'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ (Nelson Mandela)

Language & Development Conferences have been held every two years, on average, since the early 1990s. The conference series provides an opportunity for policy-makers, researchers, development personnel, teachers and linguists 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.

Language and Development Conferences held to date are:
  • 2019, Bangkok, Thailand The Inclusion, Mobility and Multilingual Education Conference - Exploring the roles of languages for education and development
  • 2017, Dakar, SenegalLanguage and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • 2015, New Delhi, IndiaMultilingualism and Development
  • 2013, Cape Town, South AfricaOpportunity, Equity and Identity beyond 2015
  • 2011, Colombo, Sri LankaLanguage & Social Cohesion
  • 2009, Dhaka, BangladeshLanguage and Development: Socio Cultural Issues and Challenges
  • 2005, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Language & Development
  • 2003, Tashkent, UzbekistanLinguistic Challenges to National Development & International Cooperation
  • 2001, Phnom Penh, CambodiaDefining the Role of Language in Development
  • 1999, Hanoi, VietnamPartnership & Interaction in Language & Development
  • 1997, Langkawi, MalaysiaAccess, Empowerment, Opportunity
  • 1995, Bali, IndonesiaLanguage & Communication in Development: Stakeholders' Perspectives
  • 1993, Bangkok, Thailand Language Programmes in Development Projects