Our research will focus on the following questions:
1: What is the relationship between the multilingual individual and the multilingual society?
What does it mean to be multilingual in a monolingual/multilingual society? Or monolingual in a multilingual society?
2: What are the opportunities and challenges presented by multilingualism?
How might multilingualism benefit individuals, enhance communities, enrich cultures and foster social cohesion? To what extent might multilingualism disadvantage individuals, dilute culture, divide communities or fragment societies?
3: What is the relationship between multilingualism, diversity and identity?
How does this play out at the individual, local, regional, national and international level?
4: What is the relationship between multilingualism and language learning?
Who can/should learn additional languages, and in what contexts? How do age and other factors affect motivation, achievement and well-being?
5: How can we influence attitudes towards multilingualism?
How can we change the attitudes of individuals and societies and inform language policy?
6: How can we re-energise Modern Languages research?
Can we reinvigorate the discipline by broadening its scope and developing new interdisciplinary methodologies?
Transformative impact will be achieved through creating new synergies across a range of disciplines (literary, film and cultural studies, linguistics, history of ideas, education, and cognitive neuroscience), through a blending of research methodologies, through collaboration with international partners (Universities of Bergen, Girona, Peking and the Chinese University of Hong Kong), and, crucially, through exchanging ideas and insights with our non-HEI partners in the cultural sector, education, publishing, the voluntary sector, business, and government.