Thomas Bak on BBC Scotland Brainwaves

I would say language could be part of a healthy lifestyle exactly like physical exercise and having a healthy balanced diet.

Our co-director Dr Thomas Bak featured this week on the BBC Radio Scotland programme ‘Brainwaves’, discussing attitudes to bilingualism and what science tells us about how it affects our brains. You can listen to the programme here:

And also read about his work with social enterprise Lingo Flamingo in a news feature on the BBC website:



Video: Language Learning in the USA

Bilingualism Matters was delighted to be involved in the National Languages Networking meeting in Glasgow this week. The meeting was an opportunity for educators from across Scotland to explore how we can develop language teaching in our schools, with a focus on the “1 + 2” approach to language learning here in Scotland (more details on 1 + 2 are available on the SCILT website).

As part of the programme presented by Education Scotland, which included a talk by Bilingualism Matters Director Antonella Sorace on ‘Second language learning: benefits and challenges’, the co-director of our new Bilingualism Matters branch in California, Prof. Judith Kroll, recorded a special presentation on the current context for language learning in the USA. In her presentation, she introduced recent research findings on the benefits of language learning for brain development. The full presentation can be viewed on YouTube.

Bilingualism Matters International Meeting on 15 November 2017

Members of Bilingualism Matters branches from around the world came together recently in Barcelona for a meeting to discuss how we can better work together, sharing expertise and resources to empower individuals, communities and policy makers to make informed decisions about bilingualism and language learning. [Read more…]

Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Blog post by Eva-maria Schnelten

In September, the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona hosted the Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism, a renowned school for postgraduate students and researchers to gather, present and discuss the newest developments in their respective fields.

A few members of Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh were able to attend this year, promoting their research either in an oral presentation or a poster session.

The overarching theme was, as the name suggests, research concerning bilingualism and multilingualism: ranging from neuro-cognitive factors and the implications for ageing and health to the sociolinguistic development in bilingual children. The talks and posters provided an interesting and broad overview of the work that has been conducted in the field. [Read more…]

Bilingualism Matters in California

Covadonga Lamar Prieto, Antonella Sorace, Judith Kroll

On 2nd October 2017, Antonella Sorace travelled to University of California, Riverside, to open the 17th international branch of Bilingualism Matters. [Read more…]

Lost for words? Considering language attrition

Discussions at workshop

Bilingualism Matters is delighted to be involved in ESRC-funded First Language Attrition Seminar Series, which is led by Monika Schmid, University of Essex. As part of the series, we hosted a two-day workshop on “The Selectivity of Native Language Attrition” last week, which delivered interesting new findings in bilingualism research.

The term ‘attrition’ is somewhat controversial, as it refers to the decline in proficiency in one language for bilinguals – their native language. This is a common occurrence for bilinguals [Read more…]

The Importance of the Native Language – Practitioner Day (Birkbeck, University of London, November 10th 2017)

Photo: iStock

Bilingualism Matters is excited to be involved in this final event in  a series of academic conferences and workshops funded by the ESRC.

The Importance of the Native Language – Practitioner Day is on November 10th 2017 from 9:00-5:00 pm at Birkbeck, University of London. This event is part of the 2017 ESRC Festival of Social Science and will be hosted by [Read more…]

In the news: article in Italian magazine

Professor Antonella Sorace, Founder and Director of Bilingualism Matters, had an article published yesterday in ‘Sette’, the weekly magazine of major Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. In the article ‘Smontiamo tutti i pregiudizi sul bilinguismo’ (loosely translated ‘Removing Prejudice Against Bilingualism’), she confronts some of the myths surrounding bilingualism with facts from science.

You can read the article online here.

You can see a pdf  of the print version here.


Explorathon 2017 @ Leith Labs 29th Sept

Friday 29th September 2017 is European Researchers’ Night – an opportunity for the general public to discover science, meet researchers and have fun!

We’ll be joining Explorathon 2017 at Leith Labs in Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Edinburgh, from 12 noon to 6pm with researchers from Bilingualism Matters and our European partner project AThEME.

We’re going to have lots of fun, language-related activities for all the family, so come along and join us, along with many other researchers, at Leith Labs!

Questions for Bilingualism Matters experts?

Following the success of Antonella Sorace’s and Thomas Bak’s Edinburgh Fringe shows in the last week, we are offering everyone who was unable to attend the opportunity to put their questions directly to Antonella and Thomas on Twitter.

Our live Twitter Q&A session will take place today, Friday 25th August, from 4pm to 5pm (BST). Use #askbiling to ask your questions, and follow the discussion!

Check out the videos below to get an idea of some of the questions they were asked by the enthusiastic audiences at their packed shows.

Follow Bilingualism Matters on Twitter: @BilingMatters
Follow Thomas Bak on Twitter: @thbaketal