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Our research

The Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication adopts a very broad and interdisciplinary approach to research investigating the nature and functions of language and communication.

Our academic staff, PhD students and post-doctoral fellows research key issues related to multilingualism and multiculturalism, language teaching and learning, language policy, identity, migration and diaspora, linguistic landscapes and the neurological and psychological basis of language and thought.

We lead the Birkbeck Research Centre for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism. Our research benefits from links with the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. These facilitate interactions with external academics, practitioners, policymakers and current and former research students.

Research centres and networks

Our academics and researchers work together via a wide range of networks, groups and societies. These cut across departments, subjects and areas of expertise, to encourage and enable innovative, interdisciplinary research. 



Our place in the world 

We seek to engage with and learn from stakeholders in various fields and diverse communities in order to co-produce knowledge that will bring about change. We are particularly committed to addressing issues of multilingualism and multiculturalism. An example of this is our recent impact case studies where we have addressed the experiences of psychotherapeutic dialogue between multilingual clients and counsellors and the issues around multilingualism and language policy at the United Nations.

Our aim is to both influence practice and policy and benefit individuals and communities by contributing to the processes of change at a local and global level.

Key partners that we have worked with recently are the Red T and Colleagues without Borders charities supporting interpreters and translators in conflict areas, the Compass Project supporting London asylum seekers, the Bloomsbury Festival, The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show, and The Queen Square Archives and Museum.

The Department hosts several regular Lecture Series and events that showcase international and local research scholars and provide a focus for the London Applied Linguistics academic community. These include:

More information on the department

Discover the latest news from within our Department.