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Fairbrother Lecture: Living with More than One Language – The Effects of Bilingualism on Mind and Brain

Dr Toms Voits, UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Language is frequently in the headlines, from worries about people speaking too many languages or too few, to questions of whether bilingualism protects against cognitive decline in later life. Bilingualism has featured prominently in language debates, with stories often over-simplifying a more complex picture.

Join former Reading doctoral researcher Toms Voits on a journey through the uniqueness and complexity of the human brain’s capacity for language. This public lecture will introduce the ways in which two or more languages co-habit within a single mind, how processing allows languages to compete and co-operate, and the much-debated effects of bilingualism on mind and brain. With a focus on research on bilingualism in older adults, the lecture will examine some of the complexities that need to be unpicked in order to understand relationships between ageing, cognitive health and language.

*Due to current restrictions, this year’s Fairbrother Lecture will be delivered as a pre-recorded film that can be viewed online at any time after its release on Tuesday 11 May.

To sign up to receive the link to view the lecture recording please visit the Events page.

For further information contact Dr Joanna John.

For information on Fairbrother Lectures in other years see previous events. 


11 May 2021
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Graduate School