Jan 24, 2021

Multilingualism and Mobility in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres


It is frequently claimed that linguistic and cultural diversity present challenges in contemporary societies. This diversity also presents opportunities, including ways that multilingualism can function as a bridge for intercultural encounters and intergenerational relations. Projects by network members highlight some of the benefits of linguistic and cultural diversity, and thus have potential to productively shape education and migration policies.

The relationship between language and culture is central to our understanding of migration discourses and experiences. We approach the WUN Global Challenge of Understanding Cultures by taking the interface between Multilingualism and Mobility as our departure point. To advance our broader understandings of Multilingualism and Mobility, network members will share and synthesise findings based on local projects framed by four key points of orientation:

  • Language and cultural heritage
  • Language and social networks
  • Language and education
  • Language policy and migration

Visit the Multilingualism & Mobility in the Northern & Southern Hemispheres website


Academic publications


  • Horner, K. and J. Dailey-O’Cain (2019) Multilingualism, (Im)mobilities and Spaces of Belonging. Bristol: Multilingual Matters


  • Horner, Kristine (Sheffield) and J. Dailey-O’Cain (Alberta) (eds): Multilingualism and (Im)mobilities: Language, Identity and Power. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Selected outcomes

  • Multilingualism, Gender and Migration: Negotiating Identity, Power and Repertoire in the Globalising Context. Panel at International Bilingualism Symposium 12, 23-28 June 2019, University of Alberta, Canada. Contributions by Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain (University of Alberta), Mingyue Michelle Gu (Education University of Hong Kong) and Kristine Horner (University of Sheffield)
  • Workshop on Multilingualism and Higher Education – University of Cape Town, South Africa. (Horner’s participation linked to WUN collaboration on Deumert’s parallel WUN project on Understanding Globalisation: Margins and Peripheries).
  • Conference on Language and Borders: Rethinking Mobility, Migration and Space, University of Bristol, 26-27 March 2018, 65 academics from across the Network and beyond attended and presented papers. Funded by the British Academy project on European Migration, Language Policy and Small States.
  • Panel on Borders, (Im)mobilities and Spatialised Linguistic Practices, Sociolinguistics Symposium 22 at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, 27 June 2019, 5 academics from the Network attended and presented papers.