Policy Briefing on Languages, Business, Trade and Innovation

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new Policy Briefing on Languages, Business, Trade and Innovation, co-authored by Wendy Ayres-Bennett (PI MEITS) and Janice Carruthers (AHRC Leadership Fellow in Modern Languages), and funded by the two AHRC major research projects.

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Languages Change Lives

Have you ever wondered what the point of learning another language is? Or what the benefits are of speaking a home language?

Over the past 4 years, the different strands of our research project have uncovered a range of meaningful ways in which learning a language or speaking a home language can change your life for the better. And we've put them all together for you in this booklet! Through the personal stories and experiences of families, teachers, school and university students, as well as the occasional celebrity, our booklet will challenge your preconceptions and fears about learning and speaking another language.

There is so much to gain from becoming multilingual, whatever your age or background! Take a look inside and get inspired to start your language journey!

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Mother Tongue Other Tongue Returns!

Thanks to sponsorship from MEITS, the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry competition will run again this year, in its entirety.

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Watching the Transnational Detectives: Exploring British Audience Responses to Themes of Identity, Internationalism and Language Learning in International Crime Television

‘Watching the Transnational Detectives’ explores how British audiences have reacted to the recent boom in foreign language television programmes that are available in the UK across a variety of platforms and services.

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“¡Yo soy Fidel!”: Post-Castro Cuba and the Cult of Personality: New approaches to exploring photographic language and identity

Following Fidel Castro’s death in 2016 and his younger brother Raúl’s retirement as president two years later, 2018 marked the end of their near six decade-long leadership of Cuba. At the beginning of the post-Castro era, therefore, this practice-based project explored the presence of iconic revolutionary images and the role of documentary photography in contemporary Cuban society, focusing on the relationship between photographic language and identity. James Kent, MEITS flexible funding awardee, worked with Cuban academics, curators and photographers to explore the links between these themes; developing collaborations, carrying out interviews and recording footage of Cuban photographers at work. The project facilitated challenge-led collaborative research around the themes of photographic language and identity and encouraged new and innovative approaches to curatorial and photographic practice involving academics, curators, photographers, students and visual artists in both the UK and Cuba.

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Space to Speak: Non-Han Fiction and Film in China and Beyond

Emerging from the work of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, headed by Dr Frances Weightman at the University of Leeds (and which itself grew out of the AHRC-funded 'Writing Chinese' project), this project broadened the focus of the Centre's work to engage more deeply with China's complex multilingual contexts, and to give a space to voices from beyond the Han Chinese mainstream. This project is particularly important at the current time, in which Chinese government-funded policies are subsidising the translation and publication of non-Han authors, yet the crackdown on minoritized languages and people in regions such as Xinjiang is critically affecting the ability of people in these areas to tell their own stories and experiences.

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How Languages Changed My Life is out now!

The MEITS project is delighted to announce the release of its book How Languages Changed My Life, a collection of stories exploring the importance of languages in shaping the lives of individuals and communities around the world.

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Early Language Learning: What it (can) look(s) like…

On October 24-25 2019, the UK leg of Strand 5 organised a workshop for researchers and practitioners on issues of the teaching of foreign languages in the UK. What follows here is a little report on the workshop.

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