Algarve, the southernmost region of continental Portugal, has a population which derives from the successive population mobilities that have taken place throughout history. Nowadays, the linguistic landscape is a mix of languages, cultures, and identities.
Since the end of the 1960s, especially since the emergence of tourism, people from all over northern Europe, initially, have come to this region. They were later followed by others from various parts of the world; migrants and refugees from Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. These families have sent their children to local schools, increasing the linguistic and cultural diversity of these institutions.
The University of Algarve is at the heart of this highly diverse linguistic and cultural environment. This is the main reason why, at least for the past two decades, this institution has addressed issues related to multilingualism and multiculturalism. This has been done by implementing courses of different languages, including Portuguese as foreign language, courses on Language and Communication Policies, by having an active participation in the Conseil Européen pour les Langues – European Language Council (member, vice-president and president), by enrolling in international research projects on multilingualism (eg., DYLAN, MIME, etc) and by keeping a relevant bond to local schools, where teaching in highly diverse linguistic environments has become the new reality.
Bearing this in mind, the Listiac project can represent a valuable asset in order to strengthen the bond and cooperation with schools, allowing them to become more inclusive and efficient in their teaching, while keeping and respecting the student’s language and cultural diversity.
The Listiac team at University of Algarve is comprised of three members from the Arts and Humanities Department at the Faculty of the Human and Social Sciences, Professor Manuel Célio Conceição (local project leader), Neuza Costa, Assistant Professor, and Maria Fátima Noronha, PhD student and Lecturer of Language Policies and Portuguese as a Foreign Language.
Listiac is particularly important to the UAlg team because they want to further develop this field in order to respond to the needs of the teaching community in our area, as well as on a national level; in this regard, it is important to highlight their excellent collaboration with DGE (the representative of the Portuguese Ministry of Education in the project).