Home page
1-3 July 2008
Bangkok Thailand
line decor
line decor

About The Conference


Over the past decade, ethnolinguistic communities, supported by governments and NGOs in several countries of Asia and the Pacific, have begun implementing mother tongue-based multilingual education programs. Also during that time, a number of NGOs and universities have begun supporting ethnolinguistic communities in their efforts to develop, revitalize and maintain their heritage languages.

In spite of these efforts, the purposes and benefits of language development, language revitalization and multilingual education are still not widely understood or accepted. Many efforts remain weak and do not build on what has been learned through research and experiences elsewhere. More information is needed about what is involved in planning, implementing and sustaining strong language development and multilingual education programs.


This conference is meant to address those information needs. Its purposes are to:

  1. Raise awareness about the purposes and benefits of mother tongue-based multilingual education (MT-Based MLE) programs,
  2. Share information about good practices in language development, language revitalization and MT-Based MLE in ethnolinguistic communities, especially from the people who are actively engaged in such programs,
  3. Develop and expand networks of individuals and organizations engaged in these efforts.


The conference will include the following tracks (all focusing on languages in multilingual settings):

  1. Language development and language revitalization of non-dominant languages

Topics include indigenous people's efforts to revitalize and sustain their heritage languages and cultures; linguistic and sociolinguistic research; orthography development and orthography testing; preservation of oral literature and development of written literature in previously unwritten languages.

  1. Language policy, language-in-education policy and policy implementation

Topics include the role of ethnic or indigenous (non-dominant) languages in society and education; language policy and language-in-education policy and their implementation in multilingual contexts; comparisons of policies across nations; the ways that languages are promoted by written and unwritten policies and practices and the factors (including economics) that support or hinder the use of local languages in society and in education systems.

  1. Mother tongue-based multilingual education (MT-based MLE)

Topics include planning, implementing and sustaining MT-based MLE for children and adults in formal and non-formal education systems, including schools with multiple mother tongues; good practices in conducting preliminary research, advocacy and mobilization at local, district, national and international levels; developing teaching and learning materials and recruiting and training teachers and other staff.

  1. Community-centered efforts to preserve intangible cultural heritage

Topics include community-centered efforts to analyze and maintain oral literature, traditional dance and music and traditional medicines. Theoretical links between folk and traditional arts revitalization and language development are especially relevant. This topic also will include ethnographic studies of informal music education practices, as well as case studies demonstrating the integration of traditional music and arts into formal and non-formal education programs.

  1. Information and communication technology that supports language development and MT-based MLE 

Topics include using appropriate ICT tools to develop, produce and communicate information and relevant materials in non-dominant languages.

  1. Research and evaluation studies of language revitalization and MT-based MLE programs 

Topics include principles and practices in planning, conducting and disseminating research and evaluation studies of language revitalization and MT-based MLE programs; case study research for small language projects; longitudinal research studies; community-centered / community-owned research and evaluation.


Plenary Speakers of the Conference

Keynote address

  1. Dr. Sheldon Shaeffer,
    Director of UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Language development and language revitalization of non-dominant languages
  1. Dr. Ana Taufeulungaki,
    Ministry of Education, Tonga
Language and language-in-education policy and policy implementation
  1. Dr. Edilberto de Jesus,
    The Former Director of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat, Philippines
  2. Dr. Andrew Ikupu,
    Department of Education, Papua New Guinea
  3. Mr. Dhir Jhingran,
    Asia Regional Director - Room to Read, India
  4. Dr. Bernard Spolsky,
    Professor emeritus, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
  5. Dr. Tariq Rahman
    Distinguished National Professor, Quaid-I-Azam University, Pakistan
Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual education (MT-Based MLE)
  1. Dr. Carol Benson,
    International Consultant in Multilingual Education, Sweden
Community efforts to preserve intangible cultural heritage
  1. Mr Ik Pahon Joyik,
    Bidayuh Language Community, Sarawak Malaysia
  2. Attorney Liezeil Zabanal,
    Agutaynen Language Community, Philippines
  3. Dr Richard Littlebear,
    Northern Cheyenne Language Community, USA
  4. Mr Muhammad Shafiq Khalil,
    Punjabi Language Community, Pakistan

Research and evaluation relating to MT-Based MLE programs

  1. Dr Dennis Malone,
    International Consultant in Multilingual Education, SIL International


Conference date: 1-3 July 2008

Venue: Twin Towers Hotel, 88 Rong Muang, Rama 6 Road, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

For Information about conference program, please contact: langdevelbkk_info@sil.org

Deadline of Registration: Wednesday, 25 June 2008 (Extended)
If you have difficulties transferring your registration fee, please submit your completed registration form and a proof of travel, such as flight booking, to the conference secretariat at e-mail: langdevelbkk_info@sil.org before 25 June 2007.


Download PDF format: 2nd Announcement.pdf



SIL International
SIL International

Mahidol University
ILCRD-Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development,
Mahidol University

UNESCO - Bangkok

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization


Care International
CARE International

Save Children UK
Save the Children UK

      © LD conferences 2008