DO YOU SPEAK MY LANGUAGE?

Roundtable discussion by UArctic Thematic Network and UNITWIN/UNESCO network Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity

21.11.2019 sessio 2 (14.45-16.15) F101

The objective of educational policies and practices is to provide fair, if not equal, opportunities for all learners. However, rural and sparsely populated areas pose a unique challenge for educators to achieve these conditions. This is not only due to their location with long distances between the scattered communities, but also due to the cultural and linguistic background of these people. Providing education in remote areas possibly outside of the classroom, to a diverse group of students many of whom are indigenous or speaking minority language as their first language, requires competent and well-educated teachers, who are committed to working with the local communities. To achieve this goal, it is crucial to raise acknowledgement and recognition of indigenous and minority cultures and languages in education and increase teachers’ knowledge of inclusive pedagogies with diverse learners.

The UN declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), to raise awareness of indigenous languages, support their revitalisation and maintenance and empower indigenous language speakers. The event is part of IYIL2019 celebrations.

The roundtable (1h30min) will provide a vivid and adept discussion moderated by Professor Tuija Turunen, leader of both networks. The participants will represent various perspectives and contexts. The audience has also possibilities to participate in the discussion by making comments and asking questions.

Speakers:

Professor Tuija Turunen, University of Lapland, Finland (chair)

Professor Diane Hirshberg, University of Alaska Anchorage, US

Professor Anne Burke, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada

Ass. professor Kalpana Vijayavarathan, The University of the Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands

Dr., senior lecturer Suvi Lakkala, University of Lapland, Finland