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International Conference “Second Language Teaching/Acquisition in the Context of Multilingual Education”

Rector of Tbilisi State University, Academician Jaba Samushia opened the international conference “Second Language Teaching/Acquisition in the Context of Multilingual Education”, which was attended by 132 representatives from 23 countries together with Georgian specialists and field experts.


Rector Jaba Samushia said that the issue of multilingual education is important for Georgia because every citizen of our country, including national minorities, should know the official language. “The Georgian education system is trying to create new directions so that everyone can learn the official language. At today’s conference, reports will be presented that consider the issues of second language education. In this regard, we must take into account the recommendations of the European Union, as well as those developed within the Bologna process,” Rector Samushia noted.  


The purpose of the international conference is to discuss and form a unified concept of the opinions of local and foreign specialists on approaches and strategies of second language teaching in the context of multilingual education.


“It is particularly noteworthy that the Georgian state has committed itself to preserving the cultural identity of all nations, which is primarily based on language, and at the same time, creating conditions for them to find a worthy place in society, which means that knowledge of the official language is obligatory for everyone,” said Giorgi Alibegashvili, Chairman of the State Language Department.


The 5th International Conference was organized by Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Vilnius University, National Center for Professional Development of Teachers and Center for Civic International and Interethnic Relations and supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.


“We are pleased to be a co-organizer of this conference. We have a close cooperation with Tbilisi State University. Vilnius University considers the issue of multilingual education for the younger generation important. We, the universities, should take care to strengthen language teaching/acquisition. The more languages ​​we know, the better it will be for us and for the world, we will understand each other better and promote intercultural and multilingual development,” said Roma Kriaičiuniene, Director of the Department of Foreign Languages at Vilnius University.   The three-day conference will also include a workshop for students and teachers.


Nana Gaprindashvili, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of TSU, noted that in addition to the scientific and theoretical value of the international conference, it also has practical value: “In today’s world, multilingual problems are becoming more and more important in our country and around the world. Unfortunately, we still have citizens in our country who do not know the official language, which is a significant problem for the development of the country, as they are unable to use their own potential. That is why the state, as well as our university, is also concerned with solving this problem.”


Second language teaching/acquisition and research of multicultural aspects has been going on for a long time in the international scientific space, the experiences of many countries have been studied, current issues and problems still to be solved have been highlighted. Multilingual education approaches are particularly relevant in countries where ethnic minorities are densely populated. The issue is relevant to the Georgian reality and the Georgian educational space. From this point of view, the issue of teaching the official language in pre-school and general education is particularly important.