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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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FYI: Jyväskylä Discourse Hub, New Website that Connects Research and Multilingual Communities


Author: Kati Kauppinen

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

FYI Body: Website Launched Connects Research and Multilingual Communities

JYVÄSKYLÄ, Finland, June 11, 2013 – The University of Jyväskylä’s Discourse Studies Research Team announced today the launch of a new website that brings together research and multilingual minority language communities to showcase creative uses of language in everyday life.

The website, Jyväskylä Discourse Hub (www.discoursehub.fi), includes

- examples of community and research-led initiatives to increase awareness of language practices within minority and indigenous language communities,

- an invitation for individuals, communities, and researchers to share their projects related to creative uses of language,

- a clearinghouse for research that investigates the ways in which language practices change and how languages are managed and maintained in multilingual communities, and

- responses to Frequently Asked Questions about Nexus Analysis, a discourse analytic framework taken up by the research team.

The aim of showcasing community-led projects is to increase awareness of languages, their speakers and signers, and how languages are used in different contexts. The launch includes projects like multilingual storybooks written in languages used at home and at school by Sámi school children in Lapland, Finland, as well as a license plate campaign in Texas, USA, that displays the expression “I love you” in American Sign Language.

Visitors to the site are encouraged to submit projects from their communities and research that focus on how minority and indigenous languages are used in everyday interactions. The project’s director, professor Sari Pietikäinen, described the impetus for developing the website: “Our team wanted to create a space where individuals, communities, and researchers could connect with each other to share their experiences and insights into how multilingualism is encountered and how languages are managed and maintained in changing communities.”

Also included on the website is a clearinghouse of research that investigate language practices within minority and indigenous language communities. Lastly, the website houses a list of responses to Frequently Asked Questions about one of the discourse analytic approaches used by the team: Nexus Analysis.

The website is accessible at www.discoursehub.fi. Information about the Peripheral Multilingualism Project, lead by the Jyväskylä Discourse Studies Research Team that supports the new website, is available at www.peripheralmultilingualism.fi.

Press Contact
Sarah Compton
+358-40-8054800
sarah.e.compton@jyu.fi

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