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07-15 November 2020

About the researchers

Dr Jessica Bradley 

Jessica’s research is interdisciplinary across languages, linguistics and the arts. She is interested in understandings of language diversity and how people engage with difference in public spaces. She leads a research project, Multilingual Streets: Translating and Curating the Linguistic Landscape (2019-2021) which uses creative arts to explore young people’s understandings of language, identity and place. This project is developed in collaboration with a visual artist and artworks have been produced with young people participating in the project. 

Her research projects are situated at the intersections of language and the arts and her AHRC-funded PhD focused on the sociolinguistic concept of translanguaging in street arts production and performance. She recently collaborated on a project which invited artists to engage with multilingualism and what it means to be multilingual and live multilingually. The artworks have been exhibited across the UK and Finland, with more information available here. Her research has been funded by the AHRC, Connected Communities, ESRC and XR Stories and she has published widely, including recently a co-edited book ‘Translanguaging as Transformation: The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities’ which takes an innovative lens on translanguaging in collaborative research processes and relationships (2020, Multilingual Matters). 


Read more:

  • Moore, E., Bradley, J. & Simpson, J. (2020) Translanguaging as Transformation: The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 
  • Bradley J (2020) Ethnography, arts production and performance: Meaning-making in and for the street In Lähdesmäki T, Ceginskas V, Koskinen-Koivisto E & Koistinen A-K (Ed.), Ethnography with a Twist: Methodological and Ethical Challenges and Solutions in Contemporary Research London: Routledge.

Dr Sabine Little

Sabine’s research centres around the complexities of notions such as “identity” and “belonging” in the context of multilingual families. Migration, educational experiences, societal pressures and intergenerational differences all feed into how different family members construct their identity, and her research focuses on the languages spoken within the family as a conduit to these constructs. As well as working holistically with families, Sabine is working within formal education contexts to help educators and policy-makers understand underlying complexities of identity and belonging in today’s “super-diverse” society.

One particular component of Sabine’s work involves efforts to make multilingualism more “visible” in society, and to normalise it, so that multilingual children feel that all aspects of their identity and heritage are valued. As part of this work, Sabine collaborated with Sheffield Central Libraries to create Sheffield’s Multilingual Children’s Library, which won the Brenda Eastwood Award for Diversity and Inclusion in 2019. Sabine’s work has received grants  from many major funding bodies, including the ESRC, AHRC, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the UK Literacy Association, and the European Educational Research Association. Her most recent project, “Lost Wor(l)ds: On heritage, language, and forgetting” is funded by the ESRC and supported by the UK Literacy Association. Drawing inspiration from the highly successful book “Lost Words” by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, the project explores ways in which teachers can engage children in activities that enable them to use and maintain all their languages within the primary school context, while also engaging with nature. The project is looking for schools interested in participating in the project, so do get in touch!


Read more (freely accessible):

  • Little, S. (2020) Whose heritage? What inheritance?: conceptualising family language identities, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 23:2, 198-212, DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2017.1348463 
  • Little, S. (2019) ‘”Is there an app for that?” Exploring games and apps among heritage language families’. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40:3, 218-229. DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2018.1502776