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Fairbrother Lecture – University of Reading

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  • Showcasing the breadth of doctoral research

  • Showcasing the breadth of doctoral research

Fairbrother Lecture

The Fairbrother Lecture is a University public lecture named after Jack Fairbrother who in 1929 became the first student to be awarded a PhD from the University. The Fairbrother Lecture is an annual event at which a Reading doctoral researcher presents their research to a wider audience. 

fairbrother lecture 2020 

Living with More than One Language - The Effects of Bilingualism on Mind and Brain 

Toms Voits, School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
19.00, Tuesday 12 May 2020  


*Update* In light of the latest government advice regarding the developing COVID-19 situation, we have unfortunately made the difficult decision to cancel this event. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Language is frequently in the headlines, from worries about people speaking too many languages or too few, to questions of whether bilingualism protects against cognitive decline in later life. Bilingualism has featured prominently in language debates, with stories often over-simplifying a more complex picture.

Join researcher Toms Voits on a journey through the uniqueness and complexity of the human brain's capacity for language. This public lecture will introduce the ways in which two or more languages co-habit within a single mind, how processing allows languages to compete and co-operate, and the much-debated effects of bilingualism on mind and brain. With a focus on research on bilingualism in older adults, the lecture will examine some of the complexities that need to be unpicked in order to understand relationships between ageing, cognitive health and language.

Admission free but booking required. (Booking opens shortly.)


Research Showcase

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception and a showcase by other doctoral researchers from across the University with a brief to create displays communicating their research to non-specialists.

For further information contact Dr Joanna John.
For information on Fairbrother Lectures in other years see previous events.

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