Sharing a language: bonding with some, excluding others?

Mimo CaenepeelDr. Mimo Caenepeel is the founder of Research Communication Scotland, which supports researchers in articulating their ideas clearly and effectively. Having grown up in Belgium, Mimo has lived in the US, Canada and France as well as Scotland. For more information, visit Mimo’s website.

I can get passionate about the advantages of bilingualism — not just the perceived advantages, but also the less-immediately-obvious advantages that are supported by solid research. Being bilingual feels enriching and has never held me back. Hearing ‘foreign languages’ (i.e. languages other than English) in Scotland or other English-speaking countries gives me a small but very real thrill, irrespective of whether I understand what is being said. Is it a good thing to be able to speak more than one language? The answer to that question feels like a no-brainer to me, if only because bilingualism turns out to be good for – amongst other things – the brain. [Read more…]

Brand new Bilingualism Matters at Edinburgh Fringe

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas logo

Bilingualism Matters Director Prof. Antonella Sorace will perform a new show at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

15:00 – 16:00 Saturday 15 August, Stand in the Square Book tickets now

Not so Native Now

…is a state of the art run through of current research and the controversial new theory that the more your brain adapts to let in a second or third language, the more it loosens its grip on the rules of your native language. So if you have ever suffered at the hands of the grammar pedants, then take heart: chances are that your brain may just be better suited to learning additional languages!

But what does this mean for the education system or for employers? Should we be more willing to accept a few minor mistakes in exchange for the ability to converse with a wider audience? Would you swap a perfect grasp of your native language to be near-native in another tongue? And is there even such a thing as the perfect native speaker in the first place?

Join us as we discuss, debate, challenge and learn about the fascinating topics of language and identity.
For tickets and more information, see the fringe website: Not so Native Now at the Edinburgh fringe

Not so Native Now is part of the hugely successful Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, bringing together some of Scotland’s fiercest intellects to provoke discussion right here in the home of enlightenment thinking.

For information about other shows in the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, visit their website or follow them on twitter: @CODIfringe