Latest episode:

S2 E5: Language in Everyday Life – Dr. Isabelle Barth Much Language Such Talk

For today's episode, we have invited Dr. Isabelle Barth. Isabelle is originally from France, and works as a consultant in languages, plurilingual education and intercultural communication. Isabelle conducts research on family language policies, in particular how they affect families with mixed cultural backgrounds and migrant families. In addition to her research, she founded the Multilingual Café in 2010, to help families and professionals on their plurilingual and multicultural paths.  With her research and policy experience, Isabelle is part of the Planting Languages, a European Erasmus + project involving five language policy organisations, Foyer VWZ,  Association for promotion of Polish Language Abroad, Multilingual Café , Stichting Onderwijsadvies (in Dutch), and the University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, which focused on sustaining multilingual families and professionals by developing a Family Language Policy in order to ensure optimal language development and well-being. They have created several tools, available in Dutch, English, French, Greek and Polish, to support and inform parents, primary caregivers, and language professionals to stimulate language development from early childhood, by creating communication opportunities and stimulating the child's appetite for learning languages.

Read the transcript here!



A language podcast answering your questions about language, learning, and culture.

At Much Language Such Talk (MLST), we talk about bi- and multilingualism and what it means to speak more than one language. We explore the benefits, the advantages, the struggles of bilingualism, what it entails, and what it means in the daily life of people who speak, know, and study more than one language.

We address topics such as language change, how we learn languages at different ages, bilingualism and language disorders, language identity and culture, minority languages, language policies, language education – you name it!

For each episode, we will speak to bi/multilinguals, parents or teachers, and researchers or experts in their respective field, to learn more about language learning and all the fun being bi/multilingual brings!

We are always open for suggestions of people to talk to and topics to talk about, so let us know if you have an idea for a topic, or topics, you would like to learn more about, or any issues you would like us to raise.

MLST is brought to listeners like you by the amazing volunteers at Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh. The views of our guests don’t always reflect our own, but we hope to provide a platform for the findings of current research and the perspectives of experts to be accessible to everyone. For more resources like definitions of linguistic terms, episode transcripts, and information about the team, you can find these on the Episodes, Glossary, and About pages.

Bilingualism Matters

Bilingualism Matters is a research and information centre at the University of Edinburgh, founded by Prof. Antonella Sorace in 2008. We study bilingualism and language learning, and communicate what we know to enable people to make informed decisions based on scientific evidence. We have partner branches run by international teams of researchers in many countries around the world. We think that everyone can enjoy the benefits of having more than one language.

We believe that real change happens through dialogue between researchers and the community. We work in partnership with parents, teachers, health professionals, policy makers and employers to help create impact in people’s daily lives. There are now branches of Bilingualism Matters all over the world – check out our list of branches to find one near you.

Research has shown that bilingualism is beneficial for children’s development and their future. Children exposed to different languages become more aware of different cultures, other people and other points of view. But they also tend to be better than monolinguals at ‘multitasking’ and focusing attention. They are often more precocious readers, and generally find it easier to learn other languages. Bilingualism gives children much more than two languages!

More recent research also suggests that learning another language may have benefits in later life, delaying the onset of dementia symptoms, and slowing cognitive aging. The good news is that these benefits seem to exist even when people learn a second language later in life. So it is never too late 

Never miss an episode again!
Sign up for a subscription here:

Do you like our podcast?
Then please leave a review!