AThEME Final Conference
(31 January 2019, Brussels)
On Thursday January 31st, representatives of all of the AThEME consortium partners and many stakeholders from the public and not-for-profit sectors, met at Scotland House in Brussels, Belgium. Chaired by BBC popular science journalist Quentin Cooper, the aim of this meeting was to provide an overview of the many scientific results achieved during the five years of the project.
The morning session was kicked off by Prof. Lisa Cheng, AThEME Coordinator, who presented the key milestones and outputs since the project was launched in 2014. There then followed presentations from representatives of the universities of Leiden, Reading, Edinburgh, Queen Mary (London), the Basque Country (Spain), the Centre for Basque Languages and Texts (France) and the Basque Centre on Brain and Cognition (Spain). These TED-style talks focused on key issues relating to multilingualism across the lifespan, from childhood, through adulthood, to old age. Various other academic representatives from the member universities presented recent research through posters during two of the breaks. These sessions gave all participants more opportunity to discuss the progress and challenges involved in investigating different aspects of multilingualism.
In the final hour of the conference, the word was given to many of the AThEME stakeholders who were in attendance. Across three ‘AThEME Speakers’ Corners’, covering regional, urban and individual multilingualism, perspectives were provided on topics as varied as language planning in Scotland and the Basque Country, a mother tongue poetry initiative, the Leiden museum of languages, and the interaction of multilingualism, psychotherapy and social care.