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Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World 12 Dec - 17 Dec, 2017
IMAGINATIONSpringboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World12 Dec - 17 Dec, 2017




    Language is fundamental to national identity and an important contributor to social cohesion in modern pluralistic societies. Learning a foreign language helps you to know that country and language skills can be very valuable. However, language policy decisions can also impact detrimentally on students’ life chances.  All of this raises critical questions for researchers, policy makers and practitioners about the role of language learning and testing for two public good objectives: to ‘untap’ and optimize individual talents and to foster social cohesion and dynamic inclusive economies.

    This session focuses on the pivotal role of language policy and language learning for refugees and migrants, for international relations and for the full utilization of talent and economic dynamism across populations.

    Current research suggests that multiple language acquisition can have an important positive impact on children’s abilities to develop complex cognitive skills, and that children regularly exposed to bilingual or multilingual environments are more likely to be empathetic with an understanding of divergent beliefs. Recent studies indicate that such children are better able to control executive functions like attention span, focus, and organization of complex tasks better able to develop “theory of mind” skills, and less likely to develop dementia later in life.

    Language skills and language learning are fundamental for refugees. There is an increasing amount of research looking at the important relationship between language policy and refugee and host communities.  Language can enhance protection and reduce vulnerability. Language policies are also fundamental to helping newly arrived people integrate into new communities.   Language is critical to national identity.

    Research, rigor and creativity are also needed to translate research into policy and practice at scale. There are major quality and equity implications in how language teaching, learning and testing systems are designed, and what lessons are drawn from those systems for public policy purposes. From an assessment perspective, testing raises specific challenges as migrant populations and marginalized communities run the highest risk of poor-quality language education. Conversely, bilingualism or multilingualism is often highest in these populations and evidence suggests it brings strong economic benefits for labor mobility. Technology and innovation have the potential to revolutionize and democratize the language teaching and learning fields, paving the way to fairer access to the job market. This will require new cross-sector initiatives to integrate the science of learning into accessible high-quality tools and solutions that can reveal and foster talent development and social equity.

    This meeting will look at the importance of language policy and practice from three perspectives -  the individual, the state and market and society.

    • The individual - language policy and refugees. We will look at language and resilience, language programs in refugee camps and the programs that help refugees and migrants integrate into their new host countries.
    • The state – the role of language and soft power, the role of languages and diplomacy, national security and cross-cultural understanding.
    • Market and society – language learning for dynamic economies, the importance of language of instruction and multilingual policies in terms of access to opportunities after basic education, the current state of languages in the curriculum, the economic value of language learning (real and perceived) and the connection between languages and employability.

    Participant Profile

    This high-level program will convene around 50 thought-leaders and change-makers from different regions, sectors, and disciplines. Participants will come together on equal terms to explore the opportunities and complex challenges around language learning and integration in a globalized world. 

    Representatives are expected to include: policy makers, NGOs, cultural institutes, the private sector, as well as academics and researchers looking at multilingualism, language and integration, curriculum design and the economics of language learning.

    Session Format

    Leading researchers and practitioners in each of the key themes within these lenses will develop short thought-papers in advance of the session addressing some of the current debates in their specific sector. These papers will form part of the basis for panel discussions, interactive group work, discussion and peer-to-peer learning throughout the session.

    Key Questions

    • How can we better communicate the complexity of research around language policy and learning? Languages are often valued less than STEM subjects in the curriculum, despite the fact this goes against the latest thinking in neuroscience. Practice and policy often go against the evidence in terms when decisions are being made about language of instruction. How can the research community get more traction with policy makers, practitioners and the public?
    • Language is critical to national identity – how can more be done to help newly arrived refugees and migrants learn the host country language?
    • What role might disruptive technology play in shaping future decisions about language policy?
    • What research and policy gaps exist and how can these be addressed in mono and multi-lingual contexts?

    Outcomes and Impact

    During the program, participants will jointly develop a ‘Salzburg Statement’ that responds concisely to the key questions above and can serve as a call to action to help them personally as well as their institutions and communities. Following the program, there will be a series of twitter questions, webinars and podcasts to discuss and disseminate the Salzburg Statement and multiply its impact in different settings and to look at how the session contributed directly and indirectly to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

    Goal 1 – No Poverty

    Goal 4 – Quality Education

    Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

    A report will subsequently be published summarizing the program as well as highlights from the twitter and webinar debates that followed it.


    Michael Nettles
    Senior Vice President, Policy Evaluation & Research Center, ETS, USA
    Margaret Salem
    Executive Director, Qatar Foundation International, Washington DC.
    Mark Sparvell
    Education Leader, Microsoft Corporation, USA


    Cyril Bennouna
    Senior Research Associate, CPC Learning Network, Columbia University, USA
    Pieter Boot
    Managing Director, Delken&Boot, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Anthony Capstick
    Lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, University of Reading, UK
    Candy Chan
    Senior Curriculum Development Officer, Education Bureau, The Government of the Hong Kong SAR
    Mikyung Chang
    Contents Support Team, General Manager, King Sejong Institute, Republic of Korea
    Hywel Coleman
    Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Leeds, UK; Trustee, Language & Development Conference Series
    Mohamed Daoud
    Professor of Applied Linguistics, Higher Institute of Languages of Tunis (ISLT), Tunisia
    Bessie Dendrinos
    Professor Emerita, Faculty of English, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
    Kerryn Dixon
    Wits School of Education, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Marina Elbakidze
    Psychologist, National Assessment and Examination Centre (NAEC), Tbilisi, Georgia
    Micheal Goodman
    Group Content Manager, Via Afrika, Cape Town, South Africa
    Victoria Louise Gough
    Schools Advisor and Lead for Modern Foreign Languages in the UK, British Council, London, UK
    François Grin
    Professor, Faculty of Translation and Interpreting (FTI), University of Geneva, Switzerland
    Gabriel Guillen
    Associate Professor of Spanish, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, USA
    Kayoko Hashimoto
    Lecturer, School of Languages and Cultures, University of Queensland, Australia
    Kathleen Heugh
    Associate Professor: Applied Linguistics, School of Creative Industries, University of South Australia, Magill, Australia
    Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
    Senior Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Bristol, UK
    Svenja Kornher
    Center for Multilingualism, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany
    Sindith Kuester
    K-12 Education Consultant, Qatar Foundation International, Berlin, Germany
    Hyoshin Lee
    Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
    Joseph Lo Bianco
    Professor of Language and Literacy Education, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia
    Bruno Macedo
    Project Manager, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
    Marcella Mariotti
    University Researcher, Department of Studies on Asia and Mediterranean Africa, Ca'Foscari University, Venice, Italy
    Therese Mercader
    Manager, Languages Unit, Secondary Reform, Transitions and Priority Cohorts Division, Department of Education and Training, Melbourne, Australia
    Catherine Millett
    Senior Research Scientist, ETS Policy Evaluation & Research Center, United States
    Prosperous Nankindu
    Minister of State for Education Kingdom of Buganda, Bulange- Mengo; Senior Lecturer Kyambogo University, Department of Languages and Communication, Kampala-Uganda, East Africa
    Margaret Nankinga
    Chairperson, Luganda Lusoga Lugwere Vehicular cross-border Language Commission, Uganda, East Africa
    Maria Norton
    Education Consultant, Barcelona, Spain
    Kirk Person
    Director, External Affairs, Mainland Southeast Asia, SIL International, Bangkok, Thailand
    Robert Phillipson
    Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
    Loredana Polezzi
    Professor in Translation Studies, School of Modern Languages, University of Cardiff, Wales, UK
    Arifa Rahman
    Professor, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Tariq Rahman
    Dean, School of Education, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan
    Mitsuyo Sakamoto
    Department of English Studies, Sophia University, Japan
    Li Sheng
    Associate Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Health Sciences, University of Delaware, USA
    Norman Sieweke
    Second Languages Consultant, Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education, Edmonton Public Schools, Alberta, Canada
    Tove Skutnabb-Kangas
    Åbo Akademi University, Dept of Education, Vasa, Finland
    Friederike Sözen
    Department of Education Policy, Austrian Economic Chamber, Vienna, Austria
    Esther Van Berkel
    Director of Studies, Language Institute Regina Coeli B.V, The Netherlands
    Yirga Woldeyes
    Lecturer, Centre for Human Rights Education, Humanities Research and Graduate Studies, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

    Multi-Year Series


    This series addresses radical changes ahead, recognizing that the way we learn and the future of work will be transformed by the “4th” Industrial Revolution. It focuses on strategies, innovations and institutional changes that can meet societies’ future need and help all learners flourish. The series tackles root causes that undermine societies as well as individuals such as educational systems blockages, failure to tap into the full range of talents; and the exclusion or unfair access to educational opportunities faced by many. Its outcomes connect to Salzburg Global’s health, urban and early childhood programs, supporting collaborative partnerships for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    The Education for Tomorrow's World series focuses on strategies, innovations, and institutional changes that can meet societies' future needs and help all learners flourish. It draws on cross-sector expertise from education, neuro- and cognitive science, health, technology, and business to explore root causes and blockages in educational systems, and identify breakthrough collaborations and ideas to move forward along the lifelong learning continuum.

    This series, launched in 2015, directly supports action to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and takes forward Salzburg Global's commitment to bridge divides and accelerate human transformation. Its topics and outcomes directly connect to Salzburg Global's health, urban and early childhood programs. The focus of the 2017 session will be determined following inputs and recommendations from the December 2016 session.

    For more info, visit: education.salzburgglobal.org

    Resource List

    Coleman, Hywel. “Milestones in Language Planning and Development Aid.” Current Issues in Language Planning. 2017.


    Dixon, Kerryn. “Making Space for Literacy Learning: The Impact of Spatial and Temporal Organization in Constructing a Writing Subject in the Early Years.” 2014.


    Dixon K. and B. Mendelowitz B. “Giving Voice to the Citizen Scholar: Generating Critical Thinking by Combining Traditional and Non-Traditional Genres in a First-Year English Course.” In Universities, the Citizen Scholar and the Future of Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, London. 2017.


    Dixon, K. and K. Peake. “‘Straight for English’: Using school language policy to resist multilingualism.” English Teaching: Practice and Critique.  7(1): 73-90, 2008.


    Dornback, J. and K. Dixon. “Towards a More Explicit Writing Pedagogy: The Complexity of Teaching Argumentative Writing.” Reading & Writing. 5(1). 2014.


    Erling, Elizabeth. “Language Planning, English Language Education and Development Aid in Bangladesh.” Current Issues in Language Planning. 2017.


    Erling, Elizabeth. Role of English in Skills Development in South Asia. British Council India. 2017.


    Erling, Elizabeth. The Relationship Between English and Employability in the Middle East and North Africa. British Council. 2017.


    Erling, Elizabeth, Lina Adinolfi, Anna Kristina Hultgren, Alison Buckler &


    Mark Mukorera. “Medium of Instruction Policies in Ghanaian and Indian Primary Schools: An Overview of Key Issues and Recommendations.” Comparative Education. 52(3): 294-310, 2016.


    Hogan-Brun, Gabrielle. "People Who Speak Multiple Languages Make the Best Employees for One Big Reason". Quartz. 2017.


    Hamid, M. Obaidul, and Arifa Rahman. "Language in Education Policy in Bangladesh: A Neoliberal Turn?"


    Hashimoto, Kayoko. Japanese Language and Soft Power in Asia. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Springer Nature, 2018.


    Lo Bianco, Joseph. "Accent on the Positive: Revisiting the ‘Language as Resource’ Orientation for Bolstering Multilingualism in Contemporary Urban Europe". In Dynamics of Linguistic Diversity, 31-48. John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017.


    Lo Bianco, Joseph. “Conflict, Language Rights, and Education: Building Peace by Solving Language Problems in Southeast Asia.” LPREN Brief (Language Policy Research Network) 2016.


    Lo Bianco, Joseph. "Resolving Ethnolinguistic Conflict in Multi-Ethnic Societies." Nature Human Behaviour. 5(1): 2017.


    Lo Bianco, Joseph. Synthesis Report. Thailand: UNICEF, 2014.


    Lo Bianco, Joseph. "Using Education to Create Cohesion from Conflict". Pursuit. 2017.


    Mendelowitz, Belinda and Kerryn Dixon. “Risky Writing: Working with a Heteroglossic Pedagogy to Deepen Pre-service Teachers' Learning.” Perspectives in Education. 34(1): 120-134. 2016.


    Pataki, Zsolt G., and Bianca A. Schranz. "Multilingualism in the Digital Age: The Need for a ‘European Language Programme’." Blog. European Parliamentary Research Service Blog, 2017.

    Tinsley, Teresa, and Kathryn Board. Languages for the Future. British Council, 2017.