A reminder that we will be hosting a lecture from Professor Antonella Sorace tomorrow at 7pm in the theatre – failte oirbh uile!

Why Gaelic matters: connecting research and communities
Antonella Sorace
University of Edinburgh and Bilingualism Matters
Research shows that bilingualism in any languages, regardless of their status, prestige, and worldwide diffusion, can give children a range of linguistic, cognitive and social benefits. Some of these benefits have also been found in adult second language learners, both younger and much older. I will first briefly present the main facts and benefits of bilingualism over the lifespan, focusing in particular on current research on Gaelic and other minority languages. I will then argue that more attention should be paid by parents, educators and policy makers to bilingual children’s attitudes and perception of their languages. I will then suggest that revitalization of minority languages crucially depends on community foundations for bilingual education and inter-generational transmission. Finally, I will show how the dissemination of correct information on bilingualism can enable informed decisions in minority language communities.
Antonella Sorace is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. She is a world leading authority in the field of bilingual language development across the lifespan, where she brings together methods from linguistics, experimental psychology, and cognitive science. She is also committed to disseminating the findings of research on bilingualism in different sectors of society. She is the founding director of the information centre Bilingualism Matters, which currently has 26 branches in 10 European countries, in the US, in the Middle East, and in China.

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