University Campus Fryslân (UCF) is launching a new MA programme in Multilingualism in September 2013, in cooperation with the University of Groningen and the NHL Leeuwarden. To celebrate the launch of this new programme, UCF and RUG are organising together the conference Multilingualism: The Key Debates. The conference will be held from 12 to 13 September in the only officially multilingual province of the Netherlands: Frisia.
Over the course of two days, a general scientific conference programme will take place during the day. In the late afternoons, eight renowned scientists will meet to debate longstanding and pressing questions about multilingualism. The four key questions are:
1. Does learning a new language change the way we think?
2. Is language an innate property of humans, or is it something acquired?
3. Is it possible to reverse the trend when a speaker group has started to language shift?
4. Should language planning and policy protect linguistic diversity or promote linguistic homogeneity?
The debates will be open to the general public.