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ET324: Multilingualism and Culture


Is it an advantage or disadvantage to be brought up bilingual? Is the bilingual or multilingual mind different? How do multilingual individuals draw on culturally shaped understandings of the social world to manage their interactions? In this module you will become familiar with key terms, concepts, theories and research evidence related to linguistic, psychological, and social aspects of bi/multi-lingualism. By the end of the module, you will be able to describe and discuss evidence in bi/multi-lingualism research, analyse the use of language in bi/multi-lingual contexts and evaluate theoretical and empirical research in bi/multi-lingualism.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate your understanding of key concepts, terminology, research methods and theories related to the linguistic, psychological and social aspects of multilingualism.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of issues related to multilingualism and culture.
  • Describe and discuss the use of language by multilinguals and in multilingual contexts.
  • Critically evaluate theoretical and empirical research in multilingualism.

Learning Experience


Core content will be presented during weekly 2-hour lectures.


We will meet in a weekly 1-hour small-group seminar to practice and apply course concepts.



2000-word assignment (50%)


2-hour written examination (50%)

Preparatory Reading

  • Bhatia, T. K., & Ritchie, W. C. (Eds.). The handbook of bilingualism and multilingualism (2nd edn.). Malden: Blackwell.