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Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto

Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto Katrin Kohl, Rajinder Dudrah, Andrew Gosler, Suzanne Graham, Martin Maiden, Wen-chin Ouyang and Matthew Reynolds (eds.)
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Creative Multilingualism is a thought-provoking and inspiring book for readers interested in languages or wanting to enter debates on ways we learn languages. The book is dedicated to young people and written in a friendly and open way. The framing of the text as a manifesto allows the authors to develop a strong argument for how language diversity intersects with creativity and set out a clear rationale for learning languages. The interdisciplinary approach is vitally important in demonstrating how learners can be enabled to draw on their repertoire of languages in creative and unexpected ways. Creative multilingualism provides a matrix for experimentation with ideas, approaches and methods. The section ‘Find out More’ is an excellent way to open up the debate and encourage readers to explore online creative multilingual resources. I think this book will make an invaluable contribution to debates in the field of language learning, multilingualism and creativity.

Vicky Macleroy, Goldsmiths, University of London

Multilingualism is integral to the human condition. Hinging on the concept of Creative Multilingualism – the idea that language diversity and creativity are mutually enriching – this timely and thought-provoking volume shows how the concept provides a matrix for experimentation with ideas, approaches and methods.

The book presents four years of joint research on Creative Multilingualism conducted across disciplines, from the humanities through to the social and natural sciences. It is structured as a manifesto, comprising ten major statements which are unpacked and explored through various case studies across ten chapters. They encompass areas including the rich relationship between language diversity and diversity of identity, thought and expression; the interaction between language diversity and biodiversity; the ‘prismatic’ unfolding of meaning in translation; the benefits of linguistic creativity in a classroom-setting; and the ingenuity underpinning ‘conlangs’ (‘constructed languages’) such as Tolkien’s Quenya and Sindarin, designed to give imagined peoples a distinctive medium capable of expressing their cultural identity.

Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto is a welcome contribution to the field of modern languages, highlighting the intricate relationship between multilingualism and creativity, and, crucially, reaching beyond an Anglo-centric view of the world. Intended to spark further research and discussion, this book appeals to young people interested in languages, language learning and cultural exchange. It will be a valuable resource for academics, educators, policy makers and parents of bilingual or multilingual children. Its accessible style also speaks to general readers interested in the role of language diversity in our everyday lives, and the untapped creative potential of multilingualism.


Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto
Edited by Katrin Kohl, Rajinder Dudrah, Andrew Gosler, Suzanne Graham, Martin Maiden, Wen-chin Ouyang and Matthew Reynolds | May 2020
334 pp. | 38 Colour Illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783749294
ISBN Hardback: 9781783749300
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783749317
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783749324
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783749331
ISBN Digital (XML): 9781783749348
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0206
BIC Subject Codes: C (Language), CB (Language: reference and general), CF (Linguistics), CFDM (Bilingualism and Multilingualism); BISAC: EDU000000 (EDUCATION / General), LAN000000 (LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General), LAN009000 LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics/General)


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Contents

Creative Multilingualism – A Manifesto

Introducing Creative Multilingualism Download
Katrin Kohl and Wen-chin Ouyang

1. The Creative Power of Metaphor Download
Katrin Kohl, Marianna Bolognesi and Ana Werkmann Horvat

2. Creating a Meaningful World: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth Download
Karen Park, Felice S. Wyndham, Andrew Gosler and John Fanshawe

3. Not as 'Foreign' as You Think: Creating Bridges of Understanding across Languages Download
Martin Maiden, Chiara Cappellaro and Aditi Lahiri

4. A Breath of Fresh Air… Ivan Vyrypaev's Oxygen (2002): From Moscow to Birmingham via Oxford Download
Rajinder Dudrah, Julie Curtis, Philip Ross Bullock and Noah Birksted-Breen

5. Multilingualism and Creativity in World Literature Download
Wen-chin Ouyang

6. Prismatic Translation Download
Matthew Reynolds, Sowon S. Park and Kate Clanchy

7. Getting Creative in the Languages Classroom Download
Suzanne Graham, Linda Fisher, Julia Hofweber and Heike Krüsemann

8. Inspiring Language Learners Download
Jane Hiddleston, Laura Lonsdale, Chiara Cappellaro and Daniel Tyler-McTighe

9. Languages at Work Download
Katrin Kohl and Jonathan Black

10. Creating Languages Download
Katrin Kohl

Why Learn a Language? Download
Katrin Kohl

Find Out More
Bibliography
List of Illustrations
Notes on the Authors and Contributors
Acknowledgements
Index
About the publishing team

Introducing Creative Multilingualism (Katrin Kohl and Wen-chin Ouyang)

The introduction presents the concept of Creative Multilingualism, outlines the structure of and motivations behind the present volume, and identifies the various audiences for whom the book is intended. It unpacks what is meant by the term ‘multilingualism’, explores the effects of ‘monolingualism’, and highlights the relationship at the core of the book – that between language and creativity.

1. The Creative Power of Metaphor  (Katrin Kohl, Marianna Bolognesi and Ana Werkmann Horvat)

Chapter 1 looks at processes of figurative language in the interplay between thought and language from the vantage point of cognitive linguistics, exploring how different languages give their speakers different perspectives on the world through the way metaphors shape even the most fundamental concepts, such as time.

2. Creating a Meaningful World: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth (Karen Park, Felice S. Wyndham, Andrew Gosler and John Fanshawe)

Chapter 2 uses the linguistic and cultural resources of the Ethno-ornithology World Atlas (EWA) and draws on comparative and historical linguistics, anthropology and biology to investigate the creative processes at work as linguistically diverse communities respond to the natural world through naming, metaphor and myth.

3. Not as 'Foreign' as You Think: Creating Bridges of Understanding across Languages (Martin Maiden, Chiara Cappellaro and Aditi Lahiri)

Chapter 3 deploys methods from historical and experimental linguistics to examine how speakers of one language manage to understand people speaking another (related) language, identifying strategies they use to create meaning in response to the ‘other language’ – and strategies with which they create barriers to understanding in order to preserve a distinctive identity.

4. A Breath of Fresh Air… Ivan Vyrypaev’s Oxygen (2002): From Moscow to Birmingham via Oxford (Rajinder Dudrah, Julie Curtis, Philip Ross Bullock and Noah Birksted-Breen)

Chapter 4 investigates interaction between languages in the performing arts – theatre, stand-up comedy, grime, rap, opera – and the types of creativity this generates in response to cultural contexts and audiences, drawing on media and performance studies, and working with artists ranging from Russian dramatists to Black British and British Asian musicians from Birmingham and Leicester.

5. Multilingualism and Creativity in World Literature (Wen-chin Ouyang)

Chapter 5 explores multilingual literatures to critique current theories of world literature using the idea of travel within the literary text, and investigates how drawing on more than one language in writing and reading generates new ways of seeing and understanding.

6. Prismatic Translation (Matthew Reynolds, Sowon S. Park and Kate Clanchy)

Chapter 6 develops an innovative theory of translation that captures its creative dimension. The metaphor of the ‘prism’ enables translation to be seen not in terms of functional equivalence but as a release of multiple signifying possibilities. This idea is put into practice through literary critical research into the many translations of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and into the importance of different scripts (e.g. Chinese, Arabic, alphabetic) as a factor in translation; we also use the approach to inspire creative writing in schools.

7. Getting Creative in the Languages Classroom (Suzanne Graham, Linda Fisher, Julia Hofweber and Heike Krüsemann)

Chapter 7 draws on empirically based methodologies in the field of Second Language Education to consider creative alternatives to the prevalent emphasis on language learning for functional purposes, investigating the extent to which they may enhance foreign-language acquisition in schools and beyond.

8. Inspiring Language Learners (Jane Hiddleston, Laura Lonsdale, Chiara Cappellaro and Daniel Tyler-McTighe)

Chapter 8 showcases work with schools in creative writing workshops and the Multilingual Performance Project (MPP), exploring the energy languages can bring to classroom work when they provide a context in which it’s OK just to have fun with languages, encourage experimentation with new expressive resources, and build confidence with linguistic diversity.

9. Languages at Work (Katrin Kohl and Jonathan Black)

Chapter 9 looks at the role languages play in working contexts. It examines how increasing your linguistic flexibility and learning languages extend your communicative and cultural range in ways you can deploy for career purposes; and how glimpses of careers in which people use foreign languages tell us something about what makes languages valuable personally, culturally, professionally and financially – sometimes all at once.

10. Creating Languages (Katrin Kohl)

Chapter 10 sets out on a journey of discovery, homing in on some key questions concerning the interplay between creativity and languages, finding out what motivates language inventors to create an artificial language such as Esperanto and equip mythical folk such as Elves and the Dothraki with distinctive languages. It further considers the extraordinary linguistic inventiveness that allows us to create and appreciate language play, such as puns. 
Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto is the culmination of the four-year research Creative Multilingualism programme led by the University of Oxford and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC-UKRI) as part of its Open World Research Initiative.

For further information, see the project website, or listen to the programme’s podcast series.

Want to know more about:

The Creative Power of Metaphor

•    Enjoy the Yoruba Sonnets performance
•    Learn more about how metaphor works in these short documentaries about Metaphor and Linguistic Diversity, Metaphor and Emotion, Metaphor and Communication, and Metaphor and Creativity

Creating a Meaningful World: Nature in Name, Metaphor and Myth

•    Use the Bird Words activities in your school, museum, conservation group or community group
•    Explore names, migration paths, and folklore associated with birds on EWA's website

Not as ‘Foreign’ as You Think: Creating Bridges of Understanding Across Languages

•    Find out more about the research

A Breath of Fresh Air… Ivan Vyrypaev’s Oxygen (2002): From Moscow to Birmingham via Oxford

•    Watch clips of the research and development performance of the hip-hop theatre version of Russian play Oxygen or the full performance
•    Learn more about Slanguages, which explores the creative way artists employ and take inspiration from languages such as Arabic, Hindi, Patois, Pidgin, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Urdu, urban sign languages, and Yoruba

Multilingualism and Creativity in World Literature

•    Find out more about the research
•    Use these Multilingual Poetry Teaching Guides to inspire discussion about multilingualism and identity, and encourage pupils to create their own multilingual poems

Prismatic Translation

•    Discover the prismatic world of translation through the many versions of Jane Eyre. The website includes interactive maps and other illuminating visualizations
•    Read poems written by children in our workshops
•    Use our poetry activities to inspire pupils at your school

Getting Creative in the Languages Classroom

•    Use the teaching materials in your classroom
•    Find out more about the research

Inspiring Language Learners

•    Use our videos to inject more creativity into your language learning classes
•    Learn more about the Multilingual Performance Project

Languages at Work

•    Watch our film on How Languages Help in your Career

Creating Languages

•    Watch Rinkoo Barpaga’s presentation on Urban Sign Language
•    Find out more about Babel: Adventures in Translation and the associated teaching resources