Being able to switch between languages

When I was a 12-year old school pupil, just leaving primary school and continuing my education at a secondary school in the Netherlands, I remember the joyful anticipation of getting to learn two more foreign languages (German and French) besides the one we already started to learn in primary school (English). At the time, I assumed it was quite normal for school going pupils around the world to have to learn more than one foreign language at school. I remember it came to me as quite a shock when I found out that this is not the case for some countries in the world. [Read more…]

Bilingualism Matters on Superquark

Bilingualism Matters features prominently in the Italian TV documentary series Superquark. Click below to play video on Firefox and Internet Explorer (video in Italian).

Interview in TESconnect – common misconceptions around language learning

“The founder of Bilingualism Matters and professor of developmental  linguistics talks about the common misconceptions around language learning  and why children should be taught another language as early as possible  Interview by Julia Belgutay” © TESconnect 24 May 2013

Click here for the entire interview.

Three seminars in Sardinia on Sardinian-Italian bilingualism

Bilingualism Matters director Antonella Sorace gave three seminars (including one to an audience of 9-12 year old children) in Sardinia on Sardinian-Italian bilingualism: a privilege and a great opportunity.

Scotland Tonight: How should foreign languages be taught in Scotland’s schools?

“Scots are among the worst in Europe when it comes to learning foreign languages. The Scottish Government wants all pupils to be taught not one, but two new languages before they reach secondary school, and the issue will be discussed tomorrow at Holyrood …” © Scotland Tonight, STV News, 10 May 2013

To watch the full news item, click here.

Meet Bilingualism Matters at the Edinburgh Cafe Scientifique

Antonella Sorace will give a talk at the Edinburgh Cafe Scientifique on Monday 13 May. The talk will be held in the Filmhouse Cinema Café Bar on 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ and starts at 8:30pm. Read the abstract of Antonella’s talk below.

Is bilingualism good or bad for you?

Research has shown that bilingualism (broadly intended as fluency in more than one language) brings a range of linguistic and cognitive benefits that go far beyond knowledge of two languages and extend to the whole lifespan. Compared to monolinguals, both child and adult bilinguals have better spontaneous understanding of language structure, more effective selective attention, and greater mental flexibility. However, many people still think that bilingualism, especially in children, is a disadvantage. Antonella will talk about the most popular myths about bilingualism and how they are contradicted by research. Antonella will also discuss the importance of disseminating information about how the bilingual brain works.

An article in Ignites Europe

“Why two languages are better than one”

Click here to read the full article in Ignites Europe (© Financial Times Ltd, 19 March 2013).

Note that signing up to a (free 2-week trial) subscription is needed to view the article.

Bilingualism Matters on Sardinian TV

Watch a TV clip about the launch of the Sardinian branch of Bilingualism Matters on the Sardinian TV channel Videolina, 27 November 2012.

Bilingualism Matters in The Scotsman (2)

Scots fare worst in bilingualism study


Published in The Scotsman on Wednesday 14 November 2012 11:52

“SCOTS have fared worst in a Europe-wide initiative designed to foster bilingualism.

The study, which was led by the University of Edinburgh and backed by the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), recruited 25 monolingual families from five European countries. […]” Read the entire article here.

BBC Radio Scotland interview

A study by the University of Edinburgh’s School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences has shown that Scots have fared worst in a Europe-wide initiative to develop bilingualism. BBC Radio Scotland has been speaking to lead researcher Professor Antonella Sorace.