Discover more about The Multilingual Family

Published: 8 June 2011 at 11:10

Anglia Ruskin to hold special event at Romsey Mill Centre

Anglia Ruskin University is examining the world of The Multilingual Family at a special event at Romsey Mill Centre in Cambridge on 14 June.

The event, which is part of the national Universities Week campaign, will offer opportunities for interaction and for people to share stories about their experiences of multilingualism.

Anglia Ruskin’s Community Development Administrator Miriam Berg, who is organising the event, said:

“Speaking different languages within a family unit presents some challenging but joyful moments.  I’m originally from Copenhagen and speak Danish most of the time at home, while my husband is English, so my two children hear both languages.

“When they were smaller I spoke exclusively in Danish, but my daughter is seven and son is now nine, and as they began to invite friends home and I started to help with their school work, it became more difficult and I did have to speak in English a little more.  

“In my experience speaking a second language at home certainly enhances children’s cultural understanding and I believe it provides an enriching environment.

The Multilingual Family event will give the people of Cambridgeshire an opportunity to hear about current local initiatives and research in bi/multilingualism, and we’re inviting everyone to come along and share stories and experiences of bringing up children to speak more than one language.”

The event will feature a presentation on how children become bilingual by Anglia Ruskin Applied Linguistics Lecturer Dr Sebastian Rasinger, a talk about the advantages of bilingualism by Dr Dora Alexopoulou of the Bilingualism Information Network in Cambridge (BINC), and Maria Cristina Bordin will discuss the work of the Cambridge Italian Club and the Girotondo Club.  

The event, which will conclude with a video by Anglia Ruskin MA Art graduate Marina Velez, will be facilitated by Dr Alicia Pena-Calvo, Senior Lecturer in Spanish and Applied Linguistics, who will also be presenting some of her recent research.

The Multilingual Family is free of charge and will take place at the Romsey Mill Centre on Hemingford Road in Cambridge from 5.30-7pm.  For more information, or to book a place, please call 0845 196 3333 or email

Anglia Ruskin will also be screening Moving to Mars on 23 June, which is a collaborative event with Cambridge City Council.  The film, which chronicles the experiences of two refugee families from Burma moving to England, begins at 6pm at Coslett 117 on Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, and is followed by a talk and Q&A session.