSA): University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, and University of the Witwatersrand. This Phase 2 project adds to the partnership a top USA university - Georgetown University. MultiLing's goal is to generate cutting edge scientific knowledge on individual and societal multilingualism across the lifespan, including multilingual competence, multilingual practices, and multilingualism, language ideologies and language policies. The Center's vision is to contribute to how society can deal with the opportunities and challenges of multilingualism through increased knowledge, promoting agency for individuals in society, and a better quality of life, no matter what linguistic and social background. The South African and US universities are internationally acclaimed for their research and research-based teaching. The latest developments at MultiLing and the Phase 1 project point to a new focus on Multilingualism in the individual and society: Learning, globalization and social justice, which provides the basis for a longer-term institutional partnership with our South African collaborators and our additional partner in the USA. This focus is in line with the overarching aim of interdisciplinary research at MultiLing in the Center’s ambitions to become a world-leading research environment within the field of multilingualism. Joint activities include workshops and conferences, guest researcher visits through mobility grants, exchange of research and teaching staff, as well as administrative staff; postgraduate student exchanges; discussions towards enriching course and curriculum development; and joint research presentations at international conferences and joint publications in leading international journals.

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Funding scheme:

INTPART-International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research