March 2020: We Speak Multi website launched!
Over the last year or more the CBN team has been busy working with antenatal practitioners and others to develop resources for parents and caregivers in new families and those practitioners supporting them. You can now visit our new website: www.wespeakmulti.com
There you can find ways for parents, caregivers and wider family to think through their expectations of becoming a multilingual family; a recording of a webinar for practitioners, 'what antenatal teachers need to know about multilingual families'; and many more resources and FAQs.
Do take a look and share widely!
February 2018: The Cambridgeshire Race Equality and Diversity Service (CREDS) is threatened with closure
to find out more and express your support, see a petition started by two Network members on change.org.
November 2017: Cambridge Bilingualism Network in Being Human Festival
On Wednesday 22nd November, 6-7.30pm, we took part in this year's Being Human Festival, exploring the connections between speaking more than one language and wellbeing.
October 2017: Cambridge Bilingualism Network at 'Different languages, different perspectives' Festival of Ideas event
On Saturday 28th October, 1-5pm at Anglia Ruskin University, the Bilingualism Network will be at a Festival of Ideas event - 'different languages, different perspectives: understanding our multilingual world'. Drop in any time to contribute to our language map, find out more about the network, and get involved with many other fantastic language-related activities and talks.
October 2017: CBN partners with Routes for Mother Tongue Other Tongue
There were some excellent entries in this year's poetry competition for secondary school students, and an excellent celebration event on Tuesday 17th October, 5-7pm, featuring the prizegiving and some local poets. Part of this year's Festival of Ideas.
September 2017: Cambridge Bilingualism Network at Festival of Ideas *fully booked*
On Thursday 19th October, 6-7.30pm, we will be welcoming a panel, including Prof Li Wei (UCL) and Dr Philip McDermott (Ulster) to discuss the connections between speaking more than one language and wellbeing, especially in the family. We will also be making an appearance at the 'Different languages, different perspectives: understanding our multilingual world' event, on Saturday 28 October. Booking opens on Monday 25th September, with more details and booking here.
August 2017: Cambridge Bilingualism Network now on Twitter!
You can now find us, the Cambridge Bilingualism Network, on Twitter @cam_biling. Follow us there for news, research and tidbits on multilingualism, education, wellbeing, community languages, language learning, and more!
June 2017: Mother Tongue Other Tongue
Cambridge Bilingualism Network is pleased to partner with Routes into Languages East for their annual Mother Tongue Other Tongue competition, which celebrates the multilingual richness of schools in our region. Secondary school students can enter by composing a poem in a foreign language, or presenting a poem or song in a home or community language. More details can be found on the Routes website or via this flyer - the closing date is 21st July!
May 2017: Multilingualism and Well-being forums
Cambridge Bilingualism Network researchers Napoleon Katsos, Ianthi Tsimpli and Brechtje Post have received funding to organise three forums on the theme of Multilingualism and Well-being, with the goal of exploring what we know about the connections between growing up with more than one language and life satisfaction. The forums will involve local teachers, practitioners and community representatives, as well as researchers from across the country, and aim to forge new projects and collaborations.
April 2017: Your languages, Your future reaches 6000 views
The CBN mini-film Your languages, Your future has reached more than 6000 views on the University's YouTube channel! The film features local young bilinguals as well as the University's Vice-Chancellor to promote the idea of taking qualifications - and become biliterate - in community languages. Have you used the film in a group or classroom setting? Why not tell us about it! We would love to know how it is being used around the country.
February 2017: The Educated Brain - childhood and adolescence
A new public policy report featuring Cambridge Bilingualism Network researcher Napoleon Katsos has just been published. The Educated Brain policy brief on childhood and adolescence comes out of a workshop that aims to bring together neuroscience, psychology and education researchers and practitioners to better understand how we learn, and how we can promote learning across the lifespan through policy and practice. Napoleon's contribution looks at the interaction of bilingualism and developmental disorders.
December 2016: The value of learning a language
Wendy Ayres-Bennett, principle investigator of a large new project based in Cambridge called Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies, has written about the value of learning a second language, especially in the light of Brexit, on the Times Higher Education blog. You can read it here!
December 2016: New report on the value of Erasmus+
Colleagues from the University of Cambridge and University of Warwick, Silke Mentchen and Andrea Klaus, have recently reported on their findings about the value of the Erasmus+ programme - which could be under threat when we leave the EU.They found that it is of immense value to students, not just in terms of language learning and academic development, but also personal growth and life skills. Find out more here!
October 2016: Major new research project on multilingualism launches
The University of Cambridge has launched a major new research project to study the impact of multilingualism on individuals and society, which aims to transform attitudes to languages in the UK. Alongside partners in Belfast, Edinburgh and Nottingham as well as further afield in the Universities of Bergen, Girona, Peking and Hong Kong, Cambridge researchers, led by Professor Wendy Bennett, will contribute to 'Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Society', thanks to an unprecedented £4m grant. Visit the MEITS website!
July 2016: New report from Cambridge and ARU on support for EAL pupils
A report has recently been published based on research at Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin about improving support for EAL pupils in UK; it includes findings from case studies plus policy recommendations. Follow this link for a summary, and to download the full report:
April 2016: Some small-entry language qualifications to be saved
Following the concern last year that qualifications were to be scrapped in many small-entry languages, the good news is that AQA and Pearson have taken up the challenge and will be continuing with GCSE and A Level in Arabic, Modern Greek, Gujarati, Bengali, Japanese, Modern and Biblical Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Urdu for first teaching from 2018.
Major new research project on the benefits of multilingualism
The University of Cambridge is to launch a major new research project to study the benefits of multilingualism to individuals and society, and transform attitudes to languages in the UK. Alongside partners in Belfast, Edinburgh and Nottingham as well as further afield in the Universities of Bergen, Girona, Peking and Hong Kong, Cambridge researchers, led by Professor Wendy Bennett, will contribute to 'Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Society', thanks to an unprecedented £4m grant. Read more!
December 2015: Polish bilingualism campaign launches
“Give your child the gift of your native language” (“Podaruj dziecku swój język ojczysty”) has been launched by the Association for the Promotion of the Polish Language Abroad. The Cambridge Bilingualism Network is one of its honorary patrons. You can read more about the campaign here.
November 2015: The Conversation features a Bilingualism Network researcher
Following our annual Festival of Ideas event, independent on-line news site The Conversation asked one of Cambridge Bilingualism Network's researchers, Dr Teresa Parodi, for the low-down on the benefits of multilingualism. Read more!
November 2015: National Language Policy workshop report available
On Friday 30 October, an exciting workshop brought together civil servants and advisers working in Whitehall and the devolved assemblies for a morning of presentations on language policy, covering language education, indigenous languages and community languages. It was organised by University of Cambridge Language Sciences Strategic Research Initiative and the Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative, in partnership with Speak to the Future and UCML. A report and audio recordings of some presentations are now available. Professor Wendy Bennett, convenor of the workshop, also spoke to Cambridge News about the day.
August 2015: CUP blog + video on bilingualism and 'mental gymnastics'
Cambridge University Press Education & Schools Resources website has published two 'Thought Leadership' blog posts by Cambridge Bilingualism Network researcher Dr Napoleon Katsos. You can read the posts and watch the accompanying videos here and here.
April 2015: report of 'Hold on to your tongue' event now available
A short report of the panel discussion held by Cambridge Bilingualism Network entitled, 'Hold on to your tongue! Community languages – why should we care?' is now available to download on our events page.
April 2015: Linguists protest at withdrawal of qualifications in small-entry languages
In March public examination boards announced that they intend to withdraw GCSE and A-level qualifications for small-entry languages. Several Linguistics and Language organisations, including CBN, have written an open letter to the Department for Eduction expressing their concern. You can find the letter here. To find out more about this situation, and what you can do, see the Speak to the Future briefing.
And you can also watch and share our short film, Your Languages, Your Future, which features local secondary school students and the Cambridge Vice Chancellor talking about their experiences of bilingualism and promotes the value of pursuing a qualification in a mother tongue other than English.
April 2015: The British Academy and The Guardian publish The Living Languages report
Following a two-year project, this report summarises the situation of languages in UK and makes the case for language learning from multiple perspectives. You can download it from our resources page.