Multilingual literacy in schools in Wales

This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects available across the ESRC Wales (DTP). Usually the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding. Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.

Application deadline: 4 February 2018

Start date: October 2018


This ESRC Wales DTP and Welsh Government Education Studentship will evaluate the impact of pilot projects supporting multilingual literacy in a bilingual context in Wales. Since September 2015, a number of Welsh-medium schools have been pioneering multilingual literacy approaches to teaching languages. These have taken the form of:

  • developing materials for ‘triple languages’ in primary schools
  • working on primary-secondary transition with feeder schools
  • introducing multilingual literacy across the curricula of Modern Foreign Languages, English and Welsh at KS3 in secondary school.

Project aims and methods

The project supports the Welsh Government’s five-year ‘Global Futures’ programme for the introduction of international/modern languages at primary school level transition and, in Years seven, eight and nine, as part of its ‘bilingual plus one’ ambitions. It builds upon the fact that pupils in Welsh-medium schools are already bilingual and that this should be used to their advantage when introducing other languages. This research will support the implementation strategy of the Language, Literacy and Communication cluster (LLC) group leading on the teaching of Welsh, English and international languages in the new Welsh curriculum.

Research questions

  1. Which are the most effective strategies for introducing and embedding multilingual literacy into the classroom?
  2. What is the impact on pupils' confidence and competence in language learning of a multilingual literacy approach?
  3. Can the pilot projects be rolled out as models for teaching multilingual literacy in bilingual schools across Wales?
  4. What can Wales learn from multilingual literacy approaches adopted in other bilingual countries/regions?

This project has been awarded in partnership with the Welsh government and with the British Council. The British Council will support international field work and provide a short internship.


Claire Gorrara

Professor Claire Gorrara

Professor of French Studies

+44 (0)29 2087 4955
Laura McAllister

Professor Laura McAllister

Professor of Public Policy

Welsh speaking
+44 (0)29 2087 5426

Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the Languages and Translation Studies programme.

View programme
Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

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