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Multilingual Creativity Lab

Past Event
  • Presented By: Free Word in partnership with Sam Holmes, Sarah Ardizzone and Robina Pelham Burn
  • Mon 30 Nov 2015
  • Free Word Centre

This event has now passed. To read more about the Multilingual Creativity Lab and to watch videos from the day, please click here.

Our Multilingual Creativity Lab was supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

More than a million children in the UK are classed as using English as an additional language (EAL) and use languages other than English in their daily lives. However, for the most part, we as artistic, cultural, educational and community organisations are not very good at understanding the implications of EAL and the opportunities it can offer. Words like ‘bilingual’ and ‘home language’ don’t do justice to the complex, interrelated ways that many young people blend languages together in different parts of their lives. Free Word and partners are producing a day to discuss how organisations can engage with and celebrate multilingualism in their work, building cultural cohesion and providing young people with the skills to thrive in a globalised world.

The Lab will be a day of presentations, workshops and discussions on creative approaches to engaging with and promoting multilingual skills, and will feature case studies from Pop-Up Fusion, Translation Nation (Stephen Spender Trust), Brave New Words, (English PEN), (M)Other Tongues (Arvon Foundation), Critical Connections (Goldsmiths) and Adventures in Learning (KIT Theatre). We’re inviting representatives from a cross-section of organisations in the education, library and arts sectors to join us for this exploration. We want to learn from this expertise and experience to inform practice for the future.

This is the first in the Free Word & Cultural Institute at King’s Multilingual Creativity Series. A series of follow-up events will explore some of the issues raised in more depth and will take place at Free Word and at the Cultural Institute at King’s College London between January and June 2016. Please keep an eye on our website as we announce details of these follow up events, or sign up to our mailing list for further information.

The Multilingual Creativity Lab will take place at Free Word on Monday 30 November 2015. It is a closed event, but if you’re interested in this area of our work please contact sophie@freewordcentre.com outlining your interest and your connection to the subject.

The day is being produced by Free Word in partnership with teacher and education researcher Sam Holmes, literary translator and curator of translation programmes Sarah Ardizzone and Director of the Stephen Spender Trust Robina Pelham Burn. The event is being supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

To read more about Creative Multilingualism and the background to the day, please click below to read blogs written by teacher and education researcher Sam Holmes:


The Multilingual Creativity Lab was the first event in the Free Word & Cultural Institute at King’s Multilingual Creativity Series, a series of follow-up events that explored some of the issues raised in more depth. These events took place at Free Word and at the Cultural Institute at King’s College London between January and June 2016.

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