Update on Phase Two: End of survey and prize draw

The second phase of the survey closed on 21st December with 156 responses and 80 families willing to take part in the third and final phase of the study in March 2021 – a year from the start of the first lockdown.

We also have two lucky winners in the second lottery draw.

We are extremely thankful to all the parents/carers who took the time to share their family’s experiences with us.

Best wishes for the holidays  and see you in 2021!

Update on Phase Two: New blog

Our colleagues at the LuCiD Centre have just published a new blog on our study.

Thank you  to all the families who have already completed the second survey. The information you are sharing with us is helping us understand how language use keeps changing in your families what it means to you.

Update on Phase Two: New Survey – November 2020

We are pleased to launch phase two of the project. In a shorter follow up survey we want to find out how English and other language(s) are now used in multilingual families a few months after the end of the first lockdown.

Out of the 761 parents/carers who fully completed the first survey, 253 respondents expressed an interest in joining phase 2 of the project. The new survey can be found here. Looking forward to hearing more about your multilingual family lives.

Our study is featured in the New York Times – September 2020

The preliminary findings of phase one of the study have been featured in an article in the New York Times. You can read this excellent piece by Sophie Hardach on the effects of lockdown on family language use around the world here.

Update on Phase One: Preliminary Findings – July 2020

The survey we launched on 20th April 2020 closed on 20th July 2020. We can now share some preliminary findings from the 761 complete responses we received from multilingual families in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

What is this project about?

The aim of this project is to investigate how beliefs about multilingualism and language use may be affected in multilingual families in the UK and Ireland by school closures and social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to use our findings to share language practices and ideas that may be useful to multilingual families for both English and their other language(s).

Who is running this project?

This study is led by researchers at the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism and Bilingualism Matters@Reading at the University of Reading in collaboration with researchers from CamBilingNetwork at the University of Cambridge, UCL BiLingo at UCL, the University of Oxford and NALDIC, Mother Tongues Ireland, and We Live Languages. The project received ethical approval by the Research Ethics Commitee in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading (pcls-ethics@reading.ac.uk).

Who are multilingual families?

For the purposes of this project we are considering families that include at least one child between the ages of 0 and 18 who are typically in school or childcare, and who are living together during the lockdown period and the social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A family is multilingual if one or more languages other than English are used among family members either on their own or together with English.

What does the project involve?

We are inviting multilingual families in the UK and in Ireland to complete a survey on three different occasions.

We launched the first phase of the project on 20th April 2020 and the survey closed on 12th July. 2020. We will contact those parents who have left their email address a second time at the beginning of the next school year, and once a year from now in April 2021. We will also invite those families that have completed all three questionnaires – and who have expressed an interest – to be interviewed. We will conduct online interviews with parents – and wherever possible with children – to ask them how their beliefs about multilingualism and their use of English and of their other language(s) may have changed over the year.

Will participants be paid?

Participants will not be paid but we will draw two £40 voucher prizes at each survey round. We will randomly choose the winner among those respondents that have left their email address at the end of the survey.

If you would like more information about the study, please contact the lead researcher: Prof. Ludovica Serratrice on l.serratrice@reading.ac.uk.