Dept of Applied Linguistics and Communication | Research | Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research
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Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research (CMMR)

Housed in the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, the CMMR brings together and promotes the best of Birkbeck, as well as the University of London.s, research across the spectrum of multilingualism and multiculturalism.

It makes available the results of research, and the expertise acquired, through teaching, publication, partnerships with other organisations both within and outside academia and the promotion of civic and public debate.

In particular, it aims to contribute to debates about the benefit of linguistic and cultural diversity, focusing on London in a global context.

With this aim in mind, the Centre seeks to provide a platform for fundamental and applied research, create opportunities for new and innovative programmes of work, and national and international collaborations.

It also seeks to provide research support for postgraduates and practitioners in the relevant fields.

The CMMR organises regular Bloomsbury Applied Linguistics Seminars. Speakers are eminent researchers from the UK and abroad. In 2015-2016, we had:

09/10/2015: Dr Pascale Trevisiol Okamura (University of Paris)

30/10/2015: Professor Suzanne Quay (International Christian University, Japan)

27/11/2015: Dr. Tony Capstick (BBK)

13/11/2015: Dr Kazuya Saito (BBK)

05/02/2016: Dr Andrea Revesz (IoE – UCL)

22/04/2016: Professor Batja Gomes de Mesquita (University of Leuven)

06/05/2016: Professor Monika Schmid (Essex)

20/05/2016: Dr Rodney Jones (Reading)

03/06/2016: Dr Luke Plonsky (IoE - UCL)

01/07/2016: Professor Carmen Pena Díaz (Universidad de Alcalá)

08/07/2016: Professor Jasone Cenoz (University of the Basque Country) & Professor Durk Gorter (Ikerbasque-University of the Basque Country)


The CMMR also organizes the Bloomsbury Round Table on Communication, Cognition and Culture.  This is an annual, international and free event allows researchers at different stages of their career to present the latest work in the broad fields of Language, Communication and Cognition. The 2016 was on the theme Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Emotion and was held on 13th and 14th June 2016. It was attended by over 60 participants (see picture). The plenary speakers Professor Aneta Pavlenko, Dr Jozefien De Leersnyder, Dr Beverley Costa and Dr Sofie Bager-Charleson, Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele gave stimulating presentations, as well as the shorter papers of six current and former BBK PhD students.  There were lively discussions on the diversity of epistemological and methodological choices and the need for rigor.  Participants discussed the need for social justice and the implications of the research on emotion for society at large, including the position of foreign language users and immigrants in police interviews, in psychotherapy, in day-to-day interactions and service encounters, in intercultural communication where so much can go wrong pragmatically that can have (sometimes unexpected) serious legal, social and psychological consequences.

The CMMR also hosts the Bi Lingual Forum which attracts psychotherapists, interpreters and our students, in collaboration with the charity Mothertongue (19/05/2016, 22/11/2016).


The CMMR welcomed visiting MA students, PhD students, and researchers with research interests of members of the CMMR. The visitors are invited to the PhD seminars and invited to present their own research. We have thus welcomed Professor Carmen Diaz (Universidad de Alcala) and Ms Barbara Grosse (Universitat Bozen Bolzano).

The collaborations result in joint publications, in book reviews and papers for the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (hosted in the department) or in invitations to be external examiner for the PhD dissertations of the visitors.