What we do

Bilingualism Matters was established as an information service for parents in 2008 and is now an official Centre at the University of Edinburgh, in the school of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences.

Research projects

We believe it is important that people make decisions about bilingualism and language learning based on the best available evidence.

Much of our work involves collaborative projects to carry out research, or to explore how best to apply research findings in the real world.

  • Find out more about our current projects on our projects page.
  • To discuss the possibility of commissioning or collaborating on research, please email us.

Advice for bilingual families

Do you have a bilingual household and do you want to raise your child bilingual but you are not sure how to do this? Do you worry about how bilingualism might affect your child’s school achievement? Do you want to know more about how the mind of a bilingual child works?

We have put together a series of resources for parents of bilingual children, including:

  • Bilingual Families leaflet
  • FAQ for parents
  • Language groups and lessons around Edinburgh
  • Useful websites
  • Books and further reading

If you need further information or advice, you can email us at bilingualism-matters@ed.ac.uk

Please note that we can advise only on typical bilingual language development: we are not qualified to deal with medical or psychological conditions of any kind. If you are concerned about your child’s physical and mental well-being, please consult appropriate experts.

Community groups, schools, and early years information sessions

Bilingualism is for everyone, not just those who grew up in bilingual households. Investing in language learning at school or nursery is a great chance to give our children the best possible future.

We can provide accessible and informative talks about bilingualism and second language learning at venues around Edinburgh, including

  • Primary and secondary schools
  • Nurseries and early years centres
  • Community groups and parents’ associations

We don’t charge a fee for state-run schools and nurseries around Edinburgh, although all donations are welcome! We do ask that travel expenses are covered. For private schools and colleges, or for venues requiring considerable travel from Edinburgh, we ask for a consultancy fee plus travel expenses.

If you are a teacher or group leader and would like to arrange a talk, please email us.
(Parents, please contact your school or nursery to discuss the possibility of arranging a talk).

Consultancy and training

We are happy to provide information sessions, training and consultancies for a range of audiences.

  • We are experienced providers of training workshops on multilingualism and language learning for practitioners in health and education
  • We can provide consultancy and information sessions for businesses and international organisations. Please note we are usually required to charge a consultancy fee for this work.
  • We are always ready to engage with local, national and international policy makers in an advisory role, and contribute to reports and consultations concerned with the promotion of bilingualism and multilingualism in Scottish society.

For more details or to discuss your training or consultancy needs, please email us.