The 6th International Conference on Language and Education and the 13th Language and Development Conference

Inclusion, Mobility and Multilingual Education

24-26 September 2019


The British Council has hosted the prestigious Language and Development Conference (LDC) on behalf of the Language and Development Trustees every other year for over a decade. Known for its contribution to furthering the debate around the role of languages, including English, in supporting global development priorities in education, health, employment and inclusion, the conference attracts over 500 policy makers, academics, education and development professionals and practitioners from all over the world.

Hosting the conference is one way we have demonstrated our commitment to a ‘do no harm’ approach to language education in developing contexts, situating English responses within a broader multilingual context and raising awareness of the risks associated with poor language policy choices on children who deserve access to education in a language they can understand.   

Publication of our position paper on English as a Medium of Instruction in Low and Middle Income Countries has been widely quoted since its publication in 2017, and has cemented the British Council’s reputation as a serious player in the language and development field.

2019 Conference: Inclusion, Mobility and Multilingual Education

This year the 13th Language and Development Conference (LDC) and the 6th Multilingual Education Conference hosted by UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group  (AP MLE WG) will come together to jointly address the important issues of inclusion, human mobility both forced and voluntary, multilingual education and development in a single event to be held in Bangkok 24 - 26 September 2019.

Conference Profile

As a result of the partnership with UNESCO and the APMLE-WG, the British Council and the Language and Development Trustees, we anticipate the conference will attract more external visibility and profile than before.  UNESCO are confident they will secure a number of VIP speakers and we have confirmation from the following high-profile plenary speakers from the UK, EU and EA.

Hywel Coleman, University of Leeds

Member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, Southern Multilingualism and Diversities Consortium and Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Indonesia (TEFLIN) author of numerous publications on language for development

Psyche Kennett, Language and Development Conference Trustee and Consultant  

Currently working with the Communicative Tamil for Special Purposes Language Programme, previous work includes leading classroom practice for displaced populations, humanitarian-development and school related gender-based violence

Professor Francois Grin, University of Geneva

Head of Economy, Languages and Training, leader of the Mobility and Inclusion in Multilingual Europe group, author of over 200 articles, chapters, reports

Professor Isabel Pefianco, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines  Chair of the Department of English at Ateneo de Manila University known for her work situating English within a multilingual setting, with countless pieces published in internationally recognised publications

Conference Objectives and Themes

The conference will focus on 3 themes all of which are central to the British Council’s commitment to ensuring that access to education is equitable and high quality.

  1. Language and inclusion
    Explore issues of language learning but also access to civic participation, justice, health and information for those from minority ethnic and language backgrounds and with different abilities and also exploring issues of gender understanding.
  2. Language and mobility
    Discuss the role of language for refugees and displaced populations in economic migration and urbanisation and in higher education and employability
  3. Multilingual Education
    Deliberate different aspects of multilingual education, including policies, policy implementation, pedagogies, teacher effectiveness, curriculum/materials development and learning assessment

Conference Objectives: 

  1. Explore how an open and inclusive multilingual approach, especially in the context of education and wider society, can maximise outcomes and well-being for different groups and for an increasingly mobile population;
  2. Create links between policy, practice and research on how multilingual approaches can be used to advance (civic) participation, access, and learning for children and adults from marginalised and mobile communities;
  3. Investigate the role of, and balance between, different languages – local, national, and international – in the context of diverse and mobile populations, and social and educational practice;
  4. Identify policy priorities for advancing multilingual approaches to social and educational policy-making, learning and development;
  5. Raise awareness among participants in these key thematic areas.

Why should my networks attend?

The Inclusion, Mobility, and Multilingual Education Conference: Exploring the role of languages for education and development is a new event bringing together the 6th Multilingual Education Conference and the 13th Language and Development Conference (LDC) to address the most up-to-date key issues of language, human mobility, multilingual education and development.

  • Attendees will include leading academics, policy-makers and practitioners in these areas including researchers, development workers, teachers and linguists.
  • The theme of the conference centres on language, its role across the globe and its influence on populations, so the results and learnings for regional and global stakeholders are critical.
  • The conference has potential to increase impact on a global scale as well as demonstrating the British Council’s ability to work in partnership with key international agencies and organisations to demonstrate thought leadership and forge robust partnerships for future interventions.


This new event has presented a fantastic opportunity for policymakers, researchers, academics, practitioners, development personnel, teachers and linguists within your networks to come together to share views and explore issues concerning language use in development contexts.

We sincerely hope that you and your colleagues as well as those in your networks will be able to join us at this unique language development and learning opportunity.