This three-year research project is investigating the challenges of 21st century bilingualism at the local level in Canada, bringing together cutting-edge research on linguistics, cognition, and identity from three universities in Canada, the USA and the UK, along with the local school board and municipal and regional governments. Researchers will investigate bilingualism in the local context of not only the two official languages  of Canada (English and French), but also indigenous languages, the languages of immigrants escaping conflict, and the heritage languages of other immigrant groups.


(1) To generate new research insights on multilingualism in the Region of Waterloo, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. (2) To develop evidence-based and practices tools that will help municipal and regional governments to make informed decisions about bilingualism and language learning that benefit their local populations. (3) To raise awareness of key trends and challenges of multilingual newcomers, using innovative knowledge mobilization approaches to reach a diverse group of interested public in government, social services, youth, and the general public.


May 2019 – April 2022


This project is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada / Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada.

Project partners

  • Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
  • University of Edinburgh, UK
  • City of Kitchener, Canada
  • City of Waterloo, Canada
  • Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Canada
  • Waterloo Region District School Board, Canada


Dr. John W. Schwieter

Professor of Spanish and Linguistics and Director of the Language Acquisition, Multilingualism, and Cognition Laboratory at Wilfrid Laurier University; Director of Bilingualism Matters@Laurier


Help with research - Italian & English bilinguals

We are looking for research participants for a study on bilingualism - can you help? English-Italian bilinguals living in the UK or Italy.


Prof Antonella Sorace
Professor of Developmental Linguistics, University of Edinburgh / Founding Director of Bilingualism Matters More
Dr. John W. Schwieter
Professor in Spanish and Linguistics, Wilfrid Laurier University / Director of Bilingualism Matters Laurier More