About us

Bilingualism Matters is a Centre at the University of Edinburgh, with partner branches around Europe and the US. We communicate what we know about bilingualism and second language learning to enable people to make informed decisions. We think that everyone can enjoy the benefits of having more than one language.

Our vision:

A society where everyone is aware of and has access to the benefits of multiple languages

We believe that real change happens through dialogue between researchers and the community. We work in partnership with parents, teachers, health professionals, policy makers and employers to help create impact in people’s daily lives – for the better! There are now branches of Bilingualism Matters across Europe and the US – check out our list of branches to find one near you.

Research has shown that bilingualism is beneficial for children’s development and their future. Children exposed to different languages become more aware of different cultures, other people and other points of view. But they also tend to be better than monolinguals at ‘multitasking’ and focusing attention. They are often more precocious readers, and generally find it easier to learn other languages. Bilingualism gives children much more than two languages!

More recent research also suggests that learning another language may have benefits in later life, delaying the onset of dementia symptoms, and slowing cognitive aging. The good news is that these benefits seem to exist even when people learn a second language later in life. So it is never too late – see our resources page for classes and meet up groups around Edinburgh.

More information:

Meet the team What we do Message from the Centre Director