06 February 2013

Language testing of asylum seekers latest topic for Café Scientifique

How language testing is used to determine the cases of asylum seekers will be discussed by Professor Peter Patrick at Café Scientifique on Wednesday 13 February.

His talk ‘Passport in the tongue! Language testing of asylum seekers to determine origin’ will be hosted by The Minories, 74 High Street, Colchester, with doors opening at 6.30pm and the talk starting at 7pm.

Asylum seekers with no documents have only their bodies and their stories to back up their claims of persecution. For ten years governments have been testing how they speak their native languages to help decide their cases.

Professor Patrick, from the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex, has extensive involvement in UK cases and International monitoring. His talk will be followed by an open discussion.

Professor Patrick was a founding member of the Language and National Origin Group who co-authored the Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases (2004), now widely cited in asylum cases around the world.

He is co-convenor of the Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG) with Dr Diana Eades which aims to stimulate research and promote best-practice in Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO). He has helped organise events around the world and led seminars involving linguists, lawyers, doctors, geneticists, immigration judges, and human rights practitioners.

Café Scientifique, which started in Leeds in 1998, is a forum aimed at bringing the public and scientists together to learn about and discuss current scientific issues. The Colchester Café Scientifique is sponsored by the University of Essex. The speakers give their time free of charge.

For further information contact Ray White on 01621 891598 or go to: www.cafescientifique.org.

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