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Language, Heritage, Migration

Language and heritage play an important role in the process of global human movement and in the experience of transnational migrants. In this strand we seek to establish a new field of interdisciplinary scholarship which spans multiple disciplines and to link together three university research initiatives on 'language', 'heritage' and 'migration' in particular.

The programme focuses on a core question pertaining to in what way we can capitalise on the ‘language heritage capital’ in homes, schools and communities to support migrant children’s learning, integration and mobility across the life span. It builds upon the groundwork of Cambridge Research in Community Language Education Network ( established in 2014 which brings together policy makers, practitioners, academics and research students in the Cambridge area to examine critical issues in relation to language heritage in the context of education and schooling of bilingual children on the move. The programme includes three strands of research, each with a distinctive theme:

Theme 1: Supporting bilingual migrant children's learning and language development through creative arts and new technologies

Theme 2: Understanding the role of language heritage in migration and settlement through history and narratives

Theme 3: Developing evidence-based interventions to inform social policy on language maintenance, social integration and well-being of migrant children

The programme continues to build cross-sector and cross-discipline dialogue to define this new field of scholarship and seeks creative ways to engage policy makers and inform policy making.


Convener: Yongcan Liu
Participants: Participants of this programme include scholars across the disciplines of Modern Languages, Linguistics, Anthropology, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Education, History, Engineering and Computer Science as well as professionals across sectors such as local governments; health service; schools and communities; race, ethnicity and diversity services; child care and protection; Black, Roma and Travelers communities; and refugee communities.


In Partnership With:

Cambridge Bilingual Groups is a voluntary group that provides support for groups and supplementary schools for bilingual children in and around Cambridge. The main activities are teacher and manager training, provision of networking opportunities and 1:1 support.