SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics


One of the department's research clusters is multilingualism. One of our specificities is the broad coverage of multilingual areas worldwide, beyond the scope of European languages and settings. We include multilingualism in its applied aspects, by investigating formal language learning in educational settings, but also study situations where children and adults are informally socialised in several languages. Another strength lies in the broad disciplinary scope of our research, where multilingualism is connected to research on language contact, language typology and historical linguistics, but also to gesture research, second language acquisition and linguistic documentation and description. Research projects and individual research in this domain focus on

  • second language acquisition and language pedagogy
  • the documentation and description of multilingual settings
  • the connections between multilingual configurations and patterns of language contact
  • a typology of small-scale multilingual settings worldwide
  • multilingualism, migration and transnational settings
  • the emergence of Global Englishes
  • language maintenance in multilingual settings
  • spoken, written and signed multilingualism
  • language ideologies
  • language policy and planning