Diversity and Multilingualism in a Megacity

Times Square - New York, USA

Famous Times Square in Central New York., © iStockphoto courtesy of DWIH

07.02.2019 - Article

The University of Cologne New York Office, New York University, and the German Center for Research and Innovation invite you to a scientific workshop and a panel discussion on February 21, 2019 at the German House.

The German Consulate General Co-presents:

Did you know that every year on February 21st the UN International Mother Language Day is celebrated? More than half of New York City’s 8.6 million residents have roots in a different country and 3.4 million are foreign born. Half of all New Yorkers do not speak English at home and in total, there are about 200 languages spoken in New York City. This year, we mark the occasion with a two-part event:

Faculty and graduate students in the field of sociolinguistics are invited to a scientific workshop on “Multiculturalism and Multilingualism in a Megacity” (1:30-6pm). The aim of the workshop is to focus attention on sustaining linguistic diversity and promote multicultural and multilingual approaches in sociolinguistic research. It will bring together sociolinguists who work on issues of language contact, variation, and change in diverse linguistic communities.  A number of the contributions will focus on New York City, but other cross-linguistic perspectives will be represented.

Following the workshop, a panel discussion “Empowering Mother Languages – Sustaining Diversity” (7-8:30pm) will reach out to a wider audience beyond academia. In keeping with the theme of the International Mother Language Day, the discussion will focus on how educators, policy makers, and community members can work to maintain and sustain the many mother tongues present in multilingual communities like New York City. What are the challenges and opportunities of diversity and multilingualism in megacities? These topics, relevant far beyond scholarly interests, will be discussed in an interdisciplinary approach, including perspectives from representatives of the New York City Council and the UN.

This event is part of the Year of German-American Friendship 2018/19 (“Deutschlandjahr USA”), an initiative aiming to strengthen the friendship between Germany and the US. This initiative is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut, and supported by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). More at: wunderbartogether.org

Location and time:
German Consulate General
Otto-Carl-Kiep Auditorium
871 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Thursday, February 21, 2019, 1:30-6pm and 7-8:30pm
For more information and to register visit: dwih-newyork

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