Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities

Researchers at the School of Education are members of a consortium from  four UK universities awarded a Large Grant as part of the AHRC Translating Cultures theme. Their project is Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities.

The consortium is led by MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism (Professors Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge), University of Birmingham. The Leeds-based co-investigators are Professor Mike Baynham and Dr James Simpson. The interdisciplinary research programme will develop new understandings of multilingual interaction in cities in the UK, and communicate these to policy-makers and communities locally, nationally, and internationally. The research project will run from 2014 to 2018.

Globalisation and changing patterns of migration mean that ‘superdiverse’ cities are increasingly populated by speakers of multiple languages. Researchers from University of Birmingham, Birkbeck (University of London), University of Leeds, and Cardiff University will generate new knowledge about communication in changing urban communities.

The research team will conduct detailed linguistic ethnographic investigations in selected wards in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, and London. Researchers will focus on multilingual interactions between people in contexts of business, legal advice, community sport, and libraries and museums. Analysis will provide detailed evidence of how people communicate across languages and cultures.