Objectives & Key Topics

Conference Objectives

The major objectives of the conference are to discuss and deepen our understanding of the value of language legislation through Constitutional enactment(s). The conference will examine constitutional provisions and the status of previously marginalised languages with the aim of exposing and confronting the apparent adequacy (or lack thereof) of Constitutional provisions of the Constitutions of African countries and beyond in view of previously marginalised languages.

Target Participants

This conference hopes to bring together policy-makers, language managers, linguists, sociolinguists, translators, interpreters, editors, educators, researchers, language activist, speakers of the concerned languages, human rights advocates and activists and development practitioners and other interested stakeholders from Zimbabwe, Africa and beyond to make a strategic contribution to the value of language legislation in view of language revitalisation, promotion and maintenance efforts involving marginalised languages and in the identification of concrete actions necessary for the revitalisation, promotion, maintenance, development, use, teaching and documentation of marginalised local languages. The conference will provide an opportunity to assess the adequacy of the current legal framework in the revitalisation, promotion, maintenance, development, use, teaching and documentation of marginalised local languages. In addition, the conference will discuss successes, lessons learnt and identify remaining gaps, challenges and emerging issues on language legislation in view of marginalised languages. It will encompass in-depth presentations of policy-oriented research by both established academics and emerging researchers from the country, continent and beyond who will debate and recommend policy options on how to address the plight of marginalised languages and their speakers in order to reduce exclusion, marginalisation, poverty and inequality for equitable, inclusive and sustainable human development as well as the preservation of language - a critical intangible heritage.

Key Discussion Topics

The key discussion topics suggested below will enable a broad range of discussions on language legislation in view of marginalised languages. This will enable discussions on the adequacy (or lack thereof) of the Constitutional provisions in view of marginalised languages, the impact of the current Constitutional provisions of African countries and beyond on the growth and development of language-related professions and disciplines and prospects and challenges of implementing these provisions for Zimbabwe and Africa’s transformation and inclusive growth and will generate valuable insights for improved policy making and implementation. 

1.       Language legislation

2.       Language planning, policy and management

3.       Language policy and translation

4.       Language policy and interpreting

5.       Language policy and lexicography

6.       Language and education

7.       Language and media

8.       Language and the judiciary system

9.       Language, access and success

10.   Language, inclusion and exclusion

11.   Language, poverty, inequality and human development

12.   Linguistic human rights and educational linguistic human rights

13.   Language policy, writing, editing and publishing

14.   Language as an intangible heritage

15.   Politics of language


16.   Linguistics landscape

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