Multilingual Manchester is preparing to deliver a new project on ‘Multilingual Communities’, to be launched in October. The research will be led by Professor Yaron Matras, together with Professor Eva Schultze-Berndt and Dr Rebecca Tipton, all from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures at the University of Manchester.
Drawing on the example of Manchester’s multilingualism, the project will focus on mapping language needs, understanding interpreter provisions in public services, and exploring how community languages influence one another. Special attention will be given to Arabic, a language that has seen a rise in the number of speakers in Manchester in recent years.
The project has a grant of ca. £980k and is one of the strands of a multi-site research consortium on ‘Cross-language dynamics: re-shaping communities’, in partnership with the University of Durham, the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, and nine other collaborating institutions. The consortium is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Open World Research Initiative and has an overall budget of £3.9mio. It is led by a Steering Group that includes Professors Stephen Hutchings and Yaron Matras (Manchester), Professor Anoush Ehteshami and Dr Andy Byford (Durham), and Professor Catherine Davies (SAS, London).
The Manchester research team will work together with the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre in Manchester to disseminate its findings to communities and schools. It will benefit from the input of Atul Ramanuj, Service Manager for M4 Translation and Interpreter Services at Manchester City Council, Councillor Dzidra Noor of Levenshulme, and Professor Elisabeth Lanza, Director of the MultiLing project at the University of Oslo, who are members of the consortium’s Advisory Board.
Opportunities are available to organise collaborative events and information sessions on language needs, heritage language, and language provisions, as part of the project, and we invite representatives of communities, schools, and public services to contact us with ideas and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org (telephone 0161 275 5999).