International Conference on Multilingual Education
On 15 - 17 February, 2018 the third international conference: Second Language Teaching/Acquisition in the Context of Multilingual Education was held at Tbilisi State University.
The conference was funded by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation and was held jointly with Center for Civil Integration and Inter-ethnic Relations (CCIIR), Tbilisi State University (TSU) and University of Tartu (UT).
The aim of the conference was to consider and share the main concepts and achievements in addition to approaches and strategies of second language teaching within the context of multilingual education.
Apart from Georgian higher education institutions, 22 universities worldwide from 16 different countries also participated in the conference. Invited experts shared their experience and the conceptual approaches in the field of multilingual education. Georgian specialists, on the other hand, discussed the experimental projects and activities that are already undergoing or are currently being conducted in higher education institutions or at the schools of regions which are compactly settled by ethnic minorities.
In addition, within the conference thematic workshops for students were conducted by Georgian and foreign specialists.
Multilingual education is a complex system refers to the use of two or more languages as mediums of instruction in primary education. It is becoming more and more popular in number of European countries and in the USA. Typically MLE programs are situated in developing countries where speakers of minority languages tend to be disadvantaged in the mainstream education system. It is worth mentioning that, today the development/introduction of key principles and approaches of multilingual education is one of the main priority directions of Georgian education policy and furthermore, is especially important and sensitive in ethnic minority regions of Georgia.