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Speaking only English is as much of a disadvantage as speaking no English

24th July 2014

Professor Adrian Blackledge and Professor Angela Creese discuss the importance of bilingualism and multilingualism within the British culture in the latest Birmingham Brief

Research conducted by the School of Education’s MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism has been rated ‘Excellent’ by the Arts and Humanities research councils of Europe.

24th February 2014

The research project, Investigating discourses of inheritance and identity in four multilingual European settings , was funded through the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) Joint Research Programme. A collaboration with Copenhagen University, Stockholm University, and Tilburg University, the project was led by MOSAIC researchers Professor Adrian Blackledge, Professor Angela Creese, Professor (Emeritus) Marilyn Martin-Jones, and Jaspreet Kaur Takhi.

A research team across the four universities investigated how multilingual young people in Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK negotiate identity and belonging in and beyond educational settings. The project developed innovative research methods, and contributed to policy and practice in the inclusion of minority languages in Europe.
In awarding the project five ratings of ‘Excellent’, the HERA Review Panel said “This is an important project because in multi-cultural societies it is vital to understand how multilingual groups interact”. They considered that the project’s findings were “of great importance to future policy-makers and educationalists, and certainly deserve to be taken very seriously indeed by European governments”.

Project Leader Professor Adrian Blackledge said “This is a very welcome endorsement of the collaborative, international work of the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism as we continue to investigate multilingualism in superdiverse societies”. 

MOSAIC team awarded major grant for new research in Translation and Translanguaging

October 2013

A consortium led by the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism (Professors Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge) based within the School of Education, has been successful in its bid for a large grant as part of the AHRC Translating Cultures theme. The 4-year research project, Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities , is a collaboration between academic researchers, non-academic partners, and community stakeholders. It is also a partnership between four UK universities and the private, public, and third sectors. The interdisciplinary research programme will develop new understandings of multilingual interaction in cities in the UK, and communicate these to policy-makers and communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

The research team will conduct detailed linguistic ethnographic investigations in selected wards in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, and London. The researchers will focus on multilingual interactions between people in contexts of business, legal advice, community sport, and libraries and museums and analysis will provide detailed evidence of how people communicate across languages and cultures. The award is for £1,973,527.

The interdisciplinary project will involve academic researchers from a broad range of subject areas, including Business and Entrepreneurship, Cultural Heritage, Education, Law, Sociolinguistics, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Social Policy and the interdisciplinary work will be co-ordinated by University of Birmingham’s Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS).

Principal Investigator Professor Angela Creese welcomed the award, saying , saying “This award gives researchers at the University of Birmingham the opportunity to lead a major, ground-breaking study of multilingualism in superdiverse cities across England and Wales. The research will make a significant contribution to knowledge about the potential of multilingualism as a resource for communication, creativity, and civic participation”.

Professor Angela Creese gives the 2013 Annual Nessa Wolfson Colloquium Lecture at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

September 2013

Angela Creese , an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, meets with some of the current Graduate Students and staff

Professor Angela Creese gave the 2013 Annual Nessa Wolfson Colloquium Lecture at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. The title of her talk was, Beyond the multilingual moment: perspectives on competence in language teaching and learning. Angela Creese , an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, also met with some of the current Graduate Students and staff.

Conceptualizing multilingualism under globalization: membership claims, social categories and emblems of authenticity

11th and 12th June 2013

The University of Birmingham’s MOSIAC Centre for Research on Multilingualism and the IRiS Institute for Research on Superdiversity hosted a two day BAAL/CUP seminar at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. The seminar was organized in collaboration with the Linguistic Ethnography Forum.

BAAL 2013

The objectives of the seminar were to explore recent research which questions the stability of social categories such as language, community, and ethnicity in contexts of globalization and multilingualism. In addition, the seminar provided a forum for individuals to engage in close analysis of identity and membership claims in linguistic interaction. Implications of these discussions for social policy were discussed.


  • Adrian Blackledge and Angela Creese (University of Birmingham) 
  • Hugh Escott and Kate Pahl (University of Sheffield) 
  • Kamran Khan (University of Birmingham) 
  • Michele Koven (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) 
  • Adrienne Lo (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign) 
  • Ben Rampton (King’s College London)
  • Caroline Tagg (University of Birmingham) 
  • Sabina Vakser (University of Melbourne)

pdficonsmallDownload the report from the BAAL/CUP seminar which includes abstracts from all the speakers (PDF, 255KB).


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 Mercator Network Newsletter No.80


Read the newsletter from the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning