Embracing Linguistic Diversity

 

This satellite aims to enable a better understanding of what linguistic diversity is, and of the implicit biases rooted in linguistic differences: often without realising it, we judge others based on how we interpret their speech, e.g., their accent, their use of regional language traits, their choice of vocabulary, etc.  

Our work party overlaps with that of other Language@Leeds satellites Language and SocietyLanguage and Culture, Pedagogical Linguistics, Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching and Centre for Endangered Languages, Cultures, and Ecosystems (CELCE).

Image: Language Portraits (Busch, 2018; KustersMeulder, 2019).

Embracing Linguistic Diversity

This satellite brings together researchers and scholars from: 

  • The Language Centre (LC): Milena Marinkova (Language Centre Academic Lead for Inclusive Practice), Helen Sadig  (LC Director of Student Education).

We’re essentially a working group developing a series of initiatives to celebrate linguistic diversity and minimise language-based prejudices and disadvantages, starting from our University context. We’re particularly interested in how linguistic diversity can be incorporated into the language classroom to raise awareness of linguistic and cultural differences and help students improve their comprehension of different varieties of the target language.

Our current projects include: 

  • A series of events on the theme of Linguistic Diversity. The first workshop, ‘Embracing Linguistic Diversity’, was held in April 2021 (programme and recordings available on the website). The next related event, held in July 2021, involves a talk by Professor Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University London) entitled ‘Accent Bias in Britain: Why Accent Matters’.
  • A survey of University students’ experience of linguistic bias.  
  • A resource bank of activities, workshops, case studies and principles for embedding linguistic diversity in Language Teachingpartly drawing from examples of existing practice in the Language Centre and LCS. 

To join this group, please email Gise Tomé Lourido.

Events and news from this satellite

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A live talk followed by a Q and A session investigating accent bias in the workplace. Accent is one of...

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Linguistic diversity can be the source of implicit bias: often without realising it, we judge others based on how we...

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