First Multilingualism in Ireland Conference
September 7th - 8th 2023
The UCD Linguistics Department at the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics hosted the first Multilingualism in Ireland Conference, on September 7th–8th 2023. As participants in this event, we are thrilled to share some highlights.
A Lens on Multilingual Ireland
This conference was focused on exploring the many languages spoken in Ireland today. From the national languages – Irish, English and Irish Sign Language – to the many migrant languages used every day by thousands of people, the linguistic diversity of Ireland took centre stage.
Linguistic diversity in Ireland has been documented over the years, but a dedicated event and subsequent publication has been lacking in the recent past. As Ireland has once again become a net-immigration state (CSO 2022), we must think of how we support language users in multilingual communities. This conference brought together leading names in academia, youth organisations, the arts and advocacy to consider Ireland through a multilingual lens. The conference furthered our understanding of how and when different languages are used in Ireland, but also highlighted the immediate application of our knowledge to the concrete usage contexts in various multilingual communities.
A Transnational Perspective
The conference added diverse voices to our communities and explored how this diversity shapes a transnational society. It showcased the best of Irish Humanities research by reflecting on multilingualism’s local, regional, national, and international facets. Through engagement with language users who enrich Ireland’s cultural life, the conference facilitated transnational exchange through cultural practice.
The event featured speakers and panellists, including Lucky Khambule from the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI), Professor Lorraine Leeson of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Bettina Migge of University College Dublin and our Director, Dr Francesca La Morgia. The insightful discussions were moderated by Dr Stephen Lucek of University College Dublin. You can watch the recording of the Opening Round Table in the video on this page.