On the importance of being multilingual.
Prof. Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk
Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
People are naturally multilingual. They may become multilingual as children or later in life. Concerns are often raised with reference to both child language acquisition and adult language learning which generally pertain to the relative (dis)advantage and ease/difficulty of acquiring more than one language. I will address those concerns in this talk and argue for the definite advantage of being an early bi/multilingual as well as for the relative ease of adult language acquisition. Among others, I will point to the crucial role of dialogue across cultures and discuss ways in which interdisciplinary research may be of service in teaching languages.
Katarzyna Dziubalska-Kołaczyk is full professor and dean of the Faculty of English at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. She is also head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Speech and Language Processing at AMU. She has published extensively (ca. 150 publications) on phonology, phonetics and second language acquisition. In her works she has been pursuing and advocating the Natural Linguistic approach to language. Her books include A Theory of Second Language Acquisition within the framework of Natural Phonology and Beats-and-Binding Phonology. Her recent research focuses on phonotactics and morphonotactics. She is the editor of Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics published by de Gruyter Mouton and organizer of Poznań Linguistic Meetings (PLM). She received a Senior Fulbright scholarship in 2001-2 (University of Hawaii at Manoa) and was visiting scholar at the University of Vienna (1991-4, 1998). She is a member of Academia Europaea and Agder Academy as well as the Linguistic Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences and nearly 20 professional organizations. She is a corresponding member abroad of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (since 2016). She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna, 2012-16, 2016-2020. In 2013-14 she was the President of Societas Linguistica Europaea. She has supervised 22 PhD dissertations.