SOAS University of London

SOAS World Languages Institute

Multilingualism and Language Learning

The focus of this research project is on the intersection between multilingualism, language learning and higher education. The constantly increasing voluntary and forced mobility of people resulting from the forces of globalisation and political instabilities in various regions are having a dramatic impact on the linguistic make up of many nation-states, especially in Europe. New forms of linguistic diversity and multilingualism are emerging, involving different linguistic practices. These developments may result in changing attitudes towards multilingualism and in different views about the learning of other languages (e.g., which and how?). To date these issues received limited attention in the context of higher education. As universities play a key role in the preparation of the next generation of global citizens, it is important to examine students’ linguistic profiles, language attitudes and language learning experiences as well as to gauge their language learning needs to operate successfully in the linguistically diverse and complex environments created by globalisation.

Cross-Language Dynamics

This research project forms part of a large–scale research initiative ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’, an AHRC-Funded OWRI Programme, based at the University of Manchester.

The Survey

The main sources of data collection include an online survey covering the questions followed by interviews/focus groups with a small sample of students across the various regions. We also aim to involve some teaching staff in order to discuss the student responses and the implication for university language teaching.

The survey is currently available in the following languages: