Three quick questions with three second-year Linguistics PhD students – starring Lisa Gotthard, Alex Lorson and Sarah van Eyndhoven. Question 1How did you end up pursuing a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh? Alex: For me, this was… Read morePhD question time
I surely remember some long nights spent writing papers for my Master’s as if it were yesterday. Okay, yes, it was only a couple of years ago – but still. ‘What’s the point in writing this anyway?’, I would ask myself, as I frantically browsed through endless lists of references. Following a brief search on the web, I realise many students struggle with writing essays. Rightfully, then, you may ask why papers are such a widespread method of assessing students at UK universities. Many essays and two degrees later – now teaching in higher education myself – I think I might have figured it out.
Bilinguals use their languages in different contexts, with different people, for different goals. As a consequence, it would be impossible to be bilingual and have the exact same command of both languages – i.e. the “true bilingualism” the man I met spoke of, or balanced bilingualism, as researchers call it. In brief, all bilinguals have different commands of the languages they speak – and that is absolutely okay.