The international conference “Acquisition of Chinese: Bilingualism and Multilingualism” took place on 1-3 July, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. The three-day conference was organised by the MEITS strand 5 research team (Boping Yuan and Yanyu Guo), aiming to bring together researchers in the fields of bilingual and multilingual research to discuss issues in L2, L3 or Ln acquisition of Chinese by adults, children and heritage speakers.
The conference consisted of 5 sessions for 65 oral presentations and 6 sessions for 31 posters. Virginia Yip (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Nan Jiang (University of Maryland), Maria Teresa Guasti (University of Milano-Bicocca), Yang Zhao (Peking University) and Boping Yuan (University of Cambridge) gave keynote presentations, with the topics covering heritage Chinese, Chinese character processing, child bilingualism, interfaces in L2 Chinese acquisition and L3 acquisition of Chinese. In addition, ten scholars from universities across Asia, Europe, America and Australia gave talks as invited speakers, presenting their latest findings on the acquisition of Chinese, Chinese processing, as well as Chinese teaching and assessment.
As the first conference on the acquisition of Chinese within a multilingual context in the UK, the high quality of the papers was greatly appreciated by the delegates from 17 different countires. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Second Language Studies (John Benjamins).