Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Linguistics

Abstract

Understanding the transformative power of multilingualism is vital. Over half of mankind daily speaks more than one language, and multilingualism brings advantages for community relations, business, and global understanding. Yet the linguistic landscape is changing fast, with English increasingly the lingua franca. In the UK, many schools are highly multilingual, despite falling numbers learning languages, and almost 1 in 5 primary school pupils have a first language other than English. Equally integral to a multilingual UK are the regional (minoritized) languages (e.g. Irish, Scottish Gaelic). The decline in pupils taking language GCSEs/A-levels and the number of children with English as an additional language are often portrayed negatively, and the value of community and minoritized languages is underestimated.

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to reflect critically on multilingualism and to transform attitudes through greater understanding. Our approach is holistic, exploring individuals, communities and nations. We analyse the situations giving rise to multilingualism, its social implications and creative possibilities, and relationships between languages, cultures, identities and standards. We explore why individuals/societies choose (consciously or not) to be multilingual, the potential of multilingualism as 'mental gymnastics', ways to optimize language learning, and the benefits of multilingualism for community and international relations.

Our research 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, divide communities, dilute culture 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?

Intersecting research strands (S1-6) offer powerful case studies for understanding multilingualism: literature, film and culture in a globalized context; the role of standard languages; linguistic identity, diversity and social cohesion; the influence of multilingual identity on foreign language learning; language learning across the lifespan; the cognitive benefits of multilingualism. The project spans major languages traditionally or newly studied in the UK (French, German, Mandarin, Spanish), minoritized languages in Europe (Catalan, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Ukrainian), and community languages (e.g. Cantonese, Polish, Punjabi). We seek to break down barriers between high/low status and home/learnt languages.

The project will have transformative outcomes for individuals, for education, health and social policy and practice, and for international relations. Our partners (community groups, educational, cultural and policy bodies, drama and creative writing groups, business) will help shape the research and disseminate outcomes.

Placing language-led research at its heart, literary-cultural studies are integrated into an exciting new interdisciplinary programme to show how Modern Languages can respond to key issues of our time.

Planned Impact

MEITS aims to transform attitudes to multilingualism amongst the general public and to influence policy and practice in areas of great relevance to society such as education, culture, social cohesion, health and business. Representatives from all these sectors are embedded in the team as project partners and collaborators; they will help shape the research questions, facilitate the research itself, and disseminate our findings.

We will establish a high-level network of relevant UK government departments (in Whitehall, N. Ireland and Scotland) for regular exchanges on local and national policy around language; this network will articulate the compelling reasons why language should be central to policy considerations, locally, nationally and internationally.

MEITS will enhance understanding of the role of language for community cohesion through continuing dialogue with the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. In the post-conflict context of Northern Ireland, engagement with disenfranchised communities on language and identity will be facilitated by our partnerships with Co-Operation Ireland and the East Belfast Mission. More generally, the complex multilingual identities and untapped linguistic potential of minority population groups will be explored and exploited, for instance, in our work with the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum.

We will add weight to an expectation of language learning for all, building on the Department for Education's commitment to a range of school qualifications in different languages in England. We will contribute to the development of the UK national curriculum, aided by our links with NALDIC and ALL, and promote the learning of minoritized languages (e.g. Irish) and those perceived to be 'lower-status' (e.g. Polish). Understanding pupils' linguistic and cultural identities in multicultural environments promotes social cohesion within and beyond school settings and emphasizes the value of language learning, thereby influencing resource allocation, all of which is highly relevant for our partners working in schools, County Councils (e.g. IDEAL), and Routes into Languages. Language course providers (e.g. U3A, Polword), language testers (e.g. Cambridge Assessment, ALTE) and publishers (e.g. HarperCollins) are positioned to translate our work around standardization, lifelong learning, and identity-based teaching methodologies into practical applications.

The cognitive benefits of multilingualism are of great interest to the Department of Health because of the potential to delay the onset of dementia in our ageing population and improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum. Partnerships with Age UK and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists will ensure impact on key stakeholders.

The cultural benefits explored in MEITS cohere with the work and interests of the cultural bodies contributing to our research: e.g. Cambridgeshire Film Consortium, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Institut Ramon Llull. The Nottingham Writers' Studio and our theatre partners will work with community groups and schools, disseminating our research through workshops, exhibits and artistic outputs, and developing skills, such as the pedagogies of process drama, with educators and community workers.

Greater appreciation of cultural awareness and enhanced cognitive and life skills achieved through language learning sit squarely within Cabinet Office and BIS priorities of increasing employability and furthering trade/business opportunities. International trade and bridging the gap between the worlds of education and work are research priorities for the British Chambers of Commerce, whose focus groups and communication channels will be an invaluable resource for exchange and disseminating results.

Finally, our many public engagement events, such as the pop-up museum and film screenings, are designed to inspire the wider public to embrace and celebrate multilingualism.

Publications


10 25 50
Ayres-Bennett W (2016) Learning a second language still matters in Times Higher Education
Bak T (2016) Cooking pasta in La Paz in Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism
Bak T (2016) Language lessons to help protect against dementia. in BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
 
Description Boping Yuan (MEITS Co-investigator). Attendance at meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages in House of Lords on Monday 30 January 2017. Title of the meeting: The future of language teaching? The DfE's Mandarin Excellent Programme.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description European Commission, Directorate General Education and Culture, Thematic Panel on Languages & Literacy
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Thomas Bak (MEITS Co-Investigator) provided expertise on the cognitive benefits of multilingualism to the European Commission.
 
Description Northern Ireland Department for Communities, Irish Language Academy, Belfast.
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Participation in two meetings at Northern Ireland Department for Communities to discuss the new Irish Language Academy/collaboration with the MEITS research project. Janice Carruthers (MEITS Co-investigator): 30 November 2016 meeting Thomas Bak (MEITS Co-Investigator) & Micheal O'Mainning (MEITS Co-investigator): 11 Jan 2017 meeting This collaboration seeks to change public attitudes towards multilingualism in Northern Ireland.
 
Description Presentation of MEITS to CSaP Policy Leaders Roundtable on Social Cohesion: Representatives from FCO, DFID, BEIS, Scottish Government, HM Treasury, Royal Society, DSP, MoD, Dept of Health (all at Director General or Permanent Secretary level)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Ukrainian Identity since EuroMaidan: Presentation on multilingualism and civic national identity in Ukraine at Chatham House
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Rory Finnin (MEITS Co-Investigator). Improved educational and skill level of workforce.
URL https://www.chathamhouse.org/event/ukrainian-identity-after-euromaidan-drivers-change-and-impact-ref...
 
Description Thomas Bak (MEITS Co-Investigator) and Mariana Vega-Mendoza (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate). PPLS Small pilot projects
Amount £2,944 (GBP)
Organisation University of Edinburgh 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2017 
End 07/2017
 
Description Boping Yuan (MEITS Co-Investigator). Mandarin as a second language. Collaborations with Peking University (School of Chinese as a Second Language) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (Lab of Bilingualism) 
Organisation Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department Faculty of Medicine
Country Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Boping Yuan provided expertise in Mandarin grammar and empirical studies of Mandarin learning to colleagues in Peking and Hong Kong.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are helping with data collection and expertise in Cantonese language/grammar, etc.
Impact No outputs/outcomes yet
Start Year 2016
 
Description Boping Yuan (MEITS Co-Investigator). Mandarin as a second language. Collaborations with Peking University (School of Chinese as a Second Language) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (Lab of Bilingualism) 
Organisation Peking University
Country China, People's Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Boping Yuan provided expertise in Mandarin grammar and empirical studies of Mandarin learning to colleagues in Peking and Hong Kong.
Collaborator Contribution The partners are helping with data collection and expertise in Cantonese language/grammar, etc.
Impact No outputs/outcomes yet
Start Year 2016
 
Description Linda Fisher (MEITS Co-Investigator). Bergen University (Asta Haukas) 
Organisation University of Bergen
Country Norway, Kingdom of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Data gathering tools shared to facilitate future collaborations.
Collaborator Contribution Asta Haukas provided expertise to the team, commenting on questionnaires and research methodology. This is the equivalent of 10 working hours. The University of Bergen also funded flights/accommodation for Linda Fisher to give a paper and to discuss the project.
Impact No outputs/outcomes yet
Start Year 2016
 
Description "Music, language and the arts: protest, empowerment and healing" Roundtable, Senator George J Mitchell Research Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's Belfast University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Mícheál Ó Mainnín, MEITS Co-Investigator, presented and discussed the Irish component of the MEITS project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Bilingualism and bias: the tale of the baby and the bath 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator, was invited to give a talk at the Conference on Multilingualism, University of Ghent, Belgium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Breton and the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Merryn Davies-Deacon (MEITS PhD student on Strand 3) spoke at the Cornish Language Festival in Penzance in February 2017 and gave an overview of where Breton stands in relation to the provisions of the unratified ECRML and how this can be compared with the situation of Cornish, for which the charter has been ratified but few concrete steps have been taken by the British government. Merryn's talk formed part of the opening conference of the Cornish Language Festival, which is a week-long series of events aimed at bringing Cornish speakers together and allowing them to talk in and about Cornish. The Festival also plans to attract non-speakers with taster sessions, lectures and workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.cornishquest.org
 
Description British-Spanish Award ceremony at the Spanish Embassy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Rhiannon McGlade (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate).
As a former recipient of the Anglo-Spanish Ferrovial award, Dr McGlade was invited to attend this event that brings together prominent members from cultural and business sectors in Spain to support collaborative multi-disciplinary and multilingual research. Dr McGlade was able to share the project's aims with a hitherto uninformed audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas: Language lessons on the NHS? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator. Edinburgh Fringe Festival, event attended by ca. 80 people (the second highest attendence in the series); after the show, Thomas was approached to write a blog for British Medical Journal, which later got published as a paper, and gave an interview to the Fringe Radio. http://codi.beltanenetwork.org/event/codi-2016-language-lessons-on-the-nhs/ & www.freshair.org.uk/teams/fringe/posts/2014-interview-thomas-bak-language-lessons-on-the-nhs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://codi.beltanenetwork.org/event/codi-2016-language-lessons-on-the-nhs/
 
Description Chinese Linguistics and L2 Chinese Research seminars (2016-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 28/10/2016: Yanyu Guo (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Acquiring double-marking structures: the case of aspectual marking in L2 Chinese. www.meits.org/events/event/Acquiring-double-marking-structures-the-case-of-aspectual-marking-in-L2-Ch

04/11/2016: Nana Huang (FAMES), L2 acquisition of Chinese Applicative-DOC and -DUC by English, Spanish and Korean speakers. www.meits.org/events/event/l2-acquisition-of-chinese-applicative-doc-and-duc-by-english-spanish-and-ko

18/11/2016: Woramon Prawatmuang (FAMES), Effects of L1 transfer and input availability on L2 acquisition: evidence from L2 Chinese and Thai. www.meits.org/events/event/effects-of-l1-transfer-and-input-availability-on-l2-acquisition-evidence-fr

25/11/2016: Manyun Liu (FAMES), Chinese Reflexives in L2 acquisition and L1 attrition. www.meits.org/events/event/chinese-reflexives-in-l2-acquisition-and-l1-attrition

10/02/2017: Woramon Prawatmuang (FAMES), L2 acquisition of Chinese and Thai nominal phrases. www.meits.org/events/event/l2-acquisition-of-chinese-and-thai-nominal-phrases

17/02/2017: Ruyi Dai (FAMES), Features in L2 Chinese Passives. www.meits.org/events/event/features-in-l2-chinese-passives

24/02/2017: Shanshan Yan (FAMES), Chinese sentence-final particles and their behaviour in L2 and heritage Chinese grammars. www.meits.org/events/event/chinese-sentence-final-particles-and-their-behaviour-in-l2-and-heritage-chi

03/03/2017: Tongkun Liu (FAMES), L2 Acquisition of the Interfaces in the Chinese Ba Construction. www.meits.org/events/event/interfaces-in-the-chinese-ba-construction

10/03/2017: Jingting Xiang (FAMES), Definiteness and Specificity in Mandarin, Cantonese and English NP. www.meits.org/events/event/definiteness-and-specificity-in-mandarin-cantonese-and-english-np
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.meits.org/events
 
Description Cognitive science of bilingualism in its social context 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator, was invited to give a talk at the Centre for Multilingualism in Society Across the Lifespan. Oslo, Norway. Ca 50 people attended with lively discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Consultation of European Commission Directorate Culture and Education, Thematic Panel Languages and Literacy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator, was invited to participate in the panel in an advisory role.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Current debates surrounding bilingualism, brain and cognition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator, was invited to give a talk at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. Ca 40 people attended with lively discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Exploring multilingualism and Identity: the benefits and challenges of a large interdisciplinary project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Janice Carruthers, MEITS Co-Investigator and Strand 3 Leader.
Plenary session: presentation of Strand 3 of the MEITS researchp project, contextualised within the whole project at the Association of University Language Centre's annual conference at Queen's Belfast University in January 2017. Daniel McAuley (Strand 3 MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate) and Merryn Davies-Deacon (Strand 3 PhD student) also took part in the discussion around the French element of Strand 3.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/InformationServices/LanguageCentre/AULC2017/
 
Description Foreign Film Review: La Reina de España, Fernando Trueba 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Rhiannon McGlade (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate). Response to a call from the AHRC website for a 100-word review of a recent foreign language film, which provided an opportunity to present the work on film to a wider audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/research/readwatchlisten/features/foreign-film-reviews/
 
Description German philology reborn? Multidisciplinarity, multilingualism, and the place of German linguistics in UK Modern Languages Research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Nicola McLelland, MEITS Co-Investigator, presented at the Association for German Studies' 2016 annual conference at the University of Newcastle in September 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ags.ac.uk/?page_id=76
 
Description How do academics from language disciplines engage with policy makers? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Nicola McLelland, MEITS Co-Investigator, introduced the MEITS project and MEITS Policy Journal "Languages, Society and Policy" (one-hour panel session) at this workshop for Language Studies Researchers at the University of Nottingham in November 2016. This one-day training workshop was open to all postgraduate students and early career researchers whose area of research is in language, history and culture. The session provided researchers with the opportunity to hear from academics in language studies who have engaged with a range of policy makers. The postgraduate students and early career reseachers then had the opportunity to develop your own research policy engagement action plan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/midlands3cities-policy-engagement-skills-training-how-languages-studi...
 
Description Introducing MEITS at event on Bilingualism: Literacy and Cognition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A talk given as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas to present the research project to the general public and to invite ideas and possible collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Keynote lecture for the European Commission Directorate Culture and Education, Thematic Panel Languages and Literacy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator. Keynote lecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MEITS Facebook account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Account created in August 2016.

Period: 27 Sep 2016 - 8 Mar 2017
228 Lifetime Total likes (Page): The total number of people who have liked the MEITS Page. (Unique Users)
1466 Lifetime Post Organic Reach: The number of people who saw the MEITS Page post in News Feed or ticker, or on the MEITS Page's Timeline. (Unique Users)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/Multilingualism-Empowering-Individuals-Transforming-Societies-MEITS-1184564...
 
Description MEITS Podcasts (2016-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact September 2016: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Museum of Languages.

September 2016: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Introducing MEITS Part One.

September 2016: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Introducing MEITS Part Two.

January 2017: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Language learning and cultural, economic and social integration in the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.meits.org/media/audio
 
Description MEITS Radio interviews (Thomas Bak) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Thomas Back (MEITS Co-Investigator), has conducted a number of radio Interviews with BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, BBC Northumberland, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Voice of Russia and Public Radio International - 2.5 million listeners per week.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description MEITS Radio interviews (Wendy Ayres-Bennett) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 22.01.2017: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Live radio interview with BBC West Midlands on the Masala programme to discuss questions of language, immigration and social cohesion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MEITS TV Interviews (Wendy Ayres-Bennett) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact March 2016: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator). Interview with Cambridge TV to introduce the MEITS research project. www.cambridge-tv.co.uk/professor-wendy-ayres-bennett-multi-lingualism/

October 2016: Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator). Interview with Cambridge TV about pop-up National Museum of Languages. www.cambridge-tv.co.uk/professor-wendy-ayres-bennett-museum-of-languages/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description MEITS Twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 320 followers (Aug 2016 - March 2017).
66875 tweet impressions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL https://twitter.com/meits_owri?lang=en-gb
 
Description MEITS Videos (2016-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact September 2016: Introductory video to the project by Wendy Ayres-Bennett (MEITS Principal Investigator), Introducing Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.meits.org/media/video
 
Description MEITS and interdisciplinarity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Wendy Ayres-Bennett, MEITS Principal Investigator, presented to postgraduate students on how to put together an interdisciplinary research project at the AHRC DTP training session on 18/11/2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.ahrcdtp.csah.cam.ac.uk/
 
Description MEITS blogs (2016-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The project has a fortnightly blog which informs the general public of its research activity and generates lively feedback.

19/09/2016: Karen Forbes (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Multilingual identity and foreign language learning. www.meits.org/blog/post/multilingual-identity-and-foreign-language-learning.

21/09/2016: Daniel McAuley (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Diversity, identity and multilingualism. www.meits.org/blog/post/diversity-identity-and-multilingualism.

09/11/2016: Mícheál Ó Mainnín (MEITS Co-Investigator), No Irish, please, we're Europeans! www.meits.org/blog/post/no-irish-please-were-europeans.

23/11/2016: Nicola McLelland (MEITS Co-Investigator), 'I am the circumflex'- language rules, language purity, and language rage. www.meits.org/blog/post/i-am-the-circumflex-language-rules-language-purity-and-language-rage.

07/12/2016: Özge Öztürk (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Bilingualism and Speech & Language Disorders. www.meits.org/blog/post/bilingualism-and-speech-and-language-disorders

20/12/2016: Lisa-Maria Müller (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), The Earlier the Better?. www.meits.org/blog/post/The-Earlier-the-Better.

04/01/2017: Rob Neal (ESRC-funded PhD student at the University of Cambridge working under the supervision of Michael Evans, MEITS Co-Investigator), Making Mandarin Massive. www.meits.org/blog/post/making-mandarin-massive

18/01/2017: Rory Finnin, (MEITS Co-Investigator), Reality Check: Ukraine's Multilingualism. www.meits.org/blog/post/reality-check-ukraines-multilingualism.

01/02/2017: Angela Gayton (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Language learning in Anglophone contexts: myths and realities?. www.meits.org/blog/post/language-learning-in-anglophone-contexts-myths-and-realities.

15/02/2017: John Bellamy (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Spelling and the ongoing standardization of written norms. www.meits.org/blog/post/spelling-and-the-ongoing-standardization-of-written-norms.

01/03/2017: Ola Goclawska (MEITS PhD student), "We killed him for being chichipato": Fernando Vallejo's politics of linguistic standardization. www.meits.org/blog/post/we-killed-him-for-being-chichipato-fernando-vallejos-politics-of-linguistic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.meits.org/blog
 
Description MEITS website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact MEITS website created in September 2016.

Reporting period: September 2016 - March 2017:
24,325 page views
7,009 sessions
3,821 users from 97 countries worldwide
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.meits.org/
 
Description Magazine/Journal discussions of MEITS research (Wendy Ayres-Bennett) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Newspaper coverage about the MEITS research project including The Times, The Guardian, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Belfast Telegraph, as well as some international papers (e.g. Pakistan Today, Malaysia Updates). This generated considerable feedback both in the press (e.g. 5.7K comments on the Daily Mail website, 13K Facebook "shares" from The Guardian) and on Twitter. Professor Ayres-Bennett also received a large number of emails and letters about the articles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Magazine/Journal discussions of MEITS researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lisa-Maria Müller (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Kameleon jezykowy - rozmowa z. An interview with the Polish cultural magazine opinia.co.uk about the life of a multilingual, growing up with two languages and the MEITS project. http://opinia.co.uk/2016/10/25/kameleon-jezykowy-rozmowa-z-lisa-maria-muller/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://opinia.co.uk/2016/10/25/kameleon-jezykowy-rozmowa-z-lisa-maria-muller/
 
Description Multilingualism seminars (2016-2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 27/10/2016: Afra Pujol Campeny, Code-switching in 13th-century Crown of Aragon. www.meits.org/events/event/contact-change-and-code-switching.

27/10/2016: Oliver Mayeux, Theoretical and methodological issues in the study of contact and change in an endangered creole. www.meits.org/events/event/contact-change-and-code-switching.

24/11/2016: Lisa-Maria Müller (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Disentangling typical bilingualism from bilingual language impairment. www.meits.org/events/event/evaluating-multilingualism-disentangling-bilingualism

24/11/2016: John Bellamy (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Evaluating multilingualism. A qualitative analysis of young people's comments on their linguistic repertoires and their lived experience of language. www.meits.org/events/event/evaluating-multilingualism-disentangling-bilingualism

19/01/2017: Karen Forbes (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Dynamic Interactions Between Strategy Development and Cross-Linguistic Transfer in Foreign and First Language (L1) Writing. www.meits.org/events/event/FL-L1-Transfer-of-Writing-Strategies-Bilingualism-and-Speech-and-Languag

19/01/2017: Özge Öztürk (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Bilingualism and Speech and Language Disorders. www.meits.org/events/event/FL-L1-Transfer-of-Writing-Strategies-Bilingualism-and-Speech-and-Languag

16/02/2017: Angela Gayton (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Classroom Intervention Strategies for Attitudinal Change towards Foreign Language Learning. www.meits.org/events/event/Double-marking-aspectual-structures-in-L2-Chinese-Strategies-for-Attitudin

16/02/2017: Yanyu Guo (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate), Double-marking aspectual structures in English speakers' L2 Chinese. www.meits.org/events/event/Double-marking-aspectual-structures-in-L2-Chinese-Strategies-for-Attitudin
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.meits.org/events
 
Description Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS) - Project Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A blog post by Lisa-Maria Müller (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate) describing the context, research questions and aims of the MEITS project. The Philological Society Blog.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://blog.philsoc.org.uk/page/4/
 
Description Networking at an event held at the Embassy of Luxembourg in London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact John Bellamy (MEITS Postdoctoral Research Associate) networked at the Embassy of Luxembourg in London. The most significant outcome was creating awareness of the MEITS project and its aims amongst the ambassador, dignitaries and other attendees at the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://londres.mae.lu/en/Social-and-Cultural-Activities2/Exhibition-Earth-Rock-and-Soul-by-Ms-Fabien...
 
Description Presentation to interest groups and stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Micheal O'Mainnin and Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigators.
Discussion and presentation of the MEITS research project to Irish language stakeholders/interest groups, An Chultúrlann, in January 2017 (Strands 3 & 6).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The MEITS project and language policy in Northern Ireland 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Micheal O'Mainnin, MEITS Co-Investigator, gave a paper at the "Negotiating the language barrier: community, identity and conflict transformation" interdisciplinary colloquium at the Senator George J Mitchell Research Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, at Queen's Belfast University in September 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://cmst4.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/isctsj/Research/InterdisciplinaryResearchGroups/Negotiating...
 
Description The Value of Languages 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Wendy Ayres-Bennett, MEITS Principal Investigator, was invited to present the MEITS project at the Second Language Education Group - Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, in Oct 2016. The audience included local teachers, trainee teachers and local stakeholders.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/courses/graduate/masters/themes/secondlanguage/
 
Description The Value of Languages: Towards a UK Strategy for Languages (Wendy Ayres-Bennett) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Talk at the Faculty of Education presenting the project and the policy implications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description The value of languages in Higher Education and beyond 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Wendy Ayres-Bennett, MEITS Principal Investigator, was invited to give a plenary paper at the 2016 "Languages in Higher Education Conference" in Warwick (July 2016), where there was an audience engaged in the promotion and teaching of Modern Languages nationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.llas.ac.uk/conf2016
 
Description Translation and Censorship 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Rory Finnin, MEITS Co-Investigator, presented on Soviet Ukrainian multilingual translation as means of obviating censorship.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/26903
 
Description Trastornos de lenguaje entre mente, comportamiento y sociedad (Disorders of language between mind, behaviour and society) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Thomas Bak, MEITS Co-Investigator.
Grupo de Investigacion en Neurocience de Segovia, Segovia, Spain. Ca 80 people attended with lively discussion afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017