“Language Dynamics and Management of Diversity"

European Coommission SSH Call

Integrating results from different disciplines is often a challenge. Within the University of Helsinki research task of the DYLAN project, the researchers in the different fields of linguistics and policy research have faced this problem in a very concrete way. In our practical study relating to the outcomes of language policies in higher education we have experienced that sufficient background knowledge in a field that is not your own requires teamwork: linguists and political scientists need to work side by side in order to gain theoretical and methodological advances in both disciplines. While linguists can analyze language dynamics in great detail by using for instance conversation analysis or sociopragmatics, political scientists can analyze the content and output of policies by for instance different types of evaluation analysis and policy analysis. Both, however, seem to have a blind spot. On the one hand, linguists tend to disregard the macro-level of why a specific policy decision was made and how it related to the myriad of other policies. On the other hand, political scientists tend to disregard the micro-level of what the actual output of a policy entails and what possible covert messages might exist in the policy formulation process. The multidisciplinary nature of the DYLAN project has highlighted issues relating to how language relates to society and how society relates to language by enhancing a much needed dialogue across the two disciplines. This dialogue was presented and enacted by Jan-Ola Östman and Sebastian Godenhjelm at the conference Svenskan i Finland (The Swedish language in Finland) in Joensuu, Finland, 15-16 October 2009.

DYLAN: a growing and healthy project

At the end of March, the European Commission has delivered its second review of the Project, and the results of the external reviewers are quite satisfying: DYLAN has been evaluated as "Good to Excellent Project", "carefully worked out, ambitious and innovative", and many positive facets have been stressed by the reviewers. 

It was appreciated that "teams were working continuously on development of research questions and methodological frameworks, and yet despite all this, they also successfully produced first results". Further DYLAN's intense activities in dissemination, its collaboration with related projects and external universities as well as networking with "European institutions and prominent actors at the European Commission" through the Advisory Board were highlighted. The reviewers consider the "overall plan ... convincing, and efficiently managed by the Project Coordinator and the management team."

Official launch of the DYLAN web site

The first version of the DYLAN web site was released to the public today. The web site will be the best place to stay up to date with the latest news from the project
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