Bessie Dendrinos: Multilingualism matters

Multilingualism Matters Podcast

On 21 February, UNESCO celebrates International Mother Language Day, part of a wider set of initiatives to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.

Language diversity is a signal of multiculturalism and makes the world colourful and richer. But now that globalisation and technological innovation have increased the volume and speed of communications, wouldn’t it be easier if we all spoke the same language? If so, is there a way for all of us to understand each other without giving up the incredible assortment of the world’s languages? And how can international education stimulate cross-cultural communication in ways that are respectful of multilingualism?

To reflect on these and other questions connected to plurilingualism, multilingualism and more, we’re joined in this episode by Bessie Dendrinos, Professor Emerita at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and President of the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism. Tune in to the newest episode of the EAIE podcast for a conversation – alas, just in one language! – about the richness of linguistic diversity around the world that begs for our attention and support.

About Bessie Dendrinos

Bessie Dendrinos is Professor Emerita of English Studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and President of the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism. Her research interests include language politics in the European Union, foreign language pedagogy, curriculum materials development, testing and assessment.

Her interest in socially accountable applied linguistics has also led to the linguistic analysis of gender ideology, the linguistic representation of poverty and the bureaucratic discourse in Greek public documents. During the last fifteen years of her professional life, Professor Dendrinos devoted her time to developing a multilingual examination suite that leads to the state certificate of language proficiency, known by its Greek acronym KPG, soon to be a fully developed digital system.

Additional resources

For further insights into the topics touched on in this episode, the following resources may be of interest:

A quiz on languages (by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages)

European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism

European Language Equality (ELE) Project

Listen to the EAIE podcast

The EAIE podcast brings you voices, perspectives, ideas and insights into the world of international education. Host Laura Rumbley chats with special guests about the issues that matter most for your day-to-day work internationalising higher education.