News & Events

WORKSHOP PROGRAM

Working  together:  collaboration  beyond  the  academy  in  research  in  dementia  and  culture

 

Friday 23 November 2018,

Institute of Modern languages Research, Senate House, London

9:00   REGISTRATION AND WELCOME

9:15-10.15 KEYNOTE
Dr Andrea Capstick, Centre for Applied Dementia Studies, University of Bradford

10:15-11:15 WORKING WITH PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA  
Time for Dementia: Understanding the experience of people with dementiaDr Stephanie Daley and Yvonne Feeney  

Narrative biographical work with women with dementia who live alone
Helen Wells and Andrea Capstick, Centre for Applied Dementia Studies, University of Bradford

11:15:11:30 BREAK

11:30:12:45 DEMENTIA AND THE ARTS: INTERVENTION 
ARTS 4 DEMENTIAVeronica Franklin Gould AMRSPH, President and Head of Research, Arts 4 Dementia

MUSIC THERAPY
Nordoff Robbins 

‘Richard Bentley steals the show’: rethinking ‘outcomes’ in dementia and the arts David Reid, University of Sheffield

12:45-1:30   LUNCH

1:30 -2:30 RAISING AWARENESS
Metaphorical Narratives in Dementia: Raising Awareness   
Giulia Frezza, Sapienza, University of Rome and Spits Fellow, 
Metaphor Lab-Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam
Gerard Steen, Metaphor Lab-Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam

2:30-3:30 CHANGING CARE
Changing care: how a neuropharmacologist-cum-health-humanist and a caregiver-turned-activist work together to achieve improved caregiver and patient support
Martina Zimmermann, King’s College London
Tony Britton, Living Well with Dementia, Warwickshire

Natural Dying and Dementia
Andrea Germann, University of Heidelberg

2:30-3:30 COFFEE BREAK

3:30-3.45 CREATIVITY AND REPRESENTATION
Visual representations of dementia in children’s picturebooks 
Elizabeth Caldwell, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University 

4.15-5.00 FINAL DISCUSSION 
Facilitated by Katsura Sako, Keio University and Raquel Medina, Aston University

 


 

30th Anniversary Women in German Studies (WIGS) Conference

9-10 November 2018 
Aston University

Friday 9 November, The Cadbury room 

14:00 Registration

14:30 Postgraduate and ECR Workshop

  • Post-PhD opportunities: getting published, applying for funding and more!

  • Alex Lloyd (Oxford): Academic Publishing: My Part in its Downfall
    Laurel Plapp (Peter Lang)    

  • Elisabeth Wielander (Aston): The Reluctant Academic

  • Ellen Pilsworth (Reading): All You Need is Love [and good Time Management and a Self-Care Practice]

  • Lyn Marven (Liverpool): Open Access Publishing and Modern Languages Online (MLO)

  • Mary Boyle (Maynooth): Applying for the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowships

17:00 Coffee Break

17:45  Welcome 

18:00 Prize-giving: Postgraduate Essay Prize & First Book Proposal Prize
         
20:00 Conference Dinner at the Lost & Found, Bennetts Hill


Saturday 10 November

9.30 Parallel Panels (1/2)

Panel 1 – Early Modern (10th floor, NX02)

Panel 2 – Illness and Social Norms (The Cadbury room)

10:30 Coffee

11:00 Panel 3

Panel 3 – Literature and Politics (The Cadbury room) 

12:00 Keynote Lecture

13:00 Lunch

14:00 AGM

15:00-16:30 Parallel Panels (4/5)

Panel 4 – Identity and Otherness (The Cadbury room)

Panel 5 – Genre (10th floor, NX02)

To register please click here

Flyer for Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium Event

Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium

University of Aston, UK, Friday 8th – Saturday 9th December 2017

The dementia and cultural narrative symposium will explore the growing body of cultural representations of dementia across a range of texts and contexts. The symposium’s contributions reflect the developing research culture that explores, interrogates, and evaluates the ways in which forms of dementia are being used in media such as TV, film, literature, the visual arts and theatre. The symposium will bring together scholars and other professionals from a variety of fields to discuss the implications of the narrativisation of dementia.

Keynotes will be delivered by June Hennell, MBE, advocate for those with dementia, and Dr Aagje Swinnen, co-editor of Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness. There will also be a screening of Piano Lessons by Professor Marlene Goldman, author of the forthcoming Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada.   

This symposium is the inaugural event of the new international Dementia and Cultural Narrative network.

This is a FREE event, but we ask all attendees to register by 15thNovember: https://dementia-culture.wixsite.com/network/upcoming-events

Please direct any questions to the event organisers Raquel Medina and Sarah Falcus: dementia.and.culture.network@gmail.com


CPD Workshop: Implications of CLIL for classroom practice

Saturday 2nd December 2017, 10am - 1pm
Location: Aston University, MB603

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland  

While the dual focus on content and language learning has often been highlighted in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), there has been less discussion on what integrating means conceptually and at the level of classroom practices. By exploring data extracts from CLIL classrooms, this workshop will explore the nature of CLIL as a context both for second/foreign language learning and use, and for language-dependent content learning. The themes addressed will include the role of language and language awareness in content learning, translanguaging as practice and pedagogy, and the implications of that the intertwined nature of content and language has on assessment in CLIL.

Bio: Tarja Nikulahas extensive experience in teaching and research in the areas of language education and CLIL (both with a focus on training students and on training trainers). Research specialisms include classroom discourse, CLIL and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language.

Programme:

10am-11am: lecture

11:00am-11:30am: coffee break

11:30am-13:00pm: workshop + Q&A

To attend, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/implications-of-clil-for-classroom-practice-cpd-workshop-tickets-39551795485


Public Lecture - A multi-sited policy perspective on CLIL  

Thursday 30th November 2017, 17:30 - 19:00pm
Location:  Aston University, Main Building MB550 

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 

This lecture will outline a multi-sited policy perspective on content and language integrated learning (CLIL). This means that CLIL realization is dependent on policy processes that, rather than linear and hierarchical, are fluctuating and multi-sited, that is, simultaneously taking place at different levels, be they national, local, institution-based or pertaining to classrooms as sites for policy choices.

More specifically, the lecture will describe a three-perspectival approach to content and language integration that highlights the importance of curriculum level decisions, the role of classroom practices and of participant beliefs for its successful implementation. 

Biographical information: Prof Tarja Nikula is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS) at the University of Jyväskylä. She was a founding member and co-convener of AILA Research Network CLIL & Immersion Classrooms: Applied Linguistic Perspectives (2006-2011).Her research specialisms include classroom discourse, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language. She publishes widely in international journals and has most recently co-edited Conceptualising Integration in CLIL and Multilingual Education (2016).

The event will be followed by a wine reception. To attend, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-lecture-a-multi-sited-policy-perspective-on-clil-tickets-39691414088



Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Day at Aston

Saturday March 18th 2017

Plenary talks:
Peeter Mehisto  (University College London Institute of Education) - Getting concrete with CLIL

Judith Woodfield  (Head teacher, Bordesley Green Girls School) - How Content and Language Integrated Teaching Can Halt the Decline of Languages in Schools

Elisabeth Wielander (Aston University) - Something to talk about: Integrating content and language in tertiary education

Workshop with Peeter Mehisto - Scaffolding through the unavoidable gateway of short-term memory: A CLIL essential 



'Narrating the Crisis' Workshop 

CLaRA Workshop: Narrating the Crisis Programme



English spoken: The position of English in Brussels

Tuesday 30th May 2017, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles

With the support of SESLA (Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles), CLaRA (Aston University), BRIO, Brussels Studies Institute.

Located in a Germanic dialectal area as attested by all historical toponyms, Brussels has known over the centuries an increasing influence of French that culminated in the 19th century when French became de facto the language of the newly funded Belgian state. That state of affairs discriminated against speakers of Dutch dialects, which led to claims for linguistic equality that is still being pursued through the reforms of the Belgian State. Since 1989, Brussels is officially bilingual (French-Dutch). However this status does not reflect the linguistic diversity of the capital city where over 100 languages are spoken according to the latest “Taalbarometer” (Janssens 2013) nor the influence of English that is the second best known language after French.

The presence of English as a world language is well documented in metropolises but it may have found in Brussels a very fertile ground due to the presence of EU- and international institutions but also due to its increasing instrumental value as a lingua franca between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians

In what domains – for instance business, advertisement, (higher) education, the media… - is English used in Brussels?

Is the use of English widespread or restricted to specific geographical areas?

Where and how is English visible in Brussels? How prevalent is it in the linguistic landscape? What is its share in the local media?

Among which groups is it used? Is it the prerogative of highly educated expats or is it reaching other parts of the population such as recent migrants? Could it become an intra-national lingua franca between Dutch- and French-speakers?

What are the attitudes towards English? Is it welcome as a prestige marker or a useful neutral lingua franca or is it resented as a foreign influence?

What are the characteristics of the English spoken in Brussels? Is it a foreign language relying on British or American norms or is it turning into a second language with local features as may be the case in EU institutions and their ‘Euro-Speak’? Could the recent Brexit influence the future of English in Brussels?

The research day is primarily intended to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions as a starting point for a large scale research project on English in Brussels.



NEW APPROACHES TO DISCOURSE ACROSS  DISCIPLINES

● Four disciplines ● One topic ●

The Discourse and Culture Group invite you to a one day colloquium, which explores the different ways in which disciplines – such as linguistics, sociology, politics, management and organizational studies - use discourse analysis in analysing research data. The main purpose of the event is to see whether or not synergies can be found between different methodologies used in the distinct disciplines, and to propose a way forward in developing a new, interdisciplinary perspective.  

During the colloquium attendees will have an opportunity to hear our four distinguished speakers’ take on discourse analysis, but also to ‘bring and share’ their own data or research ideas for a discussion about possible methodological approaches.  

 

Flyer for Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium Event

Dementia and Cultural Narratives Symposium

University of Aston, UK, Friday 8th – Saturday 9th December 2017

The dementia and cultural narrative symposium will explore the growing body of cultural representations of dementia across a range of texts and contexts. The symposium’s contributions reflect the developing research culture that explores, interrogates, and evaluates the ways in which forms of dementia are being used in media such as TV, film, literature, the visual arts and theatre. The symposium will bring together scholars and other professionals from a variety of fields to discuss the implications of the narrativisation of dementia.

Keynotes will be delivered by June Hennell, MBE, advocate for those with dementia, and Dr Aagje Swinnen, co-editor of Popularizing Dementia: Public Expressions and Representations of Forgetfulness. There will also be a screening of Piano Lessons by Professor Marlene Goldman, author of the forthcoming Forgotten: Narratives of Age-Related Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada.   

This symposium is the inaugural event of the new international Dementia and Cultural Narrative network.

This is a FREE event, but we ask all attendees to register by 15thNovember: https://dementia-culture.wixsite.com/network/upcoming-events

Please direct any questions to the event organisers Raquel Medina and Sarah Falcus: dementia.and.culture.network@gmail.com



CPD Workshop: Implications of CLIL for classroom practice

Saturday 2nd December 2017, 10am - 1pm
Location: Aston University, MB603

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland  

While the dual focus on content and language learning has often been highlighted in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), there has been less discussion on what integrating means conceptually and at the level of classroom practices. By exploring data extracts from CLIL classrooms, this workshop will explore the nature of CLIL as a context both for second/foreign language learning and use, and for language-dependent content learning. The themes addressed will include the role of language and language awareness in content learning, translanguaging as practice and pedagogy, and the implications of that the intertwined nature of content and language has on assessment in CLIL.

Bio: Tarja Nikulahas extensive experience in teaching and research in the areas of language education and CLIL (both with a focus on training students and on training trainers). Research specialisms include classroom discourse, CLIL and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language.

Programme:

10am-11am: lecture

11:00am-11:30am: coffee break

11:30am-13:00pm: workshop + Q&A

To attend, please register herehttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/implications-of-clil-for-classroom-practice-cpd-workshop-tickets-39551795485



Public Lecture - A multi-sited policy perspective on CLIL  

Thursday 30th November 2017, 17:30 - 19:00pm
Location:  Aston University, Main Building MB550 

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland 

This lecture will outline a multi-sited policy perspective on content and language integrated learning (CLIL). This means that CLIL realization is dependent on policy processes that, rather than linear and hierarchical, are fluctuating and multi-sited, that is, simultaneously taking place at different levels, be they national, local, institution-based or pertaining to classrooms as sites for policy choices.

More specifically, the lecture will describe a three-perspectival approach to content and language integration that highlights the importance of curriculum level decisions, the role of classroom practices and of participant beliefs for its successful implementation. 

Biographical information: Prof Tarja Nikula is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS) at the University of Jyväskylä. She was a founding member and co-convener of AILA Research Network CLIL & Immersion Classrooms: Applied Linguistic Perspectives (2006-2011).Her research specialisms include classroom discourse, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language. She publishes widely in international journals and has most recently co-edited Conceptualising Integration in CLIL and Multilingual Education (2016).

The event will be followed by a wine reception. To attend, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/public-lecture-a-multi-sited-policy-perspective-on-clil-tickets-39691414088



Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Day at Aston

Saturday March 18th 2017

Plenary talks:
Peeter Mehisto  (University College London Institute of Education) - Getting concrete with CLIL

Judith Woodfield  (Head teacher, Bordesley Green Girls School) - How Content and Language Integrated Teaching Can Halt the Decline of Languages in Schools

Elisabeth Wielander (Aston University) - Something to talk about: Integrating content and language in tertiary education

Workshop with Peeter Mehisto - Scaffolding through the unavoidable gateway of short-term memory: A CLIL essential 


 
'Narrating the Crisis' Workshop 

CLaRA Workshop: Narrating the Crisis Programme



English spoken: The position of English in Brussels

Tuesday 30th May 2017, Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles

With the support of SESLA (Université Saint-Louis, Bruxelles), CLaRA (Aston University), BRIO, Brussels Studies Institute.

Located in a Germanic dialectal area as attested by all historical toponyms, Brussels has known over the centuries an increasing influence of French that culminated in the 19th century when French became de facto the language of the newly funded Belgian state. That state of affairs discriminated against speakers of Dutch dialects, which led to claims for linguistic equality that is still being pursued through the reforms of the Belgian State. Since 1989, Brussels is officially bilingual (French-Dutch). However this status does not reflect the linguistic diversity of the capital city where over 100 languages are spoken according to the latest “Taalbarometer” (Janssens 2013) nor the influence of English that is the second best known language after French.

The presence of English as a world language is well documented in metropolises but it may have found in Brussels a very fertile ground due to the presence of EU- and international institutions but also due to its increasing instrumental value as a lingua franca between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians

In what domains – for instance business, advertisement, (higher) education, the media… - is English used in Brussels?

Is the use of English widespread or restricted to specific geographical areas?

Where and how is English visible in Brussels? How prevalent is it in the linguistic landscape? What is its share in the local media?

Among which groups is it used? Is it the prerogative of highly educated expats or is it reaching other parts of the population such as recent migrants? Could it become an intra-national lingua franca between Dutch- and French-speakers?

What are the attitudes towards English? Is it welcome as a prestige marker or a useful neutral lingua franca or is it resented as a foreign influence?

What are the characteristics of the English spoken in Brussels? Is it a foreign language relying on British or American norms or is it turning into a second language with local features as may be the case in EU institutions and their ‘Euro-Speak’? Could the recent Brexit influence the future of English in Brussels?

The research day is primarily intended to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions as a starting point for a large scale research project on English in Brussels.


 
NEW APPROACHES TO DISCOURSE ACROSS  DISCIPLINES

● Four disciplines ● One topic ●

The Discourse and Culture Group invite you to a one day colloquium, which explores the different ways in which disciplines – such as linguistics, sociology, politics, management and organizational studies - use discourse analysis in analysing research data. The main purpose of the event is to see whether or not synergies can be found between different methodologies used in the distinct disciplines, and to propose a way forward in developing a new, interdisciplinary perspective.  

During the colloquium attendees will have an opportunity to hear our four distinguished speakers’ take on discourse analysis, but also to ‘bring and share’ their own data or research ideas for a discussion about possible methodological approaches.  

 

Can Languages Have an "Afterlife"?

Symposium at Aston University in Birmingham, December 7th 2016

Language shift is rarely a wholesale abandonment of a language by its speakers but a complex process normally taking place over two to three generations. In some cases language shift can lead to the development of successor lects. During the 19th century, for example, Romani speakers in the process of shift to English consciously retained a repository of words and phrases to be implemented into their English, thus forming a distinct variety of English called Anglo Romani. Another language where a conscious preservation of at least a repository and the development of successor lects took place during a process of shift is Western Yiddish in contact with Dutch and German in the first four decades of the 20th century. Funded by the British Academy a one day symposium will take place on December 7th (10 am to 4 pm) at Aston University in Birmingham.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Sarah Bunin Benor (Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles)
  • Yaron Matras (University of Manchester)
  • Anne Pauwels (SOAS, London)
  • Jakob Wiedner (University of Oslo) 


Urszula Clark Presentation

Urszula Clark gave a presentation called: ‘Teaching Grammar: where do we go from here?’ as part of Cambridge Assessment’s Aspects of Writing seminar on 30th November 2016 held at the British Academy, London. The purpose of the seminar was to launch the findings of the Aspects of Writing project, a longitudinal study that compares language change and use in GCSE students’ creative writing from 1980 to 2014 in England. The seminar was held in front of an invited audience of academics, journalists, policy makers, examination board representatives and teachers and over 900 people followed the event live on the day. It was also reported on in The Times on 2nd December.    


Professional Development Course in Teaching English for Academic Purposes
1st – 12th August 2016

Have you recently started teaching EAP? Or are you thinking of moving into EAP? Or would you perhaps like to enhance your existing EAP skills teaching, and network with like-minded professionals?

If you would like to learn more about Teaching English for Academic Purposes, this is the course for you!

Our 2-week full-time introductory course, led by experienced teacher trainers, will give you the opportunity to:
gain insights into EAP approaches, principles and practices

  • observe live lessons delivered by experienced EAP teachers
  • design and evaluate EAP materials and assessments
  • experience and reflect on teaching EAP through micro-teaching.


Webinar with Dr Branca Visnjic

April 20th, 2016 at 3 pm
"Language analysis tools for international researchers"
The aim of this CPD session is to help international researchers become more successful in their academic article and presentation paper writing.
It will cover some useful tips for international researchers who are planning to write their first articles in any academic field, and who may need some support with English grammar and vocabulary. The presenter, Dr Branka Visnjic, will explain how they can use some free online tools to improve their proofreading skills so as to feel more confident in their academic writing.

Distinguished Visitor: Prof Rainier Grutman

Public lecture by ClaRA (Translation Studies) Distinguished Visitor

Tuesday 16 February 2016, 4-5pm.

Room:  MB504

Speaker:  Prof Rainier Grutman, University of Ottawa

“1616-2016: What does ‘Gilles’ Shakespeare tell us about translation?”

Because he is one of the most translated authors (and arguably the most retranslated author) in Western history, William Shakespeare is a very good starting point for a discussion of translation. By looking at a few of the very many French versions of his major plays that have been produced in the past three centuries (of Hamlet and Macbeth, in particular), we will be able to lay bare some of the most fundamental yet often overlooked features of translation, both as a form of linguistic re-enunciation and a cultural intervention.



Translation and Interpreting in Multilingual Contexts

A conference organised by the Department of Languages and Translation Studies (LTS) at Aston University, with the support of the Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)

Friday, 19 February 2016

Hashtag: #TransMultilingual
Twitter: @AstonLSS and @CLaRAatAston

Download Poster and Leaflet, and read the full programme below.

Speakers:

Prof Frank Austermuehl, Chair in Translation Studies, Aston University
Prof Gertrud Reershemius, Co-director of CLaRA (and coordinator of the Multilingualism and Translation group)
Prof Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff, and president of IATIS), “Rethinking the Translation Continuum”
Prof Rainier Grutman (Ottawa), “Multilingualism and Translation: Two Sides of the Same Coin?”
Dr Yvonne Fowler (Aston), “The challenges of PSI interpreting in a multilingual city: the case of Birmingham”
Dr Wine Tesseur  (Reading), “Official multilingualism and translation in NGOs”
Delyth Prys (Bangor), “Translation training in Non-State Cultures: Perspectives from Wales”
Dr Olga Castro (Aston), “Translational Travels within Multilingual Spain”
Dr Richard Mansell  (Exeter), “Regional, National, International: the Case of Translated Catalan Literature” 
Ingemar Strandvik (EC’s Directorate-General for Translation, Brussels) “Legal Translation and Multilingual Lawmaking in the EU”

Show and Tell event for Primary & Secondary School Language Practitioners 

Date: Thursday 5th February 2015

This Show and Tell event is a great opportunity to meet other language practitioners and share good practice in the languages classroom in a relaxed informal environment. It’s an opportunity to gather new ideas and resources to put into practice the next day! 
So, have you got any nice activities for teaching languages at KS2? Made any exciting changes for the new KS3 curriculum? Making great progress with Sixth form teaching? How are you dealing with transition? What do your pupils enjoy?  Sign up and tell us about them!  The length of your slot will depend on how many volunteers we have.


Listen, Speak, Read, Write Web

Teaching English to young learners

Date: Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Who should attend?

  • Curriculum leaders 
  • Heads of Languages Departments 
  • Language teachers 
  • NQTs 
  • PGCE students 
  • Subject coordinators

Why should I attend?

This practical one day course is designed to show how ICT can extend and motivate pupils of MFL using stimulating and engaging tools to enhance learning outcomes across all four language skills. It is a must for those who are keen to find out ways they can use technology to enhance their language lessons and network with other like-minded colleagues in their local area and further afield.

Session one: Promoting listening and speaking skills with ICT

In the first hands-on session we shall explore effective ways of rehearsing and peer assessing spoken work, raising pupils’ confidence and improving pronunciation using free tools Audacity, Cue Prompter, Levelator, Voki, Vocaroo and Recordmp3. You will learn how easy it is record and edit digital audio, produce professional looking resources and publish the results on the web.

Session two: Improving reading and writing using technology

The second hands-on session looks at how pupils can practise their reading and writing skills by contributing to an online notice board, creating a cool cartoon, professional looking slideshow and making a decorative word cloud with Padlet, Storybird, Animoto and Wordle. 

Trainer

This course is delivered by Joe Dale. Joe is an independent consultant who works with a range of organisations such as Network for Languages, ALL, The British Council and the BBC. He is host of the TES MFL forum, former SSAT Languages Lead Practitioner, a regular conference speaker and recognised expert on technology and language learning.

Joe was key in updating the ICT elements of the QCDA SoW for KS2 Primary French; he also designed games for Heinemann’s ‘Expo’. Joe has featured in several Education Guardian articles and has himself both written for and been quoted by the TES. Joe has also written for the TES ICT blog and produced video tutorials for the CILT 14-19 website. Joe recently starred on a Teachers TV programme and has spoken about the Rose Review proposals on BBC Radio 4. His blog has been nominated for four Edublog Awards in the last four years.www.joedale.typepad.com


Assessment and the New National Curriculum for MFL: Issues & Discussions 

Teaching English to young learners

Date: Thursday 16th April 2015

In response to the new national curriculum and the scrapping of levels many schools are considering alternative methods of recording progress. This course is for language teachers who wish to reflect on the best methods of planning and recording progress over the statutory key stage 3. It will allow delegates to consider a range of options and to discuss what their whole-school policy is for assessment.

Trainer:

Fiona Cotton is a former head of languages who now works as an independent consultant. She also worked for the National Strategies as a reviewer of the renewed Key Stage 3 framework for languages.  Fi has a particular interest in progression and assessment for learning across key stage 2 and 3 but has wide experience leading training for teachers in FKS, KS1 and of course, KS4 and post 16. She has been known to   use some rather innovative methods to teach languages: playing the ukulele, performing puppet shows and teaching salsa dancing - all in the target language, of course.



Deutsch International! - Tuesday 17th March 2015

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA  hosted a German Cultural Day for Year 8 students and their teachers from schools in the West Midlands. Pupils from 6 different local schools attended the event. Alex Pickering, Special Projects Advisor from the Goethe-Institute was guest speaker. He delivered an informative session to teachers and voted the best pupil poster presentation. Congratulations to Lichenstein who were this year's winners!

Fiesta Hispánica! - Tuesday 10th March 2015

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted a Spanish Cultural Day for Year 8 students and their teachers from 6 different local schools. Natalio Ormeño Villajos, Education Advisor for the Spanish Embassy Education Office, was guest speaker. He delivered an informative session to teachers and voted the best pupil poster presentation. The winners were Nicaragua!

Jour de la Francophonie! - Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted a French Cultural Day for Year 8 students and their teachers from schools in the West Midlands. 75 pupils from 7 different schools attended the event. Yves Letournel from the Cultural department of the French Embassy was guest speaker. He delivered an entertaining CPD session to teachers and voted the best pupil poster presentation. This year's winners were Switzerland. 



Mother Tongue Other Tongue: Teaching Languages Through Poetry CPD

Date: 26th February, 2015

Mother Tongue Other Tongue is a competition from Routes into Languages, which celebrates the many languages and cultures in our schools today. Through practical, group based exercises, this free workshop will provide secondary EAL and MFL teachers with ideas and activities on embedding poetry in your teaching and encouraging creativity in the languages classroom.

This workshop is a collaboration between Routes into Languages, Network for Languages, Writing West Midlands and the Centre for Language Education Research at Aston, and will be delivered by writer Elisabeth Charis. Elisabeth has a first class honours degree in English Language and Literature and is a qualified teacher (QTS and TESOL) with many years of experience teaching young people and adults and facilitating workshops in and out of a variety of educational contexts.  She has lived in China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and, most recently, Syria.




Fourth Annual Distinguished Lecture: 'Diverse Englishes, intercultural communication, and 'international' universities' - Thursday 12th February 2015

Professor Jennifer Jenkins from the University of Southampton discussed the difference between World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). She then turned to Higher Education, a context in which ELF as both phenomenon and field of research is particularly prevalent. Focussing on the UK, some of the problems and contradictions relating to English language policies and practices that exist in universities that consider themselves to be international were considered.

Abstract:
Global diversity in English has existed since the early days of British colonisation, and from the late 1970s, research into the English of speakers for whom it is not the mother tongue has grown dramatically. The first to study it were World Englishes scholars, whose interest was in the different English varieties used within the postcolonial countries. More recently, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) scholars have been exploring how English is used in intercultural communication. In my talk I will discuss the differences between these two research paradigms, consider the next logical development, then turn to a context in which ELF as both phenomenon and field of research is particularly prevalent: Higher Education. Focusing on the UK, I will consider some of the problems and contradictions relating to English language policies and practices (including entry testing) that exist in universities that consider themselves to be international. 



Show and Tell event for Primary and Secondary School Language Practitioners - Thursday 5th February 2015

This first Show and Tell event was a great opportunity to meet other language practitioners and share good practice in the languages classroom in a relaxed and informal environment. A variety of practical ideas were demonstrated and delegates went away with an array of resources to put into practice the next day! 

CPD session: Meeting the requirements of the 2014 secondary National Curriculum for MFL - Tuesday 2nd December 2014

This one-day course gave a comprehensive overview of the requirements of the 2014 MFL National Curriculum and explored the practical issues related to planning and delivering langauge teaching. There was a particular focus on assessment for learning in view of the removal of curriculum levels from September 2014. Delegates from across the West Midlands attended the session run by Fiona Cotton.

Date:  Tuesday 2nd December 2014

Why should I attend?

This course gives a comprehensive overview of the requirements of the 2014 MFL National Curriculum and explores the practical issues related to planning and delivering language teaching.  There is a particular focus on assessment for learning in view of the removal of curriculum levels from September 2014.

The day is highly practical and delegates will engage in activities which demonstrate teaching strategies that can secure good outcomes relating to the new programme of study.

There are three sessions which will each examine the short, medium and long term planning issues relating to the forthcoming changes and delegates will come away with action plans for their departments on how to move forward with confidence.

What you will achieve:

  • A thorough understanding of the issues relating to the teaching of the new KS3 programmes of study for MFL;
  • A toolkit of assessment strategies to address "assessing without levels"
  • An understanding of how the key stage 3 framework for languages enables teachers to teach the new programme of study;
  • An analysis of the range of teaching techniques, approaches and styles that will be required from September 2014;
  • An approach to departmental action planning to manage any required changes to long, medium and short term planning.

Getting Started with French - Niveau bleu - Tuesday 18th November 2014 

This one-day course, part of the Primary French Project,  provided classroom teaching resources and support so that delegates could feel more confident about teaching French in Key Stage 2.  Delegates from across the West Midlands attended the session run by Fiona Cotton. 

Primary practitioners who wish to start teaching French in Key Stage 2; Primary French Subject Coordinators; initial teacher trainees; classroom teaching assistants & headteachers.

The materials can be used by absolute beginners. They aim to train the teacher as well as teach the children. The PowerPoint presentations include all images and voice recordings necessary to model language and language concepts to children.

This one-day course will provide classroom teaching resources and support so that you can start to teach French in Key Stage 2.  The course is based on teaching materials devised as part of a project comprising the French Embassy, the Association for Language Learning and Network for Languages, which are freely available to all participants.  

Practitioners attending this training course are encouraged to use the materials to teach French in school, thereby extending their training and enhancing their subject knowledge.

Niveau bleu materials are aimed at children in Year 3, or children in their first year of learning French in Key Stage 2.  There are further courses to cover materials for teaching other school years.  These materials are fully aligned with the new Programme of Study for Languages in Key Stage 2, and are very simple and user-friendly.  They comprise lesson plans in Word format, and PowerPoint presentations designed for use on the interactive whiteboard.

 



CPD session: Multimedia Language Learning on the iPad for Primary & Secondary MFL teachers - Thursday 16th October 2014

This CPD session looked at the power of the iPad for producing professional looking multimedia content simply and easily using free or inexpensive apps. There was plenty of hands-on opportunities to get to grips with digital storytelling, animation and film making which promote creativity, foster collaboration and allow learners to access higher order  thinking skills. The session was delivered by Joe Dale, an independent consultant who works with a range of organisations such as Network for Languages, ALL, The British Council and the BBC. 

For the programme, click here.



Twilight CPD session: 'How to be OUTSTANDING in the Secondary MFL Classroom' - Tuesday 10th June 2014 

The session provided Secondary school teachers with practical ideas on how to make their MFL lessons OUTSTANDING. Gemma Riley, Assistant Principal at Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry and her colleague Andy Compton shared the lessons that received 'outstanding' by OFSTED. There were plenty of resources and reflection on best practice.

To download the programme click here

 


Second Annual 'How does Language & Literacy Work? conference - Saturday 17th May 2014

The conference continued the ground breaking collaboration begun last year between University researchers, providers of continuing development programmes in teaching English as an additional language and teachers across the primary and secondary sectors.Keynote speakers included Professor Caroline Coffin and Claire Acevedo. There were also a series of workshops throughout the day. 

The variation between the language of the home and community and the language of school is at the heart of a great deal of the underachievement of identifiable groups of learners in Britain. These learners may speak English either as a first or second language. They draw on the language of home and community to make meanings within school. School subjects draw on different kinds of language. These variations in language do not match.

The conference aims to:

  • Make the workings of the language system explicit in order to appreciate the role language plays, in constructing knowledge across all learning areas.
  • Build understandings about the patterned ways meanings are made within and across genres so that educators are able to develop students’ language resources to understand and produce those genres.
  • Enable participants to understand and use the differences between spoken and written language, both as a teaching and a learning tool.

Speakers include: 

Caroline Coffin Professor  in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK.

Claire Acevedo Freelance Education Consultant and Teacher Educator

Dr Urszula Clark, Reader in English, Aston University, Birmingham (UK)

Dr Garry Plappert,  Lecturer in English, Aston University, Birmingham (UK)

Lee Donaghy Assistant Principal, Park view School,  The Academy of Mathematics and Science, Birmingham  (UK)

Conference Programme:

For more details of this event,  click here.

 



New Directions in Reflective Practice conference - Wednesday 14th May 2014 

This one-day conference was aimed at bringing together researchers and English language professionals to share current approaches to reflective practice. The conference opened with a plenary talk by Professor Thomas S.C. Farrell. Other invited speakers included Dr Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton, Aston University; Dr Sue Wharton, Dr Steve Mann and Sarah Banks, University of Warwick; Dr Jane Spiro, Oxford-Brookes University; Dr Fiona Farr & Dr Elaine Riordan, University of Limerick. 

For more details of this event, click here.

 



CPD Workshop: Teaching Grammar through Reading at Key Stage 2 - Wednesday 9th April 2014 

Through practical, group based exercises, this workshop, led by Dr Urszula Clark, focused on how to teach pupils the ways in which verbs or processes represent experiences in fiction and contribute to the representation of character. The workshop linked directly to the requirements of the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) test at Key Stage 2. 

Grammar is best taught as part of learning to read and to write. Through practical, group based exercises, this workshop focuses on how to teach pupils the ways in which verbs or processes represent experiences in fiction and contribute to the representation of character. This workshop links directly to the requirements of the Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) test at key Stage 2. 

The workshop is led by Dr Urszula Clark. Dr Clark is Reader in English within the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston. She was a teacher before becoming a lecturer, and has many years’ experience of teaching grammar at secondary level, to students following undergraduate degrees in English and English Language and most recently, presenting at CPD events on grammar to teachers of Key Stages 2 and 3. 

 



Deutsch International! - Wednesday 19th March 2014

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted a  German Cultural Day for sixty Year 8 students and eight teachers from schools in the West Midlands. Alex Pickering, Special Projects Advisor from the Goethe-Institute, was guest speaker.

 



¡Fiesta Hispánica! - Wednesday 12th March 2014

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted a  Spanish Cultural Day for sixty-two Year 8 students and eight teachers from schools in the West Midlands. Natalio Ormeño Villajos, Education Advisor for the Spanish Embassy Education Office, was guest speaker. 

 



Distinguished Visitor Seminar: 'Supporting Language-Based Content Teaching with Metalanguage from Systemic Functional Linguistics' - Wednesday 5th March 2014

Professor Mary Schleppegrell, University of Michigan, illustrated how metalanguage for talking about how language presents meanings in the texts students read and write has the potential to support the learning of language and content in the mainstream classroom. The lecture reported on classroom-based research at primary school level in the U.S.

Abstract This presentation reports on classroom-based research in the primary grades in an urban school district in the U.S. where English is not the primary language in students’ homes and community. In this context teachers and their pupils engaged in learning and using the metalanguage of systemic functional linguistics (SFL) in reading, talking, and writing about texts in language arts and science.

 



Jour de la Francophonie! - Wednesday 5th March 2014

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted a French Cultural Day for Year 8 students and their teachers from schools in the West Midlands. Yves Letournel from the Cultural department of the French Embassy was guest speaker.

 



Twilight CPD Session: How to be OUTSTANDING in the Primary & Secondary MFL Classroom - Tuesday 11th February 2014

This CPD session helped MFL practitioners to think about what an OUTSTANDING lesson in MFL is, as proposed by OFSTED, and how it is achieved. Gemma Riley, Assistant Principal at Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry, delivered this practical session with her colleague, Anna Fennell-McLoughlin. Their school was recently awarded 'Outstanding'. They shared resources, lesson plans and ideas with the delegates.

Dr Garton visit to Sungkyukwan and Beijing Normal Universities 

Sue Garton

23 October 2013

Sue Garton has just returned from a 2-week trip to Korea and China. In Korea, Sue visitedSungkyukwan University where she gave a talk to staff and students on the Certificate in Teaching English to Young Learners. She was then an invited speaker at  the KOTESOL conference 12th-13th October where she gave two presentations and took part in the conference Pecha Kucha (20 slides for 20 seconds each). 

In China, Sue was a guest lecturer at Beijing Normal University from 14th-20th October. She gave four lectures to staff and students of the  Centre for Foreign Language Education and Teacher Education, worked with PhD students and gave a one-day workshop to around 180 primary and secondary school teachers from all over Beijing.


Webinar on Teaching Speaking in the Language Classroom 

Date: Wednesday 23rd October 2013

Abstract

Language classrooms are usually full of speaking activities, but speaking as a skill is not necessarily explicitly taught. Speaking in a second or foreign language is complex and if students are to develop good skills, speaking needs to be taught both as a process and a product. In this session, we will look at the key skills and knowledge required for competent speaking and also consider how they can be taught. I will present a teaching model for planning speaking programs and will illustrate the model with sample activities that can be used in speaking classrooms. In the session, I will also consider how well textbook materials meet the challenges of teaching speaking. 

Speaker: Professor Anne Burns

Anne Burns is Professor of Language Education and Director of the Centre for Language Education Research at Aston University, Birmingham. She teaches in the Aston on-campus and distance Masters programmes.  She is particularly interested in the teaching of speaking and action research and she has conducted action research on speaking with teachers in the UK and in Australia.  Her recent books include Doing action research in the language classroom: A guide for practitioners (2010, Routledge), Teaching speaking: A holistic approach (co-authored with Christine Goh, 2012, CUP) and The Cambridge guide to pedagogy and practice in second language teaching (co-edited with Jack C. Richards, 2012, CUP). 


Wednesday 30th October 2013 - CLERA's Third Annual Distinguished Lecture

This year’s distinguished visitor was Professor Norbert Schmitt from the University of Nottingham. The lecture looked at recent research into vocabulary learning. 75 delegates attended the event, which was followed by a drinks reception.  


Webinar: Teaching Speaking in the Language Classroom - Wednesday 23rd October 2013

CLERA held its first ever twilight webinar. The session was led by Professor Anne Burns and focussed on teaching speaking in the language classroom. It looked at the key skills and knowledge required for competent speaking and also consider edhow they could be taught. The session was aimed at Modern Foreign Language Teachers and English as a Second/Foreign Language Teachers.
Enhancing classroom practice in modern foreign language teaching: Action research as a professional tool



Enhancing classroom practice in modern foreign language teaching: Action research as a professional tool

Date: Tuesday 9 July 2013

Teacher researchers:  Liz Black, Stokesley School, Stokesley; Olga Cordero-Nieto, Cardinal Newman Catholic School, Coventry; Nofer Fari, Smiths Wood Sports College, Birmingham

Aston University researchers:  Anne Burns, Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton

In 2012-13, three MFL teachers collaborated with two teacher educators from the Centre for Language Education Research at Aston University to undertake an action research project on modern foreign language (MFL) teaching in secondary schools. This session looks at the impact of the action research on the professional development of the teachers and at the outcomes of their research. 

The session begins with a brief description of what action research is and how it can benefit teachers and pupils. Then the three MFL teachers will describe their action research, what it focused on and what they achieved in their classrooms as a result.  The presenters will outline the context of the schools where they worked and the types of classes they taught. They will then illustrate the activities they developed and how their pupils responded to these activities. At the end of their presentations they will explain what they have learned about themselves as teachers, their practices in the modern foreign language classroom and what plans they have for continuing an action research approach in working with their pupils.  Participants will have an opportunity to discuss the issues raised with the presenters at the end of each session.

Acknowledgement: The research on which this session is based was funded by a British Academy Small Grant. We gratefully acknowledge this funding. Click here for the full event programme.



Action Research Project - Tuesday 9th July 2013

In 2012-13, three MFL teachers collaborated with two teacher educators from the Centre for Language Education Research at Aston University to undertake an action research project on modern foreign language (MFL) teaching in secondary schools. This free seminar looked at the impact of the action research on the professional development of the teachers and at the outcomes of their research. 



How does language work? Conference - 27-28 June 2013 

The variation between the language of the home and community and the language of school is at the heart of a great deal of the underachievement of identifiable groups of learners in Britain. These learners may speak English either as a first or second language. They draw on the language of home and community to make meanings within school. School subjects draw on different kinds of language. These variations in language do not match. 

The two days  focussed on moving learners from everyday language to the academic language needed to succeed in school subjects.

Inspiring, informing and equipping teachers and their students with knowledge about how language works as a meaning making system. 

Moving learners from everyday language to the academic language needed to succeed.

The variation between the language of the home and community and the language of school is at the heart of a great deal of the underachievement of identifiable groups of learners in Britain. These learners may speak English either as a first or second language. They draw on the language of home and community to make meanings within school. School subjects draw on different kinds of language. These variations in language do not match. 

The conference aims to:

  • Make the workings of the language system explicit in order to appreciate the role language plays, in constructing knowledge across all learning areas.
  • Build understandings about the patterned ways meanings are made within and across genres so that educators are able to develop students’ language resources to understand and produce those genres.
  • Enable participants to understand and use the differences between spoken and written language, both as a teaching and a learning tool.

Speakers:

Professor J R MartinUniversity of Sydney (Australia) 

Associate Professor Sue HoodUniversity of Technology (Australia) 

Tom BartlettCardiff University (UK) 

Lise FontaineCardiff University (UK) 

Gerard O’GradyCardiff University (UK)

Geoff Thompson, University of Liverpool (UK)

Brian Dare,  Director of Lexis Education  and international consultant for language and literacy  

For more details of this two-day event,  click here.



Explorations in Second Language Acquisition and Task-based Teaching and Learning - 26th June 2013 

This free twilight event consisted of three sessions followed by a drinks reception. The first session was led by Professor Rod Ellis of the University of Auckland and Shanghai International Studies University. He was followed by Professor Alison Mackey, Georgetown University and Lancaster University and finally by Jane Willis, Honorary Visiting Fellow, Aston University.

Speakers:

Prof. Rod Ellis,University of Auckland and Shanghai International Studies University                                                                                                                     

Rod will present findings from a study in which teachers designed, taught and evaluated tasks.  He will suggest that 
a practical way in which teachers can research their teaching and develop their understanding of task-based teaching is by carrying out micro-evaluations.  

Prof Alison Mackey, Georgetown University and Lancaster University  

In this presentation, Alison will first briefly outline some current theoretical claims and the wide range of methodological approaches used in interaction research. She will then show some data from three very different studies, ranging from cognitive to social in orientation and will conclude with a concise discussion of how this work can be applied to authentic learning contexts.

Jane Willis, Honorary Visiting Fellow, Aston University 

The aim of this workshop is to give participants a brief experience of the overall process of task design, implementation and research planning. Jane will introduce a 'task generator' and will outline parameters for adapting tasks and refining task instructions before suggesting how teachers might research the tasks they design and use. 

Click here for the full event program. 



CPD Workshop: PowerPoint & Video Editing Skills for MFL Teachers - Thursday 20th June 2013 

Have you ever thought “I wish I could do more in PowerPoint” or “that’s flashy - how do they do that”? This intensive hands-on workshop took teachers “beyond bullets” with plenty of chance for Q&A.

Video editing can be easier than you think! In this hands-on workshop teachers recorded a short video clip, used Video Pad free-to-download software to edit, subtitled, and recorded their voice-over and shared ideas.



Something to talk about: Integrating content and language study in higher education - organised by Elisabeth Wielander, 11 June, 2013 

This workshop - organised in association with the AHRC - draws on international research to outline the benefits of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in MFL degrees in UK Higher Education. It provides a platform for sharing practice in subject-specific content teaching through the target language and discussing implications for curriculum design and teacher training.
For more information, go to the HEA website.



Public lecture: Juliane House

On Wednesday May 22, 2013, CLERA's Distinguished Visitor Professor Juliane House (Hamburg University, Germany) will give a public lecture titled: "English as a global lingua franca: A threat to multilingualism and translation?"

Abstract:

In this lecture I will discuss the important question of whether and how the increasing importance of English as a global language and an international lingua franca in many facets of contemporary societies poses a threat to multilingualism and the practice of translation worldwide.

I will first take a closer look at the notion ‘English as a lingua franca’ (ELF), and also briefly turn to the question of why it should be English that has adopted this pre-eminent role and not some other language. Secondly, I will discuss whether ELF can really be called a threat to multilingual communication and translation or whether ELF is simply a useful ‘neutral’ tool for effective global understanding in academic, business and other contexts. I will here make a distinction between ‘a language for communication’ and ‘a language for identification’ arguing for a compromise position between a wholesale condemnation of ELF and a naïve acceptance of its benefits. This position will be supported from three different perspectives: linguistic, psycholinguistic and pedagogic. Thirdly, I will discuss the question of whether translation as an important type of multilingual communication and an effective means of maintaining cultural identity is threatened by the ever increasing use of English worldwide.

Biographical data:

Professor Juliane House is Professor emerita of Applied Linguistics at Hamburg University and and a senior member of the Sonderforschungsbereich "Mehrsprachigkeit" (Research Centre on Multilingualism), where she directs projects on translation and multilingual business communication. She also directs a project on multilingualism and multiculturalism in German universities. 

Her research interests include translation theory, contrastive pragmatics, discourse analysis, English as a lingua franca and intercultural communication. She has written and edited numerous books and research articles (list of publications: http://www.slm.uni-hamburg.de/iaas_slf/pub-jh.htm).

Juliane House received her first degree in English, Spanish, translation and international law from Heidelberg University, her BEd, MA and PhD in applied linguistics from the University of Toronto, Canada, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.




CPD Workshop: Teaching Grammar at Key Stage 2 - Tuesday 26 March 2013 or Thursday 18 April 2013 

This workshop event covered the ground needed to teach pupils in order for them to understand the grammar and grammatical terminology required by the Key Stage 2 grammar test. Through practical, group based exercises, teachers gained a grounding in modern approaches to the study of grammar.



Cultural Days 

Routes into Languages, Network for Languages and CLERA hosted three Cultural Days for Year 8 students and their teachers:
Wed 6th March- Jour de la Francophonie!: Yves Letournel, Cultural department, French Embassy 
Wed 13th March - ¡Fiesta Hispánica!: Natalio Ormeño Villajos, Education Advisor, Spanish Embassy Education Office  
Wed 27th March – Deutsch International!: Alex Pickering, Special Projects Advisor, Goethe-Institute



Using digital video in the Modern Languages classroom. A practical workshop - organised by Dr Claudia Gremler, 9 January 2013 

This workshop provided language teachers in higher education with the opportunity to explore a wide range of uses for digital video in the MFL classroom, including practical exercises. The event introduced participants to a variety of video-based learner activities and offered a forum for an exchange of existing good practice.

“Regional varieties, language shift and linguistic identities”

12-15 September 2012, Aston University, Birmingham

International conference hosted by Aston Centre for Interdisciplinary Research into Language and Diversity (InterLanD) and Institute for the Study of Language and Society (ISLS)

Plenary speakers:

  • Prof. Joan Beal, University of Sheffield (UK)

  • Prof. Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University (USA)

  • Prof. Yaron Matras, University of Manchester (UK)

Regional varieties have become an important contributor to identity construction processes, and an increasingly important issue for the individual and the community in late Modernity: the individual is under constant and increasing pressure to define who s/he is and has to choose from an ever growing pool of possibilities to construct social identity in an increasingly globalized world, which is perceived as incromprehensively complex. By referring to what is seen as traditional regional language, dialect and culture, localizing oneself seems to be a viable way out of this dilemma. This should have stabilizing effects on lesser used varieties, which have been facing a gradual process of language shift and divergence towards dominant contact languages over the hundred years. Unfortunately, at the same time, modern life does not so much require knowledge of regional varieties as of standard languages and a good command of English as the global lingua franca. How can an upwardly mobile individual combine the requirements of modern life with identity construction on a regional scale if they so choose? What are the linguistic consequences for lesser used varieties and their respective contact languages?

Click hereto view the RVC programme or go to the conference website for more information.


Professor Burns has been appointed by OUP as Advisor for Oxford Applied Linguistics from 2011 to 2015.

This role involves advising Oxford ELT on aims, scope and readership and on volumes to be published in the Oxford Applied Linguistics series.



Transitions between Primary and Secondary Schools for Young Learners of English

This study aims to respond to the British Council’s interest in the learning and teaching of English at younger ages and in teacher education and training. It also intends to build on the findings of the recent ELTRA project,Global Practices in Teaching Young Learners (Garton, Copland & Burns, 2011) which revealed the challenges facing teachers of young learners and the local practices they employed. This study will examine the issues which arise when learners move up the educational system and how curriculum policy and teaching practice can bridge any potential gaps.

In many countries around the world English is now compulsory in primary education. However, curricula and practices that support children as they move from primary levels (Level 1) to secondary levels (Level 2) are often realised in an ad hoc way because there is little research to inform policy decisions. This study will take a first step towards addressing key factors in transition by looking at international policy and practices, in order to answer the following questions: 

  1. How do ELT curriculum/policy documents inform transition from primary to secondary levels?

  2. What are the main teaching and learning issues that primary and secondary teachers perceive about transition?

  3. What are ELT teachers’ perceptions of their roles and responsibilities in relation to transition and what challenges do they face?

  4. What similarities and differences in transition issues can be identified across different international contexts?

The answer to these questions will contribute towards answering two further questions:

  1. What local solutions to transition issues have the potential for international relevance?

  2. How can these solutions be used to inform teacher education and training for transition?


CLERA officially launched by Vice-Chancellor

Vice-Chancellor Julia King launches CLERA

26 October, 2011

The Centre for Language Education Research at Aston (CLERA) was officially launched on 26 October, 2011, by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julia King. In her speech marking the event Professor King noted that a  centre bringing together educational research on English as  a second language as well as modern foreign languages was unusual, but that staff associated with the centre were thus well positioned to work across disciplinary boundaries that are often separated. She also noted the importance of researching the interconnections between English and other languages in an era where English has become a globalised means of communication. 

Over 60 visitors and Aston staff attended the launch which was preceded by the CLERA Inaugural Distinguished Lecture, now to be held by the Centre annually.  The Lecture, presented by CLERA 2011-12 Distinguished Visitor, Professor Donald Freeman from the University of Michigan, was entitled RethinkingHow Language Goes to School  and explored the teaching of languages as school subject areas through the lens of social capital. Professor Freeman argued that for language learning to be socially productive, new pedagogical and program designs are needed that mediate between school and the world outside the classroom. He provided examples from recent programs developed by his team at the University of Michigan.

CLERA is directed by Professor Anne Burns, with Co-Directors Dr Sue Garton and Professor Gertrud Reershemius


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