Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-Used Languages

The lead administration for the Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-used Languages work sector is the Welsh Government.

The rich linguistic heritage of the Council's Member Administrations is an important part of the culture of these islands. In recognition of the desire to support indigenous, minority and lesser-used (IML) languages the topic was added to the BIC portfolio of work sectors at the third summit in June 2002.

The IML languages group concentrates on Irish, Welsh, Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots, Manx, Jèrriais, Guernesiais and Cornish.

The work sector helps to identify and share best practice across the member administrations and amongst IML languages communities. At the 3rd ministerial  meeting in Cardiff in October 2014, Ministers agreed the forward work programme for 2015-16 should focus on:

Teaching of IML languages to adults;
marketing and behaviour change approaches to IML languages;
the arts and IML languages;
technology and digital media,
the economy; and
community

In addition to regular officials meetings, the work sector has organised seminars for policy makers and practitioners to help share good practice amongst people who work in the IML languages sector. Each seminar focuses on a different area of the work sector’s remit. A seminar was held in November 2012 focusing on promoting IML languages through early years education. A selection of the presentations from the seminar are available below. A seminar on good practice in IML languages legislation and policy was held in Edinburgh in November 2013 - further details are at this link.

In November 2015 the group held an IML languages conference on promoting languages through technology in Dublin.  The conference presentations are available through this link