Message from the Director
Given today’s globalization, transnational mobility and technological advancement, multilingual and intercultural communication is more important to scholarly pursuit and more relevant to everyday life than ever before. Much of the world’s communication today takes place through a myriad of linguistic resources, both across and within cultural boundaries and national borders. We are increasingly using our first languages as well as additional languages in our new homelands, at globally integrated work places and in technologically mediated social interactions. We are increasingly drawing on multiple linguistic and cultural systems to construct multi-layered, multi-dimensional, and constantly evolving identities and communities.
This prevalence and importance of multilingual and intercultural communication compels us to consider some very important questions such as the following:
- How does bilingual/multilingual repertoire evolve over time, across generations and geographies, across languages and lives?
- What are the variables that contribute to the acquisition, learning, socialization, maintenance, or attrition of multilingual repertories?
- What are the consequences of multilingual and multimodal (text, image, voice, sound) communication for expressing culture and re-presenting the self?
- What are the interactional strategies for effective and equitable intercultural communication?
- What significance does the current spread of geopolitically important languages (such as English) have for the use and development of other languages?
At Stony Brook University, we already have existing faculty expertise in bilingualism, second language acquisition, speech recognition, transnationalism, intercultural communication, language maintenance and language attrition, language education, and cultural translation—expertise that is spread across many departments and disciplines. The Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication (MIC) was thus conceptualized to create much needed collaborative opportunities for researchers across the campus, to bring into focus research in this important area, and through its activities (collaborative research projects, distinguished lecture series, workshop series, publications, databases, outreach programs, etc.) to ask and address the very important and urgent questions about languages, cultures, identities, and communities in our drastically changing world.
I am honored and humbled by the privilege and the opportunity to work with my colleagues to create this research center. Our core mission is to create research synergy among scholars and students from different departments and different disciplines, to integrate research, practice, and education, and to promote social justice by sharing with the public the importance of recognizing and respecting the language needs and language rights of all students, faculty, staff and all members of the community. With this welcome message, I warmly invite you to join us in our endeavor.
Agnes Weiyun He, Ph.D.
Professor of Applied Linguistics
Founder and Director
Center for Multilingual and Intercultural Communication