Exploring Multilingualism

Linguistic diversity is a fact of human life – as is the imbalance in status between languages.

In the current context of globalisation, this imbalance is manifesting itself most strikingly in the rise of ‘global’ English as the universally recognised lingua franca, and the pressure this in turn puts on other less globally ‘useful’ languages.

The features in this section will present findings from our evolving research on the interaction between multilingualism and creativity, but also address aspects of the context in which our research is taking place. From the difficulties and opportunities of Modern Languages in schools to insights into the impact Brexit will have on languages and their status in the UK, we will be looking at social and political issues to better understand how we can make linguistic diversity more visible, valued, and vibrant.

Performing Languages: overview film

The Performing Languages Conference in February 2019 saw academics, artists, performers and cultural practitioners come together to watch, discuss and debate what it means to perform languages.

In the words of one conference participant, What I liked most about the conference is that it didn’t simply advocate for creative multilingualism; it made it happen, there and then.

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Linguamania Image by Cedoux Kadima

Doctoral students funding call: funded projects

Earlier in the year, we launched a funding call for doctoral students for projects which resonate with our programme emphases of ‘Languages and Creative Identity’ and ‘Languages and Performance’. Grants of up to £1,500 were available to support students in their development as modern language advocates.

We're delighted to announce that the following projects have been awarded funding:

Welsh-language community engagement project

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Babel exhibition image

Babel: Adventures in Translation

Babel: Adventures in Translation is running at Bodleian Libraries until 2 June 2019. The exhibition explores translation and the important, often invisible, role it plays in our everyday lives. It celebrates all sides of translation, from the practical and creative to the divine. 

Key themes of the exhibition include:

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Osijek, Croatia

Impressions from fieldwork: ‘I have never done these things with English!’

As part of our ongoing psycholinguistic research on figurative language processing, our Metaphor strand took three experiments on the road in November 2018 to test learners of English in Osijek, Croatia.

The first experiment (a priming study) looked at how non-native speakers process conventional English metaphorical expressions (such as open an account or expose the truth) and whether it differs from the way English native speakers process them.

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