Multilingualism through diverse voices and contexts of life

This public event is organized on the occasion of the 2021 International Mother Language Day. Our international researchers from MultiLing, at the University of Oslo, will address institutional, social and emotional notions of multilingualism and the use of mother tongue in different domains of society. 

Our aim

In many areas of the world, social, emotional and institutional challenges in using mother languages are still inevitable. Undoubtedly, there is much to do about the promotion and implementation of multilingualism and the maintenance of the mother language in practice. This event will serve as a powerful reminder of the challenges and inequalities that multilinguals continue to experience on a daily basis when using or maintaining their mother languages. As researchers, we aim to remind everyone once again that multilingual children of immigrant and/or indigenous communities have an international right to speak, grow up with, and be educated in their own mother language or languages, wherever they reside. We encourage multilinguals, multilingual families, communities, researchers and teachers to take the responsibility for promoting multilingual children's resilience and well-being to cope with the challenges and stand up for their mother languages and multilingualism.

Image may contain: Person, Hair, Skin, Smile, Hairstyle.
Photo:Nadia Frantsen/UiO

The social contexts covered at this year's event:

  • daily life contexts (e.g., home, school, workplace, outside in society)
  • healthcare
  • family

Session format

This digital event features one 45-minute lecture and three 15-minute talks in three sessions followed by 10-minute discussions. The sessions will be recorded and made partially available online for dissemination purposes. Please find the full program here.

Sessions and speakers

Session I: Diverse daily life contexts

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Mother tongue into socioemotional encounters of multilingualism

 (Yeşim Sevinç)

(Note: The third section of the lecture that contains the interview data has been removed due to ethical considerations)

Session II: Healthcare

Image may contain: Person, Clothing, Forehead, Nose, Hair. An L2-speaking doctor in Norwegian healthcare: Expectations, domains and challenges 

(Oliwia Szymanska)


Session III: Family

Image may contain: Person, Forehead, Cheek, Chin, Eyebrow.From language to emotion: Multilingualism as spectacles to shape young children's perception of the world  

(Liquan Liu)

Image may contain: Glasses, Chin, Smile, Eyebrow, Jaw.Homecoming: Multilingualism as a source of family wellbeing amidst the global pandemic 

(Elisabet García González)

Practical information

In Norway, the actual February UNESCO date for International Mother Language Day (February 21st) occurs during the annual winter holiday for schools. MultiLing has therefore chosen to celebrate the day in March, hoping that many more people would be able to attend. The event will be held in English and as a Zoom Webinar, it is open to everyone. No registration required. 

Join the Webinar (Zoom)

Documentation on how to use Zoom.

Note: The presentations will be recorded and made partially available online for dissemination purposes. 


Yesim Sevinc and Michela Iacorossi
Published Feb. 26, 2021 10:12 AM - Last modified June 2, 2022 1:40 PM