Nitobe Symposia


nitobe_logoThe Nitobe Centre For Language Democracy was developed to raise questions about international communication and egalitarian language policy. The Centre also coordinates an activist network to work in this area. A specific focus of the The Nitobe Centre is to raise the level and intensity of public and political debate over language policy in a unifying Europe, with a view to developing a common, constructive, realistic language policy framework that would balance the protection and celebration of linguistic diversity with the need for effective, high-quality communication amongst all the citizens of the EU. The Centre was inspired by a conference series (the Nitobe Symposium) organized by the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems. These conferences bring together activists, academics, bureaucrats and politicians to examine the linguistic dimensions of European integration and globalization.




Nitobe Symposium 6, Reykjavik, Iceland

Languages and Internationalization in Higher Education: Ideologies, Practices, Alternatives

Dates: July 18-20, 2013

The symposium consisted of papers, presentations and panel discussions by experts from across the world, with particular emphasis on the Nordic countries and on languages of instruction in higher education. The topic was linked particularly to the publication of the book edited by Anna Kristina Hultgren, Frans Gregersen, and Jacob Thøgersen, English in Nordic Universities: Ideology and Practice, published in the series Studies in World Language Problems, by the publisher John Benjamins, Amsterdam. The symposium was particularly concerned with the expanding use of English-medium instruction in higher education and the repercussions, positive and negative, of this development. The symposium also examined alternative approaches.  Although the starting-point was the Nordic countries, contributions on the language-of-instruction situation in higher education in other parts of the world were welcome.

The symposium took place under the auspices of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and the Vigdis Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages. Financial support was received from the Esperantic Studies Foundation and from John Benjamins Publishing Company.

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Nitobe Symposium 5, Tokyo, Japan 

European Languages and Asian Nations: History, Politics, Possibilities

Dates: August 2-3, 2007

ESF was the official sponsor of the 5th Nitobe Symposium which was held in Japan in August, 2007. This symposium explored the linguistic dimensions of Asian integration and globalization, and also provided a further step in the on-going Nitobe process. The ESF has been a supporter of the Nitobe process from its inception, and it has become an integral part of our overall mission. . 

Lecturers: E.Annamalai (IN), Richard B. Baldauf Jr. (AU), Probal Dasgupta (IN), Feng Zhiwei (CN), Mark Fettes (CA), Kimura Goro Christoph (JP), Robert Phillipson (DK), Timothy Reagan (US), Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (DK), Humphrey Tonkin (US), Usui Hiroyuki (JP) k.a.




Nitobe Symposium 4, Vilnius, Lithuania

Aspects of the language politics of expansion of the European Union

Dates: July 30th - August 1st, 2005

Lecturers: Humphrey Tonkin (US), Mark Fettes (CA), Robert Phillipson (DK), Francois Grin (CH), Philippe van Parijs (BE)




Nitobe Symposium 3, Beijing, China

Towards a new international language order

Dates: July 25-26th, 2004

Topic: To a new international language order

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Humphrey TONKIN (US), Dr. KOBAYASHI Tukasa (JP), YANG Guang (CN), Michael CWIK (EU), Prof. SU Jinzhi (CN), Noel MUYLLE (EU), Prof. LIU Haitao (CN), MIYOSHI Etsuo (JP), Kimiko SCHWERIN (EU), Prof. Dr. LEE Chong-Yeong (KR)

Acts of Symposium published by the World Esperanto Association: Al nova internacia lingva ordo / Towards a New International Language Order




Nitobe Symposium 2, Berlin, Germany

Globalisation and language diversity

Dates: August 2-3rd, 1999

Lecturers: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Ammon, Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Prof. Claude Piron, Prof. Dr. Florian Coulmas, Mrs. Emma Bonino




Nitobe Symposium 1, Prague, Czech Republic

Towards linguistic democracy

Dates: July 20-22th, 1996

Representatives: UN, UNESCO, EU, NGO:s

Acts of Symposium published by the World Esperanto Association: Al lingva demokratio / Towards Linguistic Democracy / Vers la démocratie linguistique


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