Edinburgh Local

Babble: Bridging communities through language and creativity

On Europe Day, we highlight a University initiative called Babble that celebrates cross-cultural connections.

Babble launch issue 12
Babble launch issue 12

Do you think that language can sometimes be a barrier to connecting to other people and cultures?

In that case, enter Babble, a remarkable project at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) that breaks down these barriers, one story at a time. Babble, an online creative writing magazine serves as a platform for UoE students to hone their language skills and connect with peers across the University's diverse language community.

The initiative has had great success; students submit an article for the magazine on their chosen topic and in their preferred format: prose, drama, poetry or reviews.

It’s a creative and collaborative way to develop language skills and celebrate multilingualism. But Babble is more than just a magazine and now it's making waves in local high schools.

Making university accessible

Since 2023, Babble is complemented by a yearly supplement in which local secondary schools are invited to contribute, expanding the language learning community. UoE students go to school and help pupils to produce their articles. Through this collaboration, they enrich their own learning experiences, practice their languages while engaging in meaningful community outreach, but also inspire and empower young minds.

With a focus on widening participation, the Babble collaborative project is a timely and innovative solution to ignite language learning among young people. It exemplifies the power of student volunteering and language outreach.

By serving as near-peer mentors, UoE students offer valuable insights into university life and the benefits of language study. For high school pupils, this interaction provides a glimpse into their potential future at university, instilling confidence and aspiration.

This year's project, spanning five languages and reaching 18 schools has impacted between 150 and 200 pupils, leaving a lasting impression on their personal and academic development.

The Babble writing collaboration builds bridges and brings together diverse languages and individuals within a single community. The voluntary community work that our students provide - at a time when it is much needed - is invaluable, and it generates a real sense of pride and accomplishment amongst our student volunteers.

Celebrating Europe Day: a tribute to unity in diversity

As we celebrate Europe Day, the Babble project stands as a testament to the power of unity in diversity. With its cross-cultural connections and promoting language learning, this initiative embodies the spirit of Europe Day, which commemorates peace and unity in Europe. Through Babble, UoE students and high school pupils come together to celebrate linguistic diversity and embrace the richness of European culture.

 

Find out more 

Babble initiative

Europe Day