Indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages
The lead administration for indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages is the Welsh Government.
The rich linguistic heritage of the British–Irish Council Member Administrations is an important part of the culture of these islands. In recognition of the desire to support indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages (IMLs) the topic was added to the BIC portfolio of work sectors at the third summit in June 2002.
The IMLs group concentrates on are 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 communities. The work sector is particularly interested in the key areas of language transmission, community strategies, young people’s use of IMLs, broadcasting, the economic impact of IMLs, marketing IMLs, ICT and IMLs, the development of legislation to protect and promote IMLs, and education through the medium of IMLs.
The work sector holds regular meetings, including at a Ministerial level, and also organises annual seminars for policy makers and practitioners to help share good practice amongst people who work in the IML sector. Each seminar focuses on a different area of the work sector’s remit. A seminar was held in November 2012, focusing on promoting indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages though early years education. The findings from this seminar will be considered at a Ministerial Meeting to be held in the second half of 2014.