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Multilingual Practices: Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities

University of Groningen via FutureLearn


In a world of globalisation, people who do not share the same language meet more often every day. Being able to deal with these multilingual practices in an effective way can give you an advantage in your daily life and work.

The challenges and opportunities that we will speak of will be recognisable for learners. The course will also introduce you to real multilingual families who will share their personal experiences with their multilingual situations with you. The issues arising from the individual situations of our families will then be looked at from a scientific perspective.

This course has been ranked as one of the best online courses of all time by online course aggregator class central.

This course is aimed at a wide range of people with an interest in multilingualism such as migrants, linguistics and language students, teachers, language policy makers, professionals who are working in a multilingual environment or parents, who are considering to raise their children multilingually.

It may also be an interesting addition for learners who participated in University of Southampton’s course on Understanding Language.

However, no prior knowledge is required to take part in the course and we welcome anyone who is curious to know more about multilingual practices.


  • Urban multilingualism and language policies
    • Introduction to the course
    • Introduction to the week
    • Language ideologies
    • Linguistic landscape
    • Language policies
    • Conclusion to the week
  • Multilingual communities
    • Introduction to the week
    • Language policy in the family
    • Multilingualism at home and home language maintenance
    • Multilingualism in the workplace
    • Conclusion to the week
  • Multilingualism in education and cognition
    • Introduction to the week
    • Multilingualism and education
    • The role of English in education
    • Multilingualism and cognition
    • Conclusion to the week
  • Multilingualism and minorities
    • Introduction to the week
    • Types of minority languages
    • New speakers of minority languages
    • Language contact
    • Conclusion to the course

Taught by

Nanna H Hilton and Joana Duarte


4.8 rating, based on 23 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 37 ratings

Start your review of Multilingual Practices: Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities

  • Edmar Oandasan
    This course exceeded my expectation about multilingualism. It gave succinct and extensive ideas and perspectives of multilingualism which are valuable insights for me to understand the multilingual realities of my students. With the insights from the lessons, I can already formulate my own classroom language policy for the class or guide the class in formulating one.
  • Profile image for Halimo Fahimo
    Halimo Fahimo
    Excellent course from a great university, I have taken it twice, the first time was two years ago, and yesterday was the second time, if it is offered again, I will take it for the third time. I enjoyed it a lot, even though sometimes it sounds hard because of the different definitions given. As a linguist and a languages lover, I recommend this course to all linguists and those who love the study of languages
  • Profile image for Helen Gräwert
    Helen Gräwert
    This was a fascinating, comprehensive short course from which I have learnt a lot, with elements that I can apply as I change careers to be a translator and also within my multilingual family. Highly recommended.
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed it. This course is very interesting and useful to understand the complexity of Multilingualism into families, at school, at work, in society in general. I recommend it so far! Thanks!
  • Anonymous
    Multilingual practice is a course to Tackling Challenges and Creating Opportunities n is informative n useful to proceed career, knowledge n education in multilingualism.
  • Profile image for Χρύσα Οικονομίδου
    Χρύσα Οικονομίδου
    Great course! Informative, interactive, very well-structured. I highly recommend. It is four weeks long, covers a variety of aspects related to multilingualism.
  • Anonymous
    My favourite MOOC so far. It uses quizzes rather than tests - things aren't graded - such that your contributions and learning is rather relaxed. There's a lot of interviews with multilinguals, not only Frisian but also some Germans, Spanish and Indians, all with good English subtitles. The exercises help you understand the concepts well and the concepts you learn are explained in reasonable length articles - not too short not too long. The course captured my attention for all the time I studied it and it's fun to spend some 2-3 hours on a Sunday working through the material.
  • Anonymous
    For my physics-trained mind, this course was a bit "light and fluffy" in that I’m still wondering what I’ve learned here after four weeks. I did learn lots of terms and their meaning in the context of bi- and multilingualism. But the best thing was that in connection with the lessons, there was a lot of interaction with other participants. Along with some nice practical videos, these communications placed the material in the context of actual situations, showing its relevance for our and other people’s lives.
  • Anonymous
    Since I couldn´t finish it within a month, I paid the fee to have access also afterward and I don´t regret it! I really enjoyed the content as well as the approach of the course. Very informative studies are summarised in a comprehensible way. The interviews with speakers of different languages were on point and a unique opportunity. The dynamic quizzes were really useful to prove the comprehension of the content. And the best part, reading the contributions of other students! Definitely worth it.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed participating in this course. The content was varied and appealing and the University covered a wide range of topics over the four weeks.

    I feel that I have now gained a broader outlook on this subject and was interested to learn about the research on multiligualism which supported the learning.

    Th only thing it lacked was the live tutor input. Conversations and critique from academics really enhance learning and keep students focused.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very insightful and well planned, with several extra links to specific documents for further reading on the topic being discussed. The course encourages discussion between participants and the comments area is always lively with students replying to many different conversations! It's a supportive learning environment, and this course has good content, so definitely give it a try if you're interested in this subject!
  • Anonymous
    A really enjoyable and informative course. Not too academically complex, but providing a wealth of concepts, by means of videos/articles/discussions on the theme of multilingualism. Well presented and informal in nature. I look forward to other linguistic-based courses from the University of Groningen on the Futurelearn platform. Many thanks to all concerned.
  • Anonymous
    This was a great course that covered the basics of multilingualism and related topics. I really appreciated the video content, especially the interviews/case studies with multilinguals from different walks of life. Reference lists and links to relevant academic articles and research studies provide plenty of content for future exploration.
  • Anonymous
    It was a really good course about multilingualism. Great materials and really enjoyable and eye-opening discussions and tasks. For everybody who works with immigrant kids or adults, wants to preserve a minority language or has always wondered how it feels to be bilingual.
  • Anonymous
    One of the best MOOCs I've taken. Extremely informative and very well-structured. Highly recommend. It is four weeks long, covers a variety of aspects related to multilingualism. There is a lot of interaction among the participants.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course, full of interesting information and well-presented. Case studies were a great way to emphasise what we were learning. I enjoyed it very much and thank you to all the course team for doing such a good job.
  • Anonymous
    This is quite a highly recommendable course offering a very complete at-a-glance insight into Multilingualism and providing you with sound reflexions and enriching points of view on this field.
  • Anonymous
    It was a really fascinating experience to study with them even though it's for a short time.I've taken the course on the FutureLearn and it's definitely whetted my appetite.
  • Anonymous
    I think it's a good course and FutureLearn programs are always well-structured. There's interesting input from learners' knowledge and experience, too
  • Anonymous
    A very interesting course! Highly recommended. A great overview of multilingualism in practice. I enjoyed very much going through the contents of this Mooc.

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