School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences

PPLS researchers at the Fringe Festival

Can we really classify languages as useful or useless? Is monolingualism making us ill?

We are thrilled that PPLS experts in linguistics and psychology will be performing at the 2017 Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Experts sharing their fascinating research with the public are

  • Professor Antonella Sorace, founder of the Bilingualism Matters Centre
  • Dr Thomas Bak, neuroscientist from the Psychology department

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas

Bilingualism Matters

In Praise of Useless Languages

Monday 14 August, 1.50pm–2.50pm at New Town Theatre (George Street)

The positive effects of learning a second language support the case for preserving minority languages on the brink of extinction, such as Sardinian and Scottish Gaelic. Discover the hidden talents of 'useless' languages with Antonella Sorace, as she shares what research tells us.

Is Monolingualism Making Us Ill?

Wednesday 23 August, 8.20pm–9.20pm at New Town Theatre (George Street)

Research shows that speaking more than one language is good for our brain's health, from delaying onset of dementia to improving recovery time from a stroke. Thomas Bak argues that the monolingualism of modern society has its consequences and thinks it's time for us to check our 'linguistic diet'.

More information

Professor Antonella Sorace is a leading authority on language bilingualism and language acquisition across the lifespan. She founded the Bilingualism Matters Centre to help people make informed decisions about language learning. She is also joint leader for dissemination on the EU funded AThEME project.

Anotella Sorace

AThEME project

Dr Thomas Bak is group leader on Multilingualism and Health as part of Multilingualism: Empowering indivuals, Transforming societies, and was recently awarded funding to work with social enterprise Lingoflamingo delivering language lessons to dementia patients.

Thomas Bak

Multilingualism: Empowering individuals, Transforming societies


Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas (CoDI)

Founded in 2013 by Beltane Public Engagement Network, CoDi continues to rally researchers to present their work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival each year. 

Beltane Public Engagement Network