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  • Writer's pictureHLE Network

Icelandic coalition leader visits Eindhoven's International Children's Book Collection

June 24, 2023

On Saturday, June 24, Dr. Renata Emilsson Peskova from the University of Iceland and "Móðurmál – the Association on Bilingualism" visited the Eindhoven Library, where the chair of HLE Network had the pleasure of showing her the International Children's Book Collection.

Renata with Diana, the chair of HLE Network

Valued European partner

As you may know, HLE Network is involved with several international projects, such as the FOHLC Europe conference and blog, as well as the HL Global Think Tank. On all of these projects we work together with an association called Móðurmál – the Association on Bilingualism in Reykjavík, Iceland, which is headed by Dr. Renata Emilsson Peskova, an assistant professor at the University of Iceland.

Founded informally in 1994 and established as an NGO in 2001, Móðurmál – the Association on Bilingualism is a non-profit public interest group that has a wealth of experience supporting language groups and mother tongue teachers in Iceland. Móðurmál has received several accolades for its work, and its volunteers have built up an impressive international library in Reykjavik.

We first had contact with Renata in November 2019, for an inspirational interview for this website. Since then we have worked closely together, particularly during the pandemic when connecting online became normalized. Until this weekend, we had only known Renata as a face on the screen!

A pop-over from Amsterdam

Renata was in the Netherlands for a conference, so she took the opportunity to stop in Eindhoven on the way to visit her family in the Czech Republic for the summer. Renata was in Amsterdam to present at the Diasporic Heritage and Identity - AHM Annual Conference 2023, organized by the University of Amsterdam.

At the conference, Renata took part in a panel discussion called "Diaspora in the Digital Space" based on the research "Transformations of Diasporic Heritage Identities in Canada during the Covid-19 Pandemic: From Land-based Communities to Language-based Global Cyberspora," which she carried out together with Nina Paulovicova (Athabasca University, Canada) and Marta McCabe (Duke University, U.S.). HLE Network has in fact also worked with Renata, Nina, and Marta together on an international project to create international guidelines for professional practices in HL education. We hope that Nina and Marta will be the next to visit us here in Brabant!

Connections everywhere you look

When Renata was at the library, she was able to see the International Children's Book Collection, which is the result of a joint collaboration of numerous language groups in Eindhoven, facilitated by HLE Network. The collection now has children's books in more than 12 languages.

Renata also had the opportunity to meet people from the Bulgarian community who happened to be holding a book fair on Saturday, organized by BG Hub Eindhoven, including visitors from Brussels and from the Bulgarian School of Amsterdam. Renata was able to tell about the experiences of the Bulgarian language group operating in Iceland. Not surprisingly, the experiences of the HL programs are similar, no matter where in Europe or the world they are located. Renata will surely be putting the Bulgarian groups in touch.

Renata meets Eindhoven's Frits Philips

Many thanks to Renata for making the trip to Eindhoven to meet us in person. It was our sincerest pleasure to make acquaintance, and we look forward to all of our future international collaborations and successes!


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