Conference theme

«Multiculturalism and the role of specialised languages»

Interculturality vs. multiculturalism:
Migration, the moving around of people, and immigration have reshaped society.
Anglo-Saxon style multiculturalism claims to be a response to today's social reality. It takes new cultures into consideration, without truly establishing real links between the culture of the host country, the normative culture, and the new culture that new citizens bring.
Up until now, the principles and politics of multiculturalism have emphasised the following:

  • state recognition of cultural plurality
  • the reduction of obstacles that impair the participation of marginalised cultural groups in wider society
  • the support of cultural reproduction

Multiculturalism may sometimes be considered to be a sum of various peculiarities, a very fragmented group, without any real coherence.
We must therefore ask ourselves whether the multiculturalism model is still appropriate in a world where we are all looking for values and codes that allow us to have good relationships with others and with society at large.

Toward multiculturalism:

Thus, in order to guarantee successful multilateral intercultural exchanges, certain measures must be taken, e.g.:

  • making good use of educational exchanges in order to build on the contacts and personal exchanges they bring, and taking advantage of teaching practices used in multinational classrooms,
  • combining school exchanges and youth exchanges, particularly for management training
  • putting into place more systematic training for teachers and elementary and high school headteachers and university chancellors on exchanges, whether the exchanges in question involve students, groups of students, and/or teachers.

Today, all societies are multicultural. Multiculturalism is a response to cultural diversity and to its integration within "national culture", the majority culture.

Knowledge specialisation is another fact of contemporary society. For this reason, the teaching of specialised languages has become crucial.

Should we therefore rethink the way we teach specialised texts? Do new, specific needs exist? Do we need to rethink the way we develop specialised discourse? Are discourse, grammatical and lexical choices, as well as cognitive structures, of specific significance for a better acquisition of terminology? This might help in the development of "compliance" of specialised languages, and give them another dimension.

Papers will be grouped together according to the following criteria:

Relationships between cultures and specialised languages
Discourse aspects in specialised texts (legal, economic, environmental, etc.)
Structuring of specialised knowledge (ontologies, taxonomies, thesauri, databases)
Learning strategies for acquiring specialised knowledge of terminology