Bilingual Bicultural News: “Talking About Bilingualism” Research Questionnaire / University of Salamanca

Are you a parent, teacher, linguist, pediatrician, student, language lover? The University of Salamanca (Spain) is conducting research on bilingualism and needs your help!

“Talking about Bilingualism” is a research about bilingualism carried out in Spain, from the University of Salamanca.

Your opinion is important and can make a difference. The University of Salamanca invites you to share it with them through the following questionnaire:


We also invite you to share your perceptions about how Spaniards speak English: only by learning about reality can we change it.


If you wish to send us news or opinions on bilingualism/biculturalism, send us an email at or contact us via the contact the form.


How to boost your kids’ bilingual skills easily in less than an hour

Raising a child bilingually can be a struggle for families at times when life gets busy. But what if we could boost our bilingual children’s vocabulary easily simply by using our bilingual language at the dinner table?

The benefits of family mealtimes

Recently, the Washington Post published an article on how monolingual children benefit from having dinner with their parents. Research shows that young children were able to boost their vocabulary by sharing conversations around the dinner table, much more than those who were read aloud to. In this study, researchers discovered that children who shared mealtime conversations with their families learned 1,000 rare words, compared the only 143 words from parents who read storybooks aloud to their infants.

Older children also benefited greatly from sharing mealtime with their families; those who spent more time doing so had higher achievement scores than those who spent more time at school, doing homework or other related activities such as art or sports. Even more interesting is the fact that families with teenagers who ate meals together from five to seven times a week were more likely to get A’s in school.

The list of benefits continues: children who eat with their families tend to consume more fruit and vegetables, leading to a smaller chance at becoming obese, and some research even found that regular family dinners can reduce symptoms in certain medical disorders such as asthma.

Of course, we can’t forget the strong bond which is created between a child and her family while sharing time together with loved ones; family dinners lower feared high risk teenage behavior such as smoking, binge drinking, drug use, eating disorders and school problems such as violence.

So how can this help bilingual families?

If research shows that monolingual children learn up to 1,000 more rare words than those who are read aloud to, simply having a meal with your children can help their language skills in their bilingual language immensely in less than an hour of your time a day.

As a parent of a bilingual child, you may struggle finding the place or time of day to enhance your child’s language skills in their bilingual languages. Mealtimes can therefore be a great simple and fun way for you and your family to spend time together communicating in your bilingual languages. You may even want to get your kids to help you or watch you prepare the meal, boosting their vocabulary even further by naming ingredients, tools etc.

For parents struggling to raise their children’s minority language skills this may be a great option. It may be hard to find literature/media in certain languages or other speakers of the language to talk with. Choosing to use the minority language during mealtimes could help boost your child’s vocabulary by 1,000 words, as well as allowing them to practice their communication skills in a different language, by sharing interesting stories and conversations around the dinner table.

So there you have it. Share a delicious meal with your kids and expand their vocabulary while having fun together at the dinner table, using less than an hour a day!

February events on Bilingualism & Multilingualism

The following are a list of events, symposiums, conferences or workshops held in January related to the areas of bilingual, bicultural or multilingual/multicultural research. If you wish to appear on this list or know of any more events you would like to ask, feel free to contact us through the contact form or in the comments section!


Conceptualizing, Investigating, and Practicing Multilingualism and Multiculturalism
February 27-28 in Washington DC, USA

International Colloquium on Multilingualism and Interpreting in Settings of Globalisation
February 19-20 in Ghent, Belgium
Focus on asylum and migration

11th International Conference on Bilingual Studies
12-15 February in Manila, Philippines

Workshop: L2 Acquisition of Alignment Patterns in Non-European Languages
February 05-06 in Ghent, Belgium

January events on Bilingualism & Multilingualism

The following are a list of events, symposiums, conferences or workshops held in January related to the areas of bilingual, bicultural or multilingual/multicultural research. If you wish to appear on this list or know of any more events you would like to ask, feel free to contact us through the contact form or in the comments section!

January 28-30 in Bologna, Italy
Includes the paper “Italian roots in Australian soil: dialect as heritage language in first generation bilinguals”

“Il titolo del convegno vuole proporre all’attenzione degli studiosi il tema del classico e insieme rivoluzionario saggio di Roman Jakobson, Kindersprache, Aphasie und allgemeine Lautgesetze (1941). Qui si lanciava l’idea che i paralleli fra lo sviluppo fonologico del linguaggio nel bambino e (in termini jakobsoniani) la “dissoluzione” della fonologia nelle patologie del linguaggio abbiano come fondamento comune leggi fonetiche generali, le stesse che governano anche la struttura e il mutamento fonico delle lingue del mondo.”

Invited speakers:
Federico Albano Leoni – Università La Sapienza
Cinzia Avesani – ISTC–CNR, Padova
Valentina Bambini – IUSS Istituto Universitario di Stusi Superiori – Pavia
Carla Bazzanella – Università di Torino
Pier Marco Bertinetto – Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Catherine Best – University of Western Sydney, Australia
Giuliano Bocci – Université de Gèneve, Svizzera
(Click here for a full list of invited speakers)

Bilingualism and Cognitive Aging 2015
January 28-30 in Groningen, The Netherlands
Contact: (Dr Merel Keijzer)

“Apart from establishing the current state-of-affairs, this meeting aims to provide a uniform kick-off for future work in this area. The staging of this event nicely coincides with a special issue on the topic of bilingualism and aging of Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism as well as an edited volume published by John Benjamins (Eds.: Ellen Bialystok, Cari Bogulski and Margot Sullivan). Adding to those publications, the output of this workshop includes both a special journal issue addressing the conference theme and an edited book volume. During the conference more details will be presented on both these publications and conference participants will be invited to submit their work to these forums.”

Invited speakers:
Prof. dr. Jubin Abutalebi – University Vita-Salute San Raffaele/ University of Hong Kong
Prof. dr. Thomas Bak – University of Edinburgh
Prof. dr. Ellen Bialystok – York University
Prof. dr. Kees de Bot – University of Groningen
Prof. dr. Deborah Burke – Pomona College

Norwegian Student Conference in Linguistics and Philology
January 22-23 in Tromsø, Norway
Issues on bilingualism, multilingualism and language policies

“This first edition will be hosted by UiT, The Arctic University of Norway on January 22-23, 2015, giving you a rare opportunity to see both the first rays of the Arctic Sun and the occasional display of Northern Lights.
The conference is open to all graduate students in linguistics and philology, from both Norway and abroad, provided they have not defended a PhD by October 31st, 2014. Submissions are limited to one individual and one joint presentation per author.
We welcome abstracts in all areas of linguistics. The pool of topics includes: syntax, semantics, phonology, morphology, phonetics, language acquisition, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, sociolinguistics, bilingualism, multilingualism, language policies, translation studies, computational linguistics, diachronic linguistics, classical philology etc.
Talks will have a 20+10 format, and will be organized in parallel sessions, depending on the number of accepted.” speakers.”

Invited speakers:
Eystein Dahl (UiT)
Dag Haug (UiO)
Kenneth Hyltenstam (Stockholm University)
Nivedita Mani (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone World
January 14-16 in Leiden, The Netherlands
The first Bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone world (BHL) conference

“The goal of the BHL is to bring together researchers working on different aspects of bilingualism in the Hispanic and Lusophone world. Hence, the BHL will be dedicated to research in any area related to bilingualism, including theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics, second language and bilingual acquisition, heritage languages, and psycholinguistics. By bringing together researchers from different perspectives we will be able to share new insights regarding methodology and get a better understanding of bilingualism.”

Invited speakers:
Albert Costa (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
Giuli Dussias (Penn State University)
Pieter Muysken (Radboud University Nijmegen)
Jason Rothman (University of Reading)
Rafael Salaberry (Rice University)
Scott Schwenter (Ohio State University)