The Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) was founded in 2001 by the internationally renowned linguist Michael Clyne (1939-2010) when he was professorial fellow in linguistics at the University of Melbourne.
RUMACCC conducts research in Australian and international contexts in fields such as:
- the maintenance and development of bi- and multilingualism, including language demography
- language in social context
- bilingual education
- second language acquisition
- inter-cultural communication
- language policy
- the provision and uptake of languages study in Australia
RUMACCC then disseminates the results of this research, facilitating cooperation between researchers, those who are the subjects of research, and the potential users of that research. In particular, the unit conducts regular free workshops for parents raising their children in more than one language, teachers and others interested in bilingual education. Check the news section on this page for upcoming workshops.
RUMACCC is located in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne.
The Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) is committed to sharing its research with the wider community. In particular, we make available information about bilingualism and multilingualism and materials for people interested and involved in bilingual language acquisition.
Raising children in more than one language
RUMACCC regularly conducts a free workshop for families raising their children bi- or trilingually and for early childhood and pre-school workers, teachers and others interested in bilingual education.
Melbourne, Australia’s fastest growing city, is also amongst its most multilingual and multicultural. This cultural and linguistic diversity is recognised as one of Melbourne’s many assets and something that RUMACCC actively researches and promotes.
Information on multilingualism
We have developed materials which highlight the benefits of multilingualism for everyone and address common prejudices against multilingualism and second language learning. We also make available bilingual fact sheets for parents and advice on further reading.
Linguistic diversity and EAL in schools
Information about the diverse language backgrounds found in classrooms and how to use simple strategies and existing resources in Languages programs in schools.
RUMACCC is proud to make available these readers designed to help children enjoy reading in many languages. You can download them for free from the links below.
Chicken Little is based on a traditional folk story from South Sulawesi and illustrated by Katrina Langford. It is available in over 30 languages!
Readers in African languages
These readers in several African languages, mainly from the north-eastern part of the continent, are designed to support language maintenance and early literacy. They provide children and their families with reading materials in their mother tongue.
Readers in East Timorese languages
These resources aim to provide East Timorese children with the tools to read and write in their own mother tongue, as well as in the official languages Portuguese and Tetun.
Readers in European languages
RUMACCC has translated a selection of the early readers into European languages: German, Irish, Polish, Slovene and Spanish (which, of course, is also a major language of Latin America).
Readers in Matu Chin
Matu Chin is a Sino-Tibetan language of Chin State in North-Western Burma (Myanmar). It is spoken by about 40,000 people world-wide (Ethnologue 2017). Members of the Matu Chin community in Melbourne translated these readers for RUMACCC.
Readers in Arabic
Arabic is spoken as a first language by over 280 million people and by many more as an additional language. In Australia more than 287,000 people speak Arabic at home (2011 census). Our early readers were translated into Modern Standard Arabic by Dina Kerr.
Readers in Telugu
Telugu is an official language of India, spoken by about 79 million people in India and abroad. Our readers, translated by Mallikarjuna Rao Rachakonda, promote literacy in Telugu. They are available in monolingual and bilingual (Telugu and English) editions.
Readers in Italian
These readers are the work of students of Italian at the University of Melbourne. They are designed to support schools and families who wish to teach and use Italian with their students and children respectively.
Make your own
These readers show parents and educators how easy it is to prepare enjoyable reading materials - starting with pencil and paper or photographs, and then with a little help from the computer.
The Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) has long been actively involved in a number of research projects and consultancies. Here are examples of current and past projects and other research activities.
Intercultural health communication
RUMACCC is involved in interdisciplinary research with a focus on healthcare communication, undertaken in collaboration with health professionals and medical researchers.
Language education in schools
RUMACCC has long been involved in research projects and consultancies on language education in our schools.
Melbourne Address Projects
Most languages other than English have more than one pronoun of address, eg 'tu' and 'vous' in French. The choice of address pronoun and other ways people address each other is crucial to interpersonal communication as it both reflects and influences social relations and hierarchies.
Research colloquia and lectures
RUMACCC has organised a variety of research colloquia and workshops dealing with multilingualism and multiculturalism, linguistic diversity and language policy in Australia and elsewhere.
RUMACCC conducts research in collaboration with several institutions in Australia and overseas, and is part of various research networks.
The challenge of COVID-19
Engaging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in COVID-19 and pandemic health information
The Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-Cultural Communication (RUMACCC) staff and associates have published widely on issues such as multilingualism, intercultural communication, linguistic diversity and language education.
Recent books authored or edited by RUMACCC researchers and associates.
Book chapters written by RUMACCC researchers and associates.
Papers published by RUMACCC researchers in academic journals.
Published conference papers by RUMACCC researchers.
Research reports compiled and written by RUMACCC researchers.