Cognitive benefits of bilingualism and attitudes towards minority languages

I have conducted a series of research studies into the cognitive benefits of bilingualism in children who speak minority languages with colleagues from the Università di Cagliari, Italy, that have involved young children from Sardinia (who spoke Italian and Sardinian) and the Western Isles of Scotland (who spoke English and Scottish Gaelic).  The first of these studies was published in 2013 in the International Journal of Bilingualism.

After a press release by the University of Strathclyde the research results were picked up the BBC news web-site and received wide-ranging coverage in over 20 countries and 100 web-sites across the world, as well as national newspaper coverage in the Herald, the Scotsman, the Times and the Times Education Supplement.  I was interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland for their Newsdrive programme, and have since contributed to a DVD on the promotion of learning languages produced by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

In November 2012 I was one of the speakers at the ESRC Festival of Social Science Event Talk in two languages: A problem or a skill? In December 2012 and February 2013 I was an invited speaker at the Gaelic Education Leaders Annual Conference organised by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

In 2017 I published an edited book entitled “Bilingualism and Minority Languages in Europe: Current trends and developments” with Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto. In August 2017, after a press release by the University of Strathclyde, my research on attitudes and perceptions towards the minority languages of Gaelic and Sardinian was picked up by the BBC news website and reported nationally in Scotland. I was interviewed on the Good Morning Scotland programme on BBC Radio Scotland and interviewed for various newspaper articles.

See the links column for a selection of some of the web-sites that reported the research results.

Links to Research

BBC News
European Commission
The British Council
Yahoo news
Times Education Supplement
Morsmal (part of UNESCO)
Medical Daily
Medical Express
Science Daily
Science Illustrated