Background

Europe has experienced several waves of migration within the 20th century that have led to the establishment of multilingual communities across the continent. A current large influx of migrants and refugees will lead to a considerable increase of multilinguals within Europe.

Understanding the benefits and challenges of being multilingual is crucial for the education, wellbeing, and employment of immigrants and can impact their integration and prospects in Europe as well as the prospects of the European countries.

The mission of MultiMind is to seek fundamental breakthroughs in multilingualism research whilst training the new generation of researchers in world-leading labs using cutting edge methodologies and allowing them to build the necessary background and skills fostering their career progress as independent researchers in academic or non-academic sectors, in the first international, multidisciplinary, and multisectorial program on multilingualism.

MultiMind will conduct fundamental research on multilingualism across disciplines in a range of different social and educational settings, including migration and refugee settings, to investigate the influence of multilingualism on language learning, cognition, creativity, and decision making, on brain function and structure, and its role as a reserve in atypical populations. These issues are of prime importance for the future construction of shared cultural, educational, and health settings across Europe. Indeed, one of the big current challenges in Europe is the integration of refugees and immigrants into European states and the integration among European citizens living in different countries in Europe. Inevitably, this challenge starts and has the best chances to be won by focusing on the educational systems and on the influence that the use of languages has in daily life.

MultiMind is international in nature and will federate world-leading scientists from European and non-European countries with proven expertise conducting research in specific types of multilingual populations and methodologies. To address the interplay of multilingualism with education, cognition, brain, and health it is necessary to take a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, MultiMind is a multidisciplinary consortium comprising researchers within linguistics, psychology, education, neuroscience, and speech & language therapy.

MultiMind is also a multisectorial project that includes not only academic, but also non-academic beneficiaries and partners from education, health, publishing, and IT. Non-academic beneficiaries and partners will provide training in evidence-based research and non-academic secondments. This will enable early stage researchers (ESRs) to put theoretical knowledge into practice, experience working within non-academic organisations and develop transferable skills and will prepare ESRs for employment not only within the academia, but also in a range of other professions within the private and public sector. These organisations will also benefit from the knowledge obtained from MultiMind that promises to lead to best practise for inclusive education and health. It turn, this will have a significant impact on multilingual societies in Europe and across the globe.

Objectives

MultiMind is a research and training platform that seeks fundamental breakthroughs in multilingualism research by adopting a multi-disciplinary perspective with the following main scientific objectives:
  • Objective 1 - Language learning, cognition, and creativity: to understand the relationship between language learning, cognition, and creativity. MultiMind will investigate the role of environmental, language architecture, and domain general factors on language learning, cognition, and creativity. The outcomes have important implications for language teaching and educational policies.
  • Objective 2 - Language processing and the multilingual brain:  to determine how the properties of the language and orthographic systems affect the way multilingual and multiliterate people process language using behavioural and neuroscience methods. The outcomes have important implications for teaching practices across European countries.
  • Objective 3 - Multilingual cognition and society: to understand the cognitive mechanisms underpinning social cognition, the role of language as a social group marker, how language use affects decision making, and the manifestation of stereotypes. The outcomes have important implications for challenges on migration in Europe.
  • Objective 4 - Language impairment in multilingual children: to understand the impact of multilingualism in children with language impairment using behavioural and neuroimaging methodologies and to develop computerised tasks for screening language impairment and dyslexia in multilingual children. The outcomes have important economic and non-economic implications for health and education services across Europe.
  • Objective 5 - Multilingualism in migration and refugee settings: to address the efficacy of teaching methods and educational activities promoting language and literacy in pre-schools and schools for migrants/refugees, and to identify good practice that meets the needs of students with a migrant/refugee background. The outcomes have crucial implications for the education of migrants/refugees in Europe and for their integration.

Read more about the project team, activities and publications on the Multimind website: www.multilingualmind.eu

News

Konferencja “Dziecko z doświadczeniem migracji - wnioski z badań i wskazówki praktyczne” 8-9.12.2021
Conference "A child with a migration background - research conclusions and practical guidelines"
Multimind Lecture Series

'The Multilingual Mind' is a lecture series on multilingualism across disciplines from the Multimind Project.

Conference on Multilingualism 2021

Events

International Mother Language Day

On the International Mother Language Day (21 February 2021), the MultiMind team together with different Bilingualism Matters branches are organising interactive online events on "Multilingualism: myths, facts, research, and stories".

People

Dr hab. Zofia Wodniecka
Professor at the Institute of Psychology, Jagiellonian University, Director of BM@Krakow More
Maria Teresa Guasti
Professor of Psycholinguistics, Bilingualism Matters @Milan-Bicocca Branch Director More
Professor Li Wei
Professor in Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, BM@London Co-Director More
Prof. Dr. Theodoros Marinis
Professor Multilingualism, BM@Konstanz Branch DIrector More
Prof. Tanja Rinker
Professorship for German as a Foreign Language / Didactics of German as a Second Language More
Jasmijn Bosch
PhD student in Psycholinguistics and Multilingualism More
Prof. Sharon Armon-Lotem
Branch Director More
Konstantina Olioumtsevits
PhD candidate More