MEITS Blog


Multilingualism: More than words

by Jenny Gibson

Can you be multilingual if you don’t talk at all? The question may sound paradoxical but it is one that I’ve been asked many times in my work as Speech and Language Therapist. Over the years, I’ve encountered numerous people who do not talk or who can understand and use very few words. This includes people who have had a stroke or traumatic brain injury affecting speech and language systems in the brain, as well as those with intellectual disabilities that have affected the language development process from the earliest days of life. Some of these individuals come from backgrounds where multilingualism is the norm and their families are often concerned about choosing the language that can best support communication and the development of new skills.

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Mobilising and Releasing the Potential of Language Heritage for an Open World Post-Brexit

by Yongcan Liu

Two months ago, my colleague and I drove down to a local school to conduct a pilot study of our research on the influence of identity on foreign language learning for the Education Strand of the MEITS project.

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Bi- and Multilingualism: Defining the differences

by Harper Staples

What makes somebody multilingual? Although a very simple question, and one that is often asked as part of Strand 4’s work, it is, in fact, deceptively complicated.

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Which language should we teach in school?

by Linda Fisher

Increasing motivation for language learning in UK schools and encouraging children to maintain their languages study past the point at which they have the chance to stop is an ongoing challenge. One important question here is: to what extent are success and motivation linked to the particular language pupils study?

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Why do new speakers matter?

by Merryn Davies-Deacon

When a language is threatened, various factors often result in parents not passing it on to their children: it may be spoken by only small portions of the community, and lack resources such as written materials and media provision, making it easier to bring up a child speaking the societally dominant language. Moreover, the apparent economic and social benefits of speaking a more common language tend to be more widely recognised than the advantages of bilingualism—an attitude that the MEITS project as a whole is hoping to change.

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Linguistic diversity in Macron’s France

by Daniel McAuley

June's parliamentary elections in France were a great success for the burgeoning centrist movement founded by Emmanuel Macron with his year-old party La République en marche (LREM) securing 308 seats in the National Assembly, an outright majority in the lower house.

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Language across the curriculum

by Karen Forbes

Conversations which have made me reflect on the position of ‘language’ more generally within the curriculum and the respective priorities and responsibilities of English and MFL teachers in schools. These two subject areas are often based in separate departments in schools, yet given that both have a shared focus on developing important language skills, surely we are missing opportunities to establish more links between the two.

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Multilingualism à la française

by Anne-Hélène Halbout

Ta-da! France has a shiny new President. At barely 40, Emmanuel Macron is the youngest democratically elected leader of France ever, fresh blood embodying hope and "renouveau". He is undeniably charming and charismatic with social media recently pitting Macron against Canada's Justin Trudeau in the battle for the sexiest G7 leader!

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