MEITS celebrates International Mother Language Day 21 February 2018

Students from Parkside Community College in Cambridge have been sharing with the MEITS team their views on the value of multilingualism and how speaking more than one language at home can add to a greater understanding of cultural diversity.

Wendy Ayres-Bennett, Principal Investigator of MEITS and Professor of French Philology and Linguistics at the University of Cambridge, together with Lisa-Maria Müller, Research Associate Strand 5, sat down with the students to discuss how speaking in a Mother language at home has helped them.

Six students jointed in the round table discussion, as Professor Ayres-Bennett and Dr Müller asked them questions about speaking their Mother Language.

The Year 10 students spoke a number of different languages from across the world: Hindi, Marathi and English; Arabic and English; French, German and English; Dutch and English; Spanish, English, and some Italian; Turkish and English. In addition, many of them were learning French, Spanish or Latin at school.

All enjoyed the experience of recording this documentary podcast for MEITS with them commenting:

“I do think that it is a good thing to speak more than one language - many people only know how to speak one.”

“I do feel quite proud to learn more than one language and to speak it. I can speak with a variety of different people.”

“I feel very proud to be trilingual and I think that I shall probably use that to my advantage throughout my career and life.”

“I am very proud to be able to speak another language but also to be part of another culture.”

“It fills you with satisfaction knowing that you can communicate with a large amount of people from other countries.”

“I am very proud of the fact that I can speak multiple languages because I can communicate with so many more people. I can learn more cultures and there are all the different foods and traditions that you are also a part of.”

You can listen to the recording here.

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