MEITS is a major interdisciplinary research project funded under the AHRC Open World Research Initiative. Linguistic competence in more than one language – being multilingual – sits at the heart of the study of modern languages and literatures, distinguishing it from cognate disciplines. Through six interlocking research strands we investigate how the insights gained from stepping outside a single language, culture and mode of thought are vital to individuals and societies.
On Saturday, 28 October, the MEITS project took part in the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, an annual two-week celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences organised by the University of Cambridge, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University.READ ARTICLE
On 13 October, the Language Show in London hosted the “Speaking to a Global Future” Symposium, organised by Speak to the Future in association with Rosetta Stone. In a series of keynote talks and discussion panels, the symposium brought together government officials, academics, and language learners. The programme of the day featured Prof Wendy Ayres-Bennet and Dr Thomas Bak, representing the MEITS project.READ ARTICLE
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Have you ever learnt a modern foreign language? Many of us have attempted it at least once in our lives. Perhaps it was in school, or perhaps you fell in love. However, an encounter with a new language arises, starting to learn always seems easy. But how do you know when you have finished, or reached the target? At what point can you say you have acquired the language? Is it, perhaps, when you know all the rules in the grammar book? Or when you stop speaking with a foreign accent? The questions surrounding how much language is sufficient to have acquired it are ones that have been testing learner, teacher and researcher alike.READ ARTICLE
“But, Miss, what’s the point?” was a perennial question propelled in my direction – often with uncompromising vigour– during my time as an MFL teacher. A vast array of arguments, many of which have been cogently rehearsed in previous blog posts, can be drawn upon to answer my students’ question; from the vocational to the cultural, the linguistic to the cognitive. But perhaps we should be seeking not only to answer the question “why bother with languages?”, but to understand what compels students to ask it in the first place.READ ARTICLE
Although the strand I lead in MEITS (Strand 3) does not work directly on Canada, a recent visit allowed me to view our strand’s core research questions from a different angle and reminded me why it matters that we value multilingualism.READ ARTICLE