31.10. Open seminar: Invisible multilingualisms

Invisible multilingualisms:

an open seminar on changing faces of multilingualism in the 21st century

October 31, 2013

10.00 a.m. till 4.15 p.m. at Marttala, Yliopistonkatu 11, Jyväskylä


Invisible multilingualisms is a concept that can be used to refer to a lack of recognition of linguistic diversity in new or changing situations. Intensified mobility of people, goods, and languages has resulted e.g. in new speakers of national, regional, and minority languages, as well as unexpected spaces for lingua francas.

The idea of this one-day seminar is to bring together researchers, students, and language experts and other actors working in changing multilingual settings to discuss and reflect on the ways in which multilingualism may be undervalued and unrecognized in many everyday-life situations at work, at schools and in public service and administration. Speakers include Professor Joan Pujolar from the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, University of Jyväskylä Department of Languages faculty members, and language experts working with indigenous or minority languages and languages of immigration in Finland. We hope to set up a space for a fruitful dialogue and continuing collaboration between the different actors doing research and working in multilingual settings.

The seminar is open to all interested in multilingualism and its new, unexpected outcomes. It also provides an opportunity for students to learn what language experts do. The working language of the seminar is English. Finnish Sign Language interpretation will be provided.



10.00 a.m.       Welcome, Simo Määttä, Sari Pietikäinen and Minna Suni (Univ. of Jyväskylä)

10.15 a.m.     New speaker: challenges and opportunities. Prof. Joan Pujolar (Open Univ. of Catalonia

11.00 a.m.     New speakers and language revitalization in Sámiland.  Sari Pietikäinen (Univ. of Jyväskylä), Skolt Sámi language worker Merja Fofonoff and Inari Sámi language worker Miina Seurujärvi (Sámi giellagáldu, Finnish Sámi Parliament)

11.45 a.m.       Lunch (at one’s own expense)

12.30 p.m.    Invisible multimodal-multilingualism in homes, communities, and public domains: The case of Finnish Sign Language. Sarah Compton (Univ. of Jyväskylä) and special education teacher Irja Seilola

1.15 p.m.      An officially monolingual but invisibly multilingual preschool – the case of Swedish in Jyväskylä.  Åsa Palviainen (Univ. of Jyväskylä) and Director of Sivutasku Day Care Center Kirsti Nousiainen.

2.00 p.m.         Coffee

2.30 p.m.      Language issues and solutions in community interpreting today Simo Määttä (Univ. of Jyväskylä) and Dr. Veera Rautavuoma (Head of the Interpreting Centre of Central Finland)

3.15 p.m.      Invisible multilingualism in working life and migrant languages in Finnish schools. Minna Suni (Univ. of Jyväskylä) and Coordinator Pia Bärlund (City of Jyväskylä, Basic Education)

4.00 p.m.      Closing the seminar


More information: prof. Sari Pietikäinen (sari.p.pietikainen@jyu.fi)

Organizers: University of Jyväskylä Department of Languages, New Speakers COST research network, and research projects funded by the Academy of Finland: Peripheral multilingualism, Language conceptions and practices in bilingual early childhood,  Scaffolding and affordances: Second language learning as social participation.