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Episode 14: Dr. Carlos Soler Montes and Spanish Language Much Language Such Talk

Dr. Carlos Soler Montes is a Lecturer at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh, where he teaches Hispanic Linguistics and advanced Spanish Language courses. He started working at The University of Edinburgh in 2015 as a Teaching Fellow and e-Learning Coordinator and now is the Learning and Teaching Director of the Department of European Languages and Cultures as well as Programme Director for Spanish and Portuguese at Bilingualism Matters. One of Carlos' passions is studying the Spanish language in Spain and Latin America. He is  interested in language variation from a pan-Hispanic and pluricentric perspective and how this variation is dealt with by native speakers, as well as learners of Spanish. This is reflected in his research of Hispanic Linguistics, where he has examined the ways Spanish grammar varies across different Hispanic regions, its particularities, cultural connections and social contacts with other languages. Currently, Carlos is co-leading a research project entitled “Linguistic variation in postcolonial contexts: historical, social and contact linguistic perspectives” funded by UNA Europa. The project brings together researchers working on postcolonial language studies and sociolinguistics within their university network, in order to produce new insights into linguistic variation and change in postcolonial contexts, promoting new and long-lasting collaboration initiatives that lead to a better understanding of European languages outside Europe. Additionally, Carlos is part of the “Spanish in Europe: Linguistic Demography of Spanish in Europe” research project, representing Scotland, which aims to better understand how groups of Spanish speakers are shaped by migration and the spread of Spanish as a foreign language, as well as how different social and linguistic environments affect language competency and use. Go to our website to read the transcript! MLST  is brought to you by volunteers at Bilingualism Matters Edinburgh. The  views of our guests don’t always reflect our own, as we hope to provide  an accessible platform for the findings of current research and the  perspectives of experts. For more resources like definitions of  linguistic terms, episode transcripts, and information about the team,  go to our website at Recorded on 8/4/2021 Music: Arc of the Sun by The 126ersssssss

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 

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