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S2 E1: Forensic Linguistics – Dr. Nicci MacLeod Much Language Such Talk

Today, we're joined by Dr. Nicci MacLeod. She is a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at Northumbria University. She got her PhD from Aston University in Birmingham where she conducted discourse analysis on police interviews with women reporting rape.  Until 2018 she was employed as a Research Associate at the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics, working on various projects focusing on authorship analysis, native language identification, and assuming identities online in the context of undercover investigations against child sex offenders. She is co-author of the book Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Internet Sexual Crime.. Nicci also works as self-employed forensic linguist. For this, she undertakes casework in the areas of authorship analysis, sociolinguistic profiling and forensic discourse analysis. She is part of the National Crime Agency Expert Advisor Database. On top of that, she has worked with the Serious Organised Crime Squad, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, UK police forces and defence solicitors, and she has appeared as expert witness in the Crown Court of England and Wales, and both the Sherriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland. Her current research interests lie in discursive patterns of representation and negotiation, particularly in legal and investigative contexts, the language of policing, and the language of violence. 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 24/8/2021 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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