Growing up with a minority language – research project led by Heriot-Watt University

Minority languages, such as Gaelic, are being boosted by growing numbers of multilingual students from foreign countries choosing to study or attend specialist schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

New Speaker Network

This is one of the discoveries that forms part of a research project being led by Heriot-Watt University. The project has been set up to unpick assumptions about non-native ‘new speakers’ of languages within Europe.

Researchers will also study the subconscious assumptions that native speakers make when hearing accents or non-standard use of words or phrases, an increasingly common occurrence as people move across European borders with relative ease for study, work or leisure.

Dr Bernadette O’Rourke of Heriot-Watt University will head up a New Speaker Network as part of a four year, EU-funded initiative to identify key issues in multilingualism. A ‘new speaker’ is defined as a multilingual person who adopts a new language other than their native one.


Tomasz Duda: camera
Piotr Motyka, Robert Motyka: camera, sound, edit