We live in a world where multilingualism is the norm and monolingualism the exception. How do we deal with the challenges that this brings with it for the individual, for society and for institutions?
There's no doubt that multilingualism has important implications
for communication, identity, social and cultural integration,
development and education. With its world-leading expertise in the
fields of cognition, society and language the University of
Groningen now offers a one-year Master's track in Multilingualism
in co-operation with NHL University of Applied Sciences. The
Multilingualism Master's track is situated Leeuwarden, at Campus
The Multilingualism Master's track is unique in combining teaching of many societal, individual, educational, cultural and historical aspects of multilingualism with a practical, research-driven approach. Students learn to deal with day-to-day issues such as helping companies overcome communication problems, design language policies or give schools advice on how best to teach children with foreign language backgrounds. They receive a MA degree in Linguistics.
The challenging Master's track in Multilingualism is situated in the picturesque town of Leeuwarden, capital of the officially multilingual province Fryslân in the Netherlands. Frisian is the second official language of the country. This setting allows students immediate access to a multilingual laboratory.
Amongst scholars, it is commonly said that this University promotes multicultural environments, interdisciplinarity and creative ideas and researches.
I was born in the bright city of Athens in 1993. Before my
studies in Groningen, I obtained a bachelor's in Spanish Studies
and a research master's degree in Intercultural Education. Since
2011, I volunteer as a teacher to migrants, people with
disabilities and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. I have
also participated in numerous research programmes. I am also head
coach of a student basketball team at the University.
Currently, I am pursuing a master's degree in Multilingualism and Leadership. I will graduate in August 2019.
In the future I would like to develop language tests and educational material for multilingual children
Multilingualism is a very recent development in our society and it is no longer exceptional to speak several languages. We need to make adaptations in the field of language policy and education, we need to better protect language minorities, and we need new research about language change and variation. These are just a few examples of the fields you can specialize in during this Master's track.
I chose to do a Master’s track abroad because I wanted to seize the opportunity get to know another language and culture, as well as to improve my English. This all adds up to quite an advantage if you want to work in the field of multilingualism, especially if you live and study in a bilingual area as in Friesland.
One of the course units I’m following this semester is Language Minorities: The Case of Frisian. This course unit is a bit different in that every week we have an excursion and some practical work to do. For example, we conducted a survey at the NHL in Leeuwarden and asked students about their attitudes towards Frisian, and another time we analysed the distribution of different languages in a street in Leeuwarden.
One of the best things about the programme is that you can combine your thesis with a placement, which gives you the chance to make an initial connection with the companies you would like to work with after your studies.
“The program is unique in its kind.”
This study focuses especially on multilingualism from a social perspective such as linguistic minorities, language change, contact linguistics and language policy and planning. Next to this, I chose this study as it focuses more on the practical sides. There are excursions to events and institutions that deal with multilingual settings and in these excursions you get to experience in which ways multiple languages are used.
I chose to do this study as I think the program is unique in its kind. The program takes place in Leeuwarden, a bilingual province with multilingual practices. I think the master is challenging as it makes you think about multilingualism in different perspectives. I would say it is a full-time study as the pace of studying is quite high. I certainly study around 40 hours per week. However, I do not mind the workload that much as I really like the topics that we discuss in class. The program of the first semester is very fixed with the planned excursions and the weekly classes. The second semester will consist of your internship or another course at the RUG and your Master’s thesis.
Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.
Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts .
Are you interested in a research oriented career? Please also check our Research Master's Programme of Linguistics.