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The central workshop of the LDL project took place on the 23 - 25 June in Graz, Austria. Full details can be found in the workshop report, which can be downloaded in pdf format in the Materials section.
As the finishing touches were put in place for the June workshop of the LDL project, we found ourselves in awe of diversity: not only in terms of the content in a workshop dedicated to this subject but also in terms of the participants. This pioneering workshop will draw for the first time on experts from Africa. But even within the European context, the range of experience is impressive. At one end of the continuum, we have countries such as Andorra and Iceland, where immigration is a relatively recent phenonmenon and remains on a small scale; at the other end of the continuum we have countries such as the Netherlands and the UK which have a rather longer history of linguistic diversity. But the African representatives are by no means homogenous either: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe will all be represented.
One of the objectives of the LDL project is to bring together new materials relevant for literacy learning in multilingual contexts. We are very pleased to announce a new addition to our website in the form of a link to the TELL materials which have resulted from a North South project involving two members of the LDL core team. TELL was set up to improve the quality of literacy teaching in South Africa by developing training materials for initial and in-service teacher education. Although the materials were originally designed for training teachers in South Africa, it is anticipated they will be of use in many other multilingual settings.
Another exciting development concerns the publication
in the Nguni
languages of Madiba Magic, a collection of traditional stories
selected by Nelson Mandela. Instead of following the more usual course
of publishing separate single language versions such as Zulu and Xhosa,
this book includes a range of related language varieties. The effect of
this decision is to underline commonalities rather than differences between
speakers. This initiative has resonances with an existing European publication,
produced by another LDL team member and her colleagues, which includes
authentic texts in the languages spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina.