Saturday, February 13, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park)The basic science of bilingualism has shifted from focusing on specific linguistic or cognitive aspects of the bilingual experience to integrative, cross-disciplinary models that cover the lifespan. The current challenge is to understand the neurological and behavioral effects of bilingualism with respect to variations in the type of bilingualism, the degree of institutional support for new language learning, and speakers’ ability to actively maintain two languages. The time is also ripe for bridging the gap between research sectors and multilingual societies where many crucial policy decisions about bilingualism are still made on the basis of misconceptions. This symposium examines the newest findings on bilingualism from the perspective of broader implications for the public, and for the way research and policy is informed by the diverse experience of multiple language use in different parts of the world. The session addresses questions such as: Which research findings are sufficiently robust to be communicated to the general public? How can different sectors benefit from closer links with basic research? What are the responsibilities of researchers and how can they learn to engage effectively with society? Lessons are drawn from the successful experience of Bilingualism Matters, a research-based center established in Edinburgh that now has a network of international partners in different countries.
Karen Emmorey, San Diego State University