Dr Sabine Little wins national diversity and inclusion award

Congratulations to Dr Sabine Little from the School of Education has been awarded a prestigious award by the UK Literacy Association (UKLA) for her work in diversity and inclusion.

Dr Sabine Little is a lecturer of languages education and a senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has been awarded the prestigious Brenda Eastwood Award by the UKLA in recognition of her work into multilingual communities.

Dr Sabine Little, Lecturer in Languages Education

Sabine’s research explores the important links between language and identity in multilingual communities in Sheffield and across the UK, helping to shine a light on the power of community collaboration in celebrating diversity.

Dr Little said: “My research focuses on how we experience links between language and our sense of identity, in particular across the generations. Therefore, I work a lot with multilingual families, helping parents and children to explore their language practices, and maintaining heritage languages. I was born in Germany and moved to the UK at the age of 18. I have a son aged eleven, so I’m a bilingual mum, too.”

Sheffield is home to more than 150 spoken languages and the diversity represented in our multilingual children is a real attribute to the city and our global identity.

Sabine said: "I am incredibly proud and honoured to have won the award, thank you so much to Sheffield’s heritage language schools at Sheffield Libraries and all the authors, publishers, illustrators and translators who support Sheffield’s multilingual children’s library."

“I strongly believe that research belongs to communities, and am fortunate that my UKLA research grant enabled me to drive high-impact change, making a real contribution to facilitating multiliteracies and diverse communities in Sheffield.”

Last year, more than 400 people attended the multilingual storytelling events at Sheffield Children’s Library, organised to disseminate Sabine’s research which was welcomed by both multilingual and monolingual community members and illustrated that supporting diversity is beneficial for driving social cohesion.

Dr Becky Parry, Lecturer in Digital Literacies from the School of Education nominated Dr Little for the prestigious award. She said: “The multilingual children’s library has been impacted - beyond the facts and figures - through Sabine’s work and has inspired new independent activity, for example the establishment of a German playgroup, with the library as a point for regular meetings; organised outings from Sheffield’s heritage language schools to the library; and regular events, most recently, a multilingual readathon. Locally and nationally, schools are using Sabine’s model of community collaboration to establish multilingual library sections.”

Read more about the UK Literacy Awards here.