Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith

Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith is an Associate Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics at University College London, Institute of Education. Dina lectures on a range of programmes at MA and doctoral levels. Since May 2020 Dina has been the Director of Healthy Linguistic Diet Ltd, a consultancy and research agency.

A registered European Union Commission expert who was on the core group for the most recent review of language education in the EU 2016 – 2018. Dina’s concept: Healthy Linguistic Diet (HLD) was included in the EU Commission Interim Report Rethinking language education and linguistic diversity in schools and the final report Migrants In European schools – learning and maintaining languages. HLD was also built into an online course for educators across the EU, delivered to 1600 EU teachers. The work with the EU Commission led to the development of a regional strategy in Italy based on the HLD approach, funded by the Italian National Institute for Research and Innovation in Education (INDIRE) and successfully implemented in 2019 – 2021. INDIRE employed Dina as an expert advisor to provide ongoing support to teachers and school leaders throughout all the planning and implementation stages.

Dina has been working as a consultant for a number of international schools since 2016. Her expertise has been sought after by schools in Brazil, China, Dubai, Manila, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, the USA and the UK. In addition, she serves as an Expert on the Advisory Board for Aga Khan Bilingual Academies and the Council for International Schools since 2018. She is also a school governor for a GEMS school in Dubai and a trustee for Keys, an organisation that aims to empower women in the Arab world.

Dina’s overarching professional aim is to contribute to the development of education policy and practice in which no child would feel the need to hide their home language, and no parent would fear alienation in the closer and wider family caused by the loss of their home/heritage language. To achieve this aim, she has been making a consistent contribution in this area through her professional and voluntary work: she led on setting up the first Bosnian mother tongue school in England and supporting it for ten years of its existence; she has delivered sessions for teachers of mother tongue schools in England, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Australia. Dina also regularly delivers sessions for bilingual parents in a range of contexts and countries. She also uses every opportunity to run focus discussion groups with children to inform her work through direct insights into children’s experiences and raise awareness of cognitive advantages amongst young people. As stated on her website: Healthy Linguistic Diet is relevant to all stakeholders and all age groups: http://healthylinguisticdiet.com/

Other Appointments and Affiliations

  • Trustee for the organization: Keys, Our Objectives – Keys (keysjo.com)
    Keys aims are empowerment of women and young people in the Arab world: Our Philosophy – Keys (keysjo.com), with its branches in UAE, Jordan and Bahrain and its commitment to women’s education and employability, Keys is set to become a major force for championing opportunities for women in this region. 2021- current.
  • Governor/advisor for GEMS Al Khaleej International School, Dubai Al Khaleej International School – American school of Dubai (gemsakns.com) 2021- current
  • Peer Reviewer for EU Funding 2017 -2019
  • Expert on the Advisory Board for Aga Khan Bilingual Academies, 2018 – current
  • Expert on the advisory board for Council for International Schools, 2018 – current
  • LSE External Examiner 2013 – 2016
  • UCL Fulbright Commission Mentor for a Distinguished Teacher, 2019
  • Consultancy work with International Schools
    Working with international schools on creating new approaches to development and delivery of short courses focusing on bilingual ethos and practice for professional development of teachers, middle and senior leaders in international schools in: Europe, Asia, North and South America.

BlogAll posts

21.02.24

‘I feel a loss in myself’:
Can the loss of mother tongues in Indonesia be prevented?

Image above: With the graduates at University of Udayana On February 21st we mark the UN More

18.12.23

When concepts migrate: Complexities of migrating Healthy Linguistic Diet

Image above left: Thomas giving a keynote at the first International Conference on Language Development and Assessment More

Central Dubai sunset

24.08.23

Insight into struggles of Arabic as the mother tongue in Dubai

Image above: Central Dubai sunset In December 2020 my husband and me found ourselves in Dubai More

23.05.23

‘Now or never!’:
Insights into bilingual parenthood

After my presentation on the cognitive benefits of bilingualism and Healthy Linguistic Diet approach at VIII More