International scientific conferences Children and Languages Today

The idea about a series of recurring scientific conferences Children and Languages Today was brought about in 2001, motivated by the need to bring together researchers tightly involved in acquisition, learning and teaching of the Croatian language and foreign languages to learners at lower primary level. At the time Croatian academic community was short of a conference that would be truly dedicated to critical thinking and exchange of research findings, outcomes and experience in these particular study areas. As it turned out, Children and Languages Today served as an incentive for other conferences and meetings in Croatia that would continue to promote research in the fields of first and second language acquisition of young learners.

The Children and Languages Today conferences to date have been fostering critical examination of the following themes about language and young learners’ education: children and the learning of Croatian and foreign languages (2001); Croatian language teacher and foreign language teacher (2002); children and multilingualism (2003); evaluation and self-evaluation in Croatian and foreign language instruction to young learners (2004); native and local in Croatian language instruction and interculturalism in foreign language instruction (2005); children and text (2007); children and media (2011). The six books of conference proceedings have had substantial effect in the scientific and educational community and are still in demand. We are thankful to conference participants hitherto, i.e. article contributors, for their submissions, as well as editors for their tireless engagement.

The book of proceedings Children and Languages Today – Children and Media (2015) is an outcome of the conference held in 2013. It is a collection of papers by experts on the role and influence of media in a child's life, on the use of media in formal and informal educational settings, as well as media influence on the wider community. The conference presenters are authors of 24 reviewed chapters that try to elucidate many questions regarding children's language today, media discourse and education and their interrelationship as they are currently in the focus of scientific scholarship and critical consideration.

At the moment we are organising 8th Children and Languages Today conference centred around one of the major achievements of the humankind – literacy, i.e. to an array of questions that open up in the area of literacy development.


Dubravka Smajić, assistant professor


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