Professor Peter K. Austin of SOAS, University of London leads a group of 10 UK-based mentors and early career researchers travelling to Bangkok, Thailand, on 18 May for a 1-week workshop on “Collaboration for language preservation and revitalisation in Asia” funded under the British Council Researcher Links initiative. The group includes SOAS staff and PhD students together with PhD students and post-doctoral researchers from Cambridge, Kings College London, the Open University and Southampton University.

The British Council Researcher Links is a programme, which gives early-career researchers across 20 countries the opportunity to form international connections with a UK institution, to interact, learn from each other, and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations.

Partner countries in the current programme include: Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Brazil; Colombia; Egypt; Indonesia; Kazakhstan; Mexico; Morocco; Nigeria; Pakistan; Qatar; Russia; South Africa; South Korea; Thailand; Turkey; USA; and Vietnam.

The forthcoming workshop is co-hosted by SOAS, University of London and Mahidol University, with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners in language documentation and description, language policy/planning and mother tongue-based multilingual education, to discuss the latest developments in their research and to create a new common ground for initiatives in language preservation, revitalisation and human development. The workshop includes a fieldtrip to the Nyah Kur ethnolinguistic community, Chaiyaphum province, to observe language and culture documentation and revitalisation activities.

The workshop draws on the expertise of staff from the Department of Linguistics at SOAS, which was founded in 1932 as the first department of general linguistics in Britain.  The department is a centre for linguistic study into an unparalleled range of languages across the world, and primary areas of research focus around endangered languages, language documentation and description, language and society, translation, and language pedagogy.

For 2014-15, SOAS is introducing a new two-year MA in Linguistics and Language, with the languages offered being Japanese and Arabic.  The programme is designed for students who wish to combine rigorous training in the discipline of linguistics with the intensive study of a language.  SOAS also offers postgraduate degrees in: MA Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy; MA Language Documentation and Description; and MA Theory and Practice of Translation.

Find out more about opportunities to study linguistics at SOAS.