Language - For the love of languages

Edinburgh University has launched Bilingualism Matters, a free and online advice service for parents on the advantages of children learning multiple languages. It also addresses potential difficulties and common concerns, such as the impact on achievement at school.

According to a recent government survey, more than 100 different languages are spoken in Scotland, and bilingualism is on the increase.

Antonella Sorace, of the university's school of philosophy, psychology and language sciences, said: "In many parts of the world, it is common for children to be exposed to two or even more languages right from birth; but bilingualism is a relatively new phenomenon in most of Europe. As a consequence, there is a lack of information and support on the benefits of bilingualism. Our aim is to bridge that gap."

Bilingualism Matters is co-sponsored by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in Scotland, and partly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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