Next Lecture | Antonella Sorace: Bilingualism: From Research to Society and Back Again

International Mother Language Day Special Lecture

Bilingualism: From Research to Society and Back Again

Antonella Sorace
Professor of Developmental Linguistics, LEL

The preceding Monday (21 Feb) is International Mother Language Day. Our weekly Wednesday lecture will be on bilingualism and the importance of having more than one mother language.

Professor Sorace is a leading expert on many aspects of research in bilingualism. Bilingualism is both the acquisition of two or more ‘first’ languages and the socio-political environment in which there are two or more official languages.

She is also the Director of the organisation Bilingualism Matters, a group that promotes the importance of bilingualism in education and child development.

As well as her post in Edinburgh, Professor Sorace is also Visiting Professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway.

For more information on Prof. Sorace see:
For more information on Bilingualism Matters see:
For more information on International Mother Language Day see:


Two languages in one brain: what bilingualism means for the individual and why it matters for society.Different types of bilingual language development – early language learning from childhood, adult second language learning, native language attrition – have traditionally been studied in separate sub-fields of linguistics and psychology. Edinburgh is one of the few places in the world that adopts a ‘big tent’ interdisciplinary approach to bilingualism. I will show that this approach has revealed similarities among bilingual groups due to a complex interplay of linguistic and cognitive factors.I will also describe our effort to make information about research on bilingual language and cognition accessible in the community. This is crucial to encourage early language learning, to facilitate the integration of immigrant children, and to maintain local minority languages. Edinburgh is at the forefront of public outreach with the Bilingualism Matters project, which is actively working to bridge the gap between research and public perception of bilingualism in Scotland and in Europe.

Entry is £1 and FREE to active members. Membership is £3 (£6 for non-students) and you can join on the night.

The talk will start at 6:00 p.m. and last about 1 hr. There will be a Q&A/ discussion session at 7:00 p.m. which should last about half an hour.

We also meet at Assembly Bar (41 Lothian Street EH1 1HB ) after the talk at 8:00 p.m. for food and drink with the speaker.

Our talks are public lectures open to all, regardless of whether you are a student or not or what or where you study if a student. We aim for all of our events to be accessible to all; please feel free to contact us beforehand if you require assistance or further information.

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