More than one million children in British schools study through a language that is not their mother tongue. Business, science, medicine, politics in Europe, and diplomacy worldwide are routinely conducted by speakers of English but mostly as a second or foreign language. In a global context, bilingualism is increasingly the norm but is poorly understood despite its educational and cultural salience. The study of bilingualism is therefore an area of growth, and fast becoming mainstream in social science research.
The pathway draws upon an extensive track record in bilingualism research, encompassing the ESRC-funded Centre for Research on Bilingualism and Theory and Practice at Bangor and the Language Research Centre at Swansea. Bangor and Swansea have complementary expertise, covering bilingual development and education, unconscious language co-activation, bilingual aphasia or linguistic relativity, the bilingual lexicon, as well as language policy, law and socio-linguistics. The institutions are also partners in the creation of the Cardiff-led £1.8m ESRC project to produce the first ever large-scale corpus of Welsh.
The pathway is fundamentally interdisciplinary, combining approaches from linguistics, social linguistics, education, psychology, cognitive neuroscience; the training involves core and joint teaching and supervision across different schools. Students on a 1+3 route will complete their Masters year (or part-time equivalent) with either the MA in Bilingualism or the MSc in Psychological Research at Bangor. The PhD stage will be based at either Bangor or Swansea.
Students become part of a rich research culture which includes seminars, conferences and summer schools. They can also benefit from extensive links with international research centres in Europe and the USA, and from the many research relationships we have established with non-academic organisations in the public, private and third sectors.