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) was 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.
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.
The project ended in December 2022 with a larger summer school and closing conference at UWC in Cape Town, South Africa. Work is being done on new ways of continuing the work, both in research and education
The research results from the project have contributed to excellence in education and research at MultiLing and UiO/HF/ILN. MultiLing and UiO/HF/ILN. In particular, the researcher training component has been a highly successful part of the project, in which junior scholars have been given the opportunity to engage in the study of various aspects of multilingualism with a different geographical focus and various methodological approaches. Regular attendance by doctoral candidates from the four South African universities and Georgetown University at MultiLing-sponsored Winter and Summer Schools in Oslo has been extremely fruitful for both the US, European, and South African participants.
Through mobility grants, junior and senior scholars have, furthermore, exchanged ideas and experiences from language policy to testing languages and uncovering potential language disorders in various populations in both Norway, the U.S. and South Africa. Research on multilingualism has been enriched through critical discussions of underlying premises for language and theory-building. Three INTPART co-taught Summer Schools in SA have been successful with about 20 PhD candidates at each. Supervision of doctoral candidates as well as mentorship of postdoctoral fellows both in Oslo, South Africa and the U.S. have been a direct result of the INTPART collaboration.
Two edited volumes were published in 2022 in the prestigious Routledge Critical Studies in Multilingualism series: Multilingualism across the Lifespan and Spaces of Multilingualism. Many of the articles are co-authored by MultiLing and INTPART members.
Further dissemination of collaborative results from the INTPART project will appear in edited volumes, and co-authored articles are in the pipeline planned for anthologies and journals.
At the final stages of MultiLing as a CoE, a handbook on research methods in the study of multilingualism is currently in planning. Co-authored chapters are planned including INTPART members.
After several years of planning, the Master’s program in Multilingualism welcomed its first cohort of students in August 2022. Several students have also leaped at opportunities to work as research assistants and are currently assisting with projects in the Socio-Cognitive Lab. This is a first start for the MA programme and further cooperations with the INTPART partner will be in important in its future development.
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.