Assistant Professor Meagan Driver, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, has opened a new Multilingual Lab, which plans to conduct and support scholarly work that explores both the benefits of multilingualism, as well as the social challenges that are faced by many multilingual and marginalized communities, including immigrant, Indigenous, and heritage communities, ethnoracial minorities, Deaf and LGBTQ+ communities, and individuals with disabilities, to name a few.
The Lab explores multilingual topics from interdisciplinary perspectives in the social sciences, education, and the humanities, and aims to collaborate with and make research findings accessible to the greater community by supporting events and methods of dissemination in various languages and forms. Dr. Meagan Driver further explained her goals for the lab in a statement:
“I’m hoping to really encourage collaboration between not only the labs and research groups in SLS and CAL, but also to build connections across the university to foster meaningful support for multilingual communities, both locally and globally. There are many scholars and students at MSU in different colleges who are multilingual and/or have an interest in working with multilingual communities, and I’m hoping that the Multilingual Lab will be able to support multilingual initiatives in not only the social sciences and the humanities, but also in STEM, education, law, medicine, and other fields.”Dr. Meagan Driver, Lab Director
Current projects of the lab include MuRAL, the Multilingual Repository in Applied Linguistics, which aims to make research in applied linguistics more readily accessible to scholars and speakers of non-English languages by offering a place for translations of work in applied linguistics, starting with translations of abstracts of peer-reviewed articles and chapters. Another project involves the design of four units centered around social justice for the Spanish Basic Language Instruction program.
Dr. Meagan Driver stated that another future direction of the lab will be to bring together representatives of programs across campus to have a discussion about what kinds of collaborations are possible with local and global communities.
The creation of this new lab adds to the labs within the College of Arts and Letters. The Multilingual Lab is officially hosted within the Department of Romance and Classical Studies, but will work alongside the labs in the the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures, which include the Second Language Studies research labs and the Linguistics research labs. The lab members conduct and support scholarly work with a variety of language focuses.