‘Development must be regarded as synonymous with enhancing human rights and welfare, so that self-esteem, self-respect and improving entitlements become central concerns.’
(Desai & Potter 2008:1-2)

The Language & Development Conferences have been held every two years, on average, since the early 1990s. They provide an opportunity for language teachers, planners, administrators and researchers to come together to share views and explore issues concerning language use in development contexts.

Each Conference takes place in a different developing country and is organised by a local committee, with support from the Language & Development Conference Trustees and with sponsorship from a wide range of national and international organisations.

The Conferences are planned with regard to a set of Principles and it is intended that each Conference should lead to the publication of an edited volume of proceedings, as a permanent record of the event.

Following is a list of Language and Development Conferences held to date:

2013, Cape Town, South Africa 'Opportunity, Equity and Identity beyond 2015'

2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka ‘Language & Social Cohesion’

2009, Dhaka, Bangladesh ‘Language and Development: Socio Cultural Issues and Challenges

2005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia ‘Language & Development’

2003, Tashkent, Uzbekistan ‘Linguistic Challenges to National Development & International Cooperation’

2001, Phnom Penh, Cambodia ‘Defining the Role of Language in Development’

1999, Hanoi, Vietnam ‘Partnership & Interaction in Language & Development’

1997, Langkawi, Malaysia ‘Access, Empowerment, Opportunity’

1995, Bali, Indonesia ‘Language & Communication in Development: Stakeholders’ Perspectives’

1993, Bangkok, Thailand ‘Language Programmes in Development Projects’

If you wish to contact the Conference Trustees, please send an email to

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