The Importance of the Native Language – Practitioner Day (Birkbeck College, London, Nov. 10th)

What are the challenges, benefits and opportunities in being able to use several languages?

The economic and personal benefits of acquiring a second language are well known but the fact that learning new languages has ramifications for the existing ones – first language attrition – is usually ignored. This Practitioner Day will bring together experts on the importance of the native language in the above contexts with people who are faced with the problems and opportunities which a multilingual society and a multilingual life entails, in either a professional or a personal context, enhancing the visibility of research on language attrition and the availability of resources on this topic. It is intended to provide useful information for practitioners, teachers, parents, caregivers and policy makers for the importance of the native or home language in all of these settings.

During the day, we will address topics including:

    • Multilingual children and language brokering
    • Multilingual children in foster care
    • Language, emotion and therapy
    • Citizenship, language and identity
    • Language attrition and problems of intergenerational transmission of the minority language

This will be the final event in  a series of conferences and workshops funded by the ESRC which aimed to integrate questions and findings on first language attrition and neighbouring disciplines (heritage languages, bilingual development, second language acquisition and integration). It will be hosted by Birkbeck’s Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research and organised in collaboration between the Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan at the University of Essex (LaDeLi), the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication at Birkbeck College, Mothertongue and Bilingualism Matters.

This event is also part of the 2017 ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Participation in the workshop is free, but for catering and planning purposes, please register here.

Please email in case of any questions.