In 2020, we were unable to run our annual Edinburgh festival celebrating languages - the Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival (EMSF). Find out about the great events and activities that we hosted in 2018 and 2019.

The 2nd Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival (EMSF) took place in November 2019. Around 400 people, including school groups and community groups, came to Summerhall for our annual Edinburgh festival celebrating languages.

We were delighted to partner with the research project Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies (MEITS) and co-host their UK touring pop-up museum of languages on its Edinburgh stop. The project created fun, hands-on activities for all ages to explore and learn about languages.

In the run up to EMSF 2019, we also had a series of workshops in a local Edinburgh school where pupils learned about bilingualism and language learning research, then created art works based on their own experiences. These fantastic works were on display throughout the Festival and provided a discussion point for visitors, many of whom came to browse for books in our free multilingual book swap.

At ‘Kinetic Reading: Language Learning Through Movement’ children aged 9 to 11 had the opportunity to be led by a professional dancer exploring dance and language learning, in an innovative workshop funded by Creative Multilingualism.

One of the highlights of the 2019 festival, funded the ESRC Festival of Social Science, was the talk ‘More than one language: what parents and teachers need to know‘ by Professor Antonella Sorace. Around 50 people attended and there was a valuable questions and answers session after the talk to raise individual concerns.

Photos from EMSF 2019 are available on our Facebook album. The full programme and further details are here.

Find out about EMSF 2018 here, which had a mulitilingual ceilidh and silent disco, a book swap in books of all languages, informative workshops and activities on the theme of languages. Also, with Creative Scotland funding, four specially commissioned works by artists in the fields of music, dance, drama and visual arts were presented, following artists' workshops in local schools.