4th Dec 2014: One Brain, Two Languages; Bringing Up a Bilingual Child by Madeleine Beveridge

Bilingualism Matters team
Bilingualism Matters team

Come along to The Counting House at 7pm to listen to Madeleine’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and hear the reflections she has to share…

Title of talk:

One brain, two languages: bringing up a bilingual child

Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • What worries do people have about bringing up a bilingual child?
  • What are these concerns based on?
  • What does research tell us about whether or not these concerns are justified?


A few paragraphs on your subject:

Speaking more than one language from a young age is the norm in lots of cultures around the world, but in Scotland it is often viewed as something outlandish – parents can be reluctant to bring their child up with more than one language. In this talk, we will discuss some typical worries people have about bringing up a bilingual child, and the possible reasons for these concerns.
We will then outline the scientific evidence which suggests that far from being damaging, having multiple languages can provide a child with multiple advantages. We will use research into bilingualism as an example of why sharing knowledge, and listening to people’s concerns, is so important in order to make real improvements to people’s everyday lives.

A few paragraphs about you:

Dr. Madeleine Beveridge is research coordinator for Bilingualism Matters, a centre for public engagement at the University of Edinburgh. She grew up in a resolutely monolingual household and when she started learning French at 13 she was constantly asked by friends, parents and even teachers: what’s the point of learning another language? She now knows there are lots of benefits to speaking languages; her aim is to communicate these benefits to the parents, teachers and 13 year olds of the future.

What free internet knowledge resources do you use?:

Information on Scottish population, languages spoken etc
Scottish census: http://www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk/
News on language education policy in Scotland, resources for language teachers etc
Scotland’s National Centre for Languages: http://www.scilt.org.uk/
Resources for parents and teachers interested in Gaelic education
Gaelic 4 parents: http://www.gaelic4parents.com/
Bòrd na Gàidhlig: http://www.gaidhlig.org.uk/
Improving communication between academics and the wider world
Beltane Public Engagement Network: http://www.beltanenetwork.org/
National coordinating centre for public engangement: http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/
What are your weblinks?
Website – www.bilingualism-matters.ppls.ed.ac.uk
Twitter – @BilingMatters
Facebook – /BilingMatters
Public Email – [email protected]

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