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Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:53 EDT by admin, 86801 views
New York University, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Language and Literature paper by Némethy, Judith Kesserű (all papers)
Book Presentation: 21st Century Hungarian Language Survival in Transylvania, Published by Helena History Press.
Multilingualism, as opposed to the ideology of linguistic homogenization, is at the core of the European Union’s linguistic political discourse, and instruction in minority languages is an important part of it. Although the social and ideological environment has drastically changed since the fall of the Communist regimes, the goal of achieving multilingualism, especially that of minorities reaching full bilingualism in both their mother tongue and the majority language, is facing as nearly unsurmountable obstacles. In fact, where nationalist linguistic ideology drives homogenization, the EU has been unable to implement its policy of protection of cultural diversity, with lethal consequences for the minorities’ survival as citizens equal in rights and opportunities to the members of the majority.
The six essays of the volume were written by academics from Hungary and Transylvania, all associated with the Babes-Bolyai University and/or AHEA, and deal with historical, political, educational, legal, social, and linguistic aspects of minority language survival in Transylvania: They refer specifically to the East-Central European traditions shaping language policy, to educational policy concepts, to Transylvanian public education regarding languages of instruction, to the revitalization possibilities of Hungarian in the Transylvanian diaspora, to the official register of Hungarian, and to its use in electronic media. An overview of majority-minority relations today and their governance through international covenants, and a brief review of the history of Transylvania within the history of Hungary and its minorities precedes the texts.
Brief Professional Bio:
Judith Kesserű Némethy is Clinical Professor in New York University’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She obtained a PhD in History (Hispanic Studies) from the University of Szeged. Her research and teaching interests include foreign language teaching methodology, curricular training, second language acquisition, bilingualism, historical linguistics, Spanish dialectology, and ethnic, minority and diaspora studies.
She is past president of the American Hungarian Educators Association, Executive Committee member of the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris and administrator of scholarship applications to the Balassi Institute's Hungarian Language and Cultural Studies program for students of Hungarian descent. She is a recipient of the 2012 Knight Cross Merit Award of the Republic of Hungary and of NYU’s 2013 Golden Dozen Teaching Award.