MULTILINGUALISM: EMPOWERING INDIVIDUALS, TRANSFORMING SOCIETIES

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.


Recent News

Strand 2: The Emergence of Standard English in Multilingual Britain

The Strand 2 workshop The Emergence of Standard English in Multilingual Britain, which took place in April 2017 at the University of Cambridge, served served as a valuable opportunity for a diverse group of academics to present and exchange their latest research on the history of English from a multilingual perspective.

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Open World event for Early Career Researchers at Senate House in London

The ten PDRAs currently employed on the MEITS project, together with the project PI, attended a meeting organised by the AHRC in London for all the Early Career Researchers across the four OWRI projects. Each PDRA gave a three-minute summary of their research, underlining how these projects will contribute to revitalising modern languages research and inspiring the next generation to study languages.

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Policy Journal

Languages, Society & Policy: Mission

LSP publishes high-quality peer-reviewed language research in accessible and non-technical language to promote policy engagement and provide expertise to policy makers, journalists and stakeholders in education, health, business and elsewhere. 

Language underpins every aspect of human activity, social, economic and cultural. Insights from language and linguistics research can improve policy making and have the potential to impact on a wide range of areas of public life. 

We publish Policy Papers, Opinion Articles,  short and accessible papers from the Research Lab and Dialogues.

LSP promotes the multidisciplinarity of linguistics and language research and welcomes contributions from diverse disciplines including, but not restricted to, linguistics, modern languages, cultural studies, cognitive science, developmental linguistics and psychology, sociolinguistics, corpus and computational linguistics, education, health sciences, psychology and neuroscience. For information on how to submit a paper, please see our Editorial Guidelines. 

Further details will be provided with the official launch of the journal in May 2017. 

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Recent Blog

Early years language assessment: the role for EdTech

If a parent is concerned about their child’s physical development, all they need in order to confirm that the child is growing well for their age is a measuring tape and scales. They can then check height and weight against widely available developmental charts. If you are a parent living in the UK, you will remember the little red book given by the NHS at the birth of each child, where being on or around the 50th percentile suggests that a child is just fine for their age.

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The Northern Ireland election and the Irish language

Irish was a principal background factor in the breakdown of the Northern Ireland executive in January, resulting in a snap election on Thursday, 2 March. The position of the Irish language in Northern Ireland became a key issue in the election campaign among politicians and constituents alike. Parties clashed over the need to introduce an Irish Language Act, with some major parties vehemently opposed to any concessions towards the language.

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Is acquiring a second language like acquiring the first?

Human language has posed great challenges for learning sciences. It has long been noted that children acquire language with relative ease and rapidity and without effort or formal teaching while adult second language (L2) learners cannot. In particular, children show creativity in the course of first language (L1) acquisition, which goes far beyond the input that they are exposed to. This was dubbed as the poverty of the stimulus by Chomsky (1980), with an assertion that human’s knowledge about natural language grammar is supplemented with some sort of innate linguistic capacity. Chomsky (1965) put forth a hypothetical module called the language acquisition device (LAD), which enables human to acquire and produce language.

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