MEITS Blog


Angkor Supermarket: Multilingual landscapes of Cambodia

by Hui (Annette) Zhao

In January 2019, I went to a linguistic anthropology conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia (CALA – the Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology). Before the trip, all I knew about the city was ‘oh, that’s where Angkor Wat is!’. I boarded the plane to Siem Reap, hoping that my languages (Mandarin, English and a bit of French) would help me survive the 5 days since my Khmer is limited to ‘អរគុណ’ (pronounced /ʔɑˈkun/, meaning ‘thank you’).

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Will you be my Valen-cia-tine? Finding language lovers in Valencian schools

by Dominic Keown

Whether we like it or not, the notion of impact has brought a whole new dimension to the way disciplines in the Humanities have to address themselves. Once academically inward-looking subjects, which remained untroubled in the protective, intellectual comfort of bygone ages, arts and literatures, our subjects have had to find avenues of immediacy to connect with a wider range of audiences in an effort to underline the relevance of their teaching and research.

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What, if anything, makes learning English different from learning other languages?

by Henriette Hendriks

We Skyped the son of a friend of ours last week. He’s from the Netherlands and needed to interview a British citizen for his English homework. He sent an email,  in English, inviting my British partner to participate and then proceeded to conduct the interview in fluent and almost flawless English.

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Towards a Community-Based Strategy to Support Bilingual Migrant Children across the Lifespan

by Yongcan Liu

The UK is undergoing a period of uncertainty due to the historical vote to leave the European Union in March 2019, which has created both opportunities and challenges. While the government is keen to control borders, it is also actively looking for new ways to support migrants within borders. 

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MEITS does the Festival of Ideas

by Katie Howard

There is little doubt that having some knowledge and appreciation of different languages can provide us with unique access to cultures, communities and countries across the world. It is with this thought in mind that our MEITS Festival of Ideas event, Languages: Your passport to the world, took place on 20 October 2018.

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Does language learning lead to healthier ageing?

by Mariana Vega-Mendoza

I remember very well my own journey into learning a foreign language for the first time. I was back home in Mexico, and I was studying English at school. I was mostly learning vocabulary and grammar, but at that point I didn’t need to use it to communicate. 

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Learning languages outside of the classroom: a visit to the museum

by Linda Fisher

We all remember the excitement of going on a school trip. Early starts, smelly sandwiches, laughter. Even if it was a very rare "summer lesson" when we were allowed to work outdoors (thanks Mrs Caldwell), that change of scene gave everything an air of adventure and let us lay down memories to savour later in a series of "remember when"s.

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French grammar – what a waste of time!

by Wendy Ayres-Bennett

French grammar – and the difficulty of acquiring the rules of le bon usage or correct usage – is once again in the news. Two schoolteachers from Belgium have had the audacity to suggest that the rules for past participle agreement with the verb avoir ‘to have’ should be simplified. Why? Because learning these rules takes some 80 hours of teaching in school, and this time, the teachers argue, could be better spent on other things. 

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