This project is organised from Queen Mary’s English department, working with two schools in Tower Hamlets – Queen Mary’s home borough, and one of the most linguistically diverse in the UK. The project is devised and run by Rachael Gilmour, whose current research focuses on contemporary multilingual literature in Britain.
Rachael has worked collaboratively with English teachers from both schools, St Paul’s Way Trust School, and Morpeth School, to share ideas about how multilingualism in the classroom presents both challenges to, and resources for, the teaching of English literature. The teaching materials developed from the project are available here.
Workshops have provided students with a range of opportunities to talk, read, and write about their own multilingual families and communities, and to think about how Britain’s contemporary linguistic diversity intersects with that entity we call ‘English Literature’. Students have encountered and explored an exciting and challenging range of multilingual poetry and prose, as well as using video, music, photographs, and the environs of the Queen Mary campus itself to think about questions such as:
As well as exploring a wide range of linguistically diverse literature from around the world, students have written, performed and published their own poetry and prose exploring themes of language and identity, home and belonging. Video of a writing workshop with contemporary poet Daljit Nagra is available here. Anthologies of students’ writing can be found here, film of their performances is here, and a selection of artwork can be found here.
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