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(October 2012) SIL Papua New Guinea (PNG) recently hosted a five-day workshop for those working in multi-language programs. Twenty-four project managers and advisors from four regional organizations of PNG and the Solomon Islands met to share about their experiences of working with multiple language communities at the same time.
As part of the workshop, Dr. Gary Simons, Chief Research Officer for SIL International, presented his initial research into the cluster approach for language development. This important topic is currently one of SIL’s top three corporate research priorities. Workshop participants pilot-tested a research questionnaire that Simons will be revising for use with cluster projects worldwide. Nine of the multi-language programs presented case studies, and discussion topics included community involvement, staffing, linguistic documentation and training.
This is the first time that multi-language program practitioners in the Pacific have met to discuss their work. It is hoped that the information gathered can be used to better support additional language communities who choose to work together in similar ways.