Researcher explores how Roma youngsters pick up Mancunian
A postgraduate student from the University of Salford is contributing to research into the over 100 languages that are now being spoken in Manchester – making it one of the most diverse cities in Europe.
Gerry Howley’s area of interest is Romani immigrants and their acquisition of the Mancunian dialect. The last decade saw an influx of Romanies to Manchester and she is studying Romani teenagers in a secondary school to explore whether they acquire the local vernacular speech.
The research will help to improve our understanding of how immigrant groups learn languages and how schools can help non-native students in their social and academic achievement. This is especially relevant in Manchester where around 30 per cent of the city’s secondary school pupils do not have English as their mother tongue.
The archive is the brainchild of Professor Yaran Matras who set it up two years ago to capture Manchester’s linguistic diversity, interviewing hundreds of local people, businesses and community groups.
Gerry said: “I’m so excited to be working with the communities in Manchester to help schools better understand how to meet the needs of their diverse students. It’s wonderful to know that my research can contribute to such a positive cluster of activities as the Multilingual Manchester project.”
For more information go to the University of Manchester’s Multilingual Manchester website.