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.


EBacc – passport to success in the global economy?

According to School Standards Minister Nick Gibb, the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is designed to “ensure our pupils are able to compete with educational high performers in a global economy”. Inclusion of a language in the EBacc indicates the government’s commitment to giving young people the language skills they will need if they are to operate successfully in a global environment. But the reality is that language learning in UK schools continues to decline.

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school corridor

Ackley Bridge: English, Hindi-Urdu and Bollywood languages on the telly

Ackley Bridge, Channel 4’s new TV drama set in a fictional town in Yorkshire, follows the lives of school pupils, teachers and their families, as two previously segregated schools – one largely white British and the other British Asian – are merged together under one new academy in an attempt at social integration. The programme has opened to mostly favourable reviews, especially on social media, as it enters its fifth episode this week.

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