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Multilingualism – also for children with an auditive or communicative disability

March 28, 2012

Until now most logopedists and therapists believe that children with an auditive or communicative disability such as, deafness, down-syndrome or autism should be brought up in one language. Drs. Mirjam Blumenthal, researcher at the Royal Kentalis, proves the opposite with her presentation!

As an example she showed a video of a seven year old who is deaf due to Meningitis since his first year but who speaks three languages with ease. Even though the boy is an exceptional case it illustrates Mirjam Blumenthal’s theory.

Blumenthal is one of the 40 specialists participating in the Poliglotti4.eu expert seminar. The seminar was being organised by the Mercator Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, part of the Fryske Akademy on 9 and 10 February in Leeuwarden/Ljouwert within the frame of the European Poliglotti4.eu project. Experts from all over Europe came together in the capital of the bilingual province Fryslân to discuss themes on Early Language Learning. One of the main outcomes is the fact that the earlier one starts with more languages, the better it is, and that yields for everyone.

More information on the seminar can be found on www.mercator-research.eu or www.poliglotti4.eu

Poliglotti4.eu is a project promoting multilingualism in Europe – the result of the deliberations of the EU Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism. The project will result in the creation of an On-line Observatory, reporting on best practice in language policy and language learning. The observatory will provide policymakers, teachers, learners and civil society organisations with a powerful toolkit for benchmarking and enhancing their activities, in non-formal and informal education and learning sectors. The project is co-funded through the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).