New student reports now online!

Visit our Student Research archive to read the latest MLM student reports! The reports focus on various aspects of multilingualism, including:-
– Linguistic Landscapes in Manchester’s Chinatown, with analyses drawing on our existing LinguaSnapp corpus;
– language choice on social media;
– multiethnolects in the British media;
– language attitudes and the impact of media coverage in shaping these.

You can read the new reports in full here.

Virtual Tour of Manchester’s Language Celebrations launched

A new Virtual Tour of Manchester’s Language Celebrations documents information stalls, performances, crafts and workshops created in recent years by community groups, Manchester libraries and Multilingual Manchester to celebrate the city’s multilingualism.

First piloted on Levenshulme Language Day 2015, this format of activities has now become a permanent fixture in the city’s public calendar, with a city-wide network of libraries, community groups, schools, writers and artists, museums and universities contributing on a regular basis to mark UNESCO International Mother Language Day on 21 February.

The virtual tour is hosted by Manchester City of Literature, and was created as part of the Engaging Librariescollaboration between Multilingual Manchester and Manchester Libraries. The resource will be open for further submissions and the page contains a link with instructions for contributors.

New student reports now online

Visit our Reports archive to read the latest MLM student reports! The reports focus on various aspects of multilingualism, including:-
– patterns of language choice on social media;
– discussions of language education and language policy in the British press;
– media coverage of foreign language education in the age of Brexit;
– communicative and emblematic uses of language in Manchester’s linguistic landscapes.

You can read the new reports in full here.

Position paper calls for consideration of non-standard and minority language varieties in supplementary school curriculum

Researchers at the University of Manchester’s Multilingual Manchester research unit and the University of Westminster have called for more consideration to be given to language variation and non-standard speech forms such as regional dialects in the programmes of community-based supplementary schools that teach heritage languages.

The researchers point out the importance of spoken varieties for cross-generation communication and verbal language skills in general. They argue that failure to take non-standard varieties into consideration can risk discouraging pupils from attending after-school language classes and can have an adverse affect on the transmission of heritage languages.

The position paper draws on a workshop that brought together researchers and practitioners in April 2019, co-organised by Multilingual Manchester and the University of Westminster with support from the Multilingual Communities strand of the AHRC-OWRI consortium ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Re-Shaping Community’. It was authored by Prof Yaron Matras and Dr Petros Karatsareas, with input from Dr Çise Çavuşoğlu, Dr Rasha Soliman, and Dr Birgül Yılmaz.

The paper recommends teacher training modules to raise awareness of  sociolinguistic variation and equip teachers to deal with spoken varieties as part of the curriculum. It also calls on academics to engage with practitioners to raise public awareness of supplementary schools and to develop policies and pedagogical approaches to support them. The position paper can be accessed here.

International Mother Language Day event kick-starts partnership to celebrate Manchester’s language mosaic

On the occasion of International Mother Language Day 2020, the Multilingual Manchester research unit at the University of Manchester and Manchester Museum are kick-starting a partnership that will put language diversity firmly and permanently on the agenda of cultural institutions.

More than 200 languages are spoken in Manchester, and the city’s language mosaic is being recognised as one of its distinctive identity badges. The City of Manchester is celebrating International Mother Language Day for the third consecutive year, with events and exhibitions taking place at cultural venues across the city from 20–22 February. The full programme can be found here:

Multilingual Manchester has been working since 2010 to study the city’s linguistic heritage and to guide citizens, communities and practitioners on the benefits of multilingualism. It has recently secured a large internal investment as part of the university’s Creative Manchester initiative, based in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Manchester Museum is undergoing a transformation thanks to a £13 million project that will make it more inclusive, imaginative and relevant to the city’s diverse communities. It will feature a South Asia Gallery, a Chinese Culture Gallery and a new Exhibition Hall. The museum will mirror the city’s language diversity through practice and content, offering a space to reflect, perform and celebrate multilingu

alism, a platform for discussion and hub for encounters among individuals, groups and communities. It will connect to similar initiatives internationally, and lead other local cultural institutions to engage with languages.

The joint programme is being launched at an event at Manchester Museum on Thursday, 20 February, from 6:00-8:30pm, titled ‘How Do You Say ‘Our Kid’ in Kurdish? & Other Questions.’

It will be an evening of games, crafts and activities, with opportunities to explore the city’s languages through interactive artwork, performances, films, Q+A sessions, and more. Most activities are suited for adults and children.

Entry is free and there is no need to register.

MLM partners with Manchester City Council to map diversity of Manchester’s languages

We are delighted to be working with Manchester City Council to support citizens’ engagement with language diversity in an exciting new project, after Manchester Libraries won funding from the Engaging Libraries Programme.

The programme, which is run by The Carnegie UK Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the Wolfson Foundation, brings 14 research projects at universities into the heart of local communities, using libraries to encourage and share learning.

You can read more about the project here.