Other Linguistics News

French Assessment Primary School Materials Available

Remove 26 March 2015

We have recently updated the www.pmlresearch.com website to include the French assessment tasks used in our Nuffield Foundation funded research into the teaching of French in primary schools. You will find the assessment tasks and a copy of the motivation questionnaire under the Additional Resources tab.

We do hope you find these materials informative and useful and we would be very grateful to receive comments on the blog or via email about how you used the tasks and with whom, and also any feedback.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding any of the content and please share with colleagues and students.

Louise Courtney, l.m.courtney@reading.ac.uk

History of Distributed Cognition seminars now available

Remove 26 March 2015

The Edinburgh-based AHRC research project, A History of Distributed Cognition (http://www.hdc.ed.ac.uk), is pleased to announce that the first in its series of 8 online seminars is now available to view.

This first seminar is an introduction to 'Distributed Cognition in the Analytic and Continental Traditions' by Professor Mike Wheeler (Stirling): http://www.hdc.ed.ac.uk/seminars/distributed-cognition-analytic-and-continental-traditions

Further seminars, each designed to present aspects of distributed cognition with potential applications in the humanities, will follow at weekly intervals. I'll send regular updates and a final update when all are available.

There is an online discussion forum open for each seminar. To comment one only has to sign up at: https://disqus.com/ (only takes a minute).

Mark Sprevak

LAGB Glossary of Grammatical Terms for Use in Schools: Announcement and Call for Feedback

Remove 26 March 2015

Schools in England are emerging from a long period without any systematic teaching of grammar, so there is no established tradition of grammatical concepts or terminology. The new 2013 National Curriculum for English and the tests of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for every Keystage 2 child demand more teaching of grammar, but give very little guidance on the content of this teaching, either in terms of concepts or of terminology (apart from a brief glossary of elementary grammatical terms for primary schools in the National Curriculum for English).

A workshop at the LAGB conference in 2012 agreed that this is an opportunity for the LAGB to share expertise with schools, so a new LAGB glossary has been developed by LAGB grammarians to meet this need. The project was carried forward by a group of LAGB members advising the editor, Dick Hudson.

The glossary can be found here: http://lagb-education.org/grammatical-terminology-for-schools.

The glossary must by necessity be a work in progress. No project of this type can be perfect or future-proof. For that reason, a standing committee has been set up to oversee changes to the glossary in view of comments and suggestions from fellow linguists or developments in the field. The members of the standing committee are Bas Aarts, David Denison, John Payne and Dick Hudson (who will also act as editor). Needless to say, your feedback is very welcome! It can be sent directly to Dick (r.hudson@ucl.ac.uk).

Is UKLO Working for You?

Remove 26 March 2015

Several thousand school children are now taking the Linguistics Olympiad every year (see www.uklo.org if you don't know about the Olympiad = UKLO), so we might expect some effect on recruitment to undergraduate courses. UKLO would welcome feedback from admissions tutors on the following questions:

  • Do many applicants mention UKLO on their UCAS forms?
  • When they do mention it, does it raise their credibility in your eyes?
  • Do you see any evidence that UKLO may help in recruitment? (There's no clear statistical evidence in the national figures to 2013 - see http://dickhudson.com/trends-in-uk-language-education/#ling ).

Replies to me, please - dick@ling.ucl.ac.uk

Dick Hudson

Englishes in Practice now open access

Remove 16 March 2015

Englishes in Practice is the title of the working papers of the Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton, UK.  It provides a forum for both members of the Centre and other scholars to present research and explore matters related to global users and uses of Englishes, including English as a lingua franca (ELF).   The journal welcomes submissions which report empirical findings or which discuss theoretical, conceptual or methodological aspects of relevance to the field.  

The journal is quarterly and the first issue is available here:  http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/eip

Please contact me for further information or to submit an article.

Jill Doubleday, jd5v07@soton.ac.uk

2nd call for markers:

UK Linguistics Olympiad 2015

Remove 31 January 2015

With the preparations for the 2015 edition of the UK Linguistics Olympiad well under way, we are looking for markers to join our marking panel.

Last year we had over 1000 entries, and our international finalists won a gold medal (Ellie Warner) and an honorable mention (Alastair Carr) in Beijing.

If you are available in February 2015 and would like to join the marking panel, please register here: http://www.uklo.org/?page_id=903.

To try your hand at some sample questions, go to: http://www.uklo.org/example-questions .

Any queries, feel free to contact me at jb789@cam.ac.uk.

Jessica Brown, On behalf of the UKLO Committee, http://www.uklo.org

2014 Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies

Remove 10 March 2015

Here is a list of the 2014 Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies so far, very loosely classified by topic:

Theory and method:

  • WP140 Rampton 2014. Conviviality and phatic communication?
  • WP138 Blommaert 2014. Meaning as a non-linear effect: The birth of cool
  • WP136 Rampton 2014. Gumperz and governmentality in the 21st century: Interaction, power and subjectivity
  • WP135 Blommaert 2014. From mobility to complexity in sociolinguistic theory and method
  • WP133 Blommaert & Maly 2014. Ethnographic linguistic landscape analysis and social change: A case study
  • WP131 Georgakopoulou 2014. Between narrative analysis and narrative inquiry: The long story of small stories research
  • WP125 Rampton, Maybin & Roberts 2014. Methodological foundations in linguistic ethnography
  • WP123 Blommaert, Westinen, Leppänen 2014. Further notes on sociolinguistic scales
  • WP122 Arnaut & Spotti 2014. Superdiversity discourse

Language ideology:

  • WP141 Wiese with Eley & Rampton 2014. Linguist in an ideological firestorm: Personal reflections on the Kiezdeutsch controversy
  • WP127 Cornips, Jaspers & de Rooij 2014. The politics of labeling youth vernaculars in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • WP126 Gao 2014. Interactional straining and the neoliberal self: Learning English in China's biggest English corner
  • WP124 Stæhr 2014. Metapragmatic activities on Facebook: Enregisterment across written and spoken language practices  
  • WP121 Silverstein with van der Aa & Blommaert 2014. Michael Silverstein in conversation: Translatability and the uses of standardisation
  • WP120 Wiese 2014. Voices of linguistic outrage: Standard language constructs and the discourse on new urban dialects

Language, discourse & social categorisation:

  • WP144 Bock 2014. Negotiating race and belonging in post-Apartheid South Africa: Bernadette's stories
  • WP142 Tremlett 2014. Roma integration and evidence-based policy makingmore
  • WP134 Fabrício 2014. The pragmatics of entextualizing a digital 'Lusophone' territory
  • WP132 Bock & Hunt 2014. "It's just taking our souls back": Apartheid and race in the discourses of young South Africans

Language, (in)security and conflict:

  • WP137 Rampton, Charalambous & Charalambous 2014. De-securitising Turkish: Teaching the language of a former enemy, and intercultural language education
  • WP130 Khan 2014. Citizenship, securitization and suspicion in UK ESOL policy

Language and education:

  • WP143 Collins 2014. Literacy practices, linguistic anthropology and social inequality
  • WP139 Milans 2014. Bilingual education in Hong Kong: History, challenges & directions for research
  • WP129 Pérez-Milans 2014. Mandarin Chinese in London education: Language aspirations in a working-class secondary school
  • WP128 Rampton & Harris 2014 (2010). Change in urban classroom culture and interaction
  • New European vernaculars
  • WP119 Freywald, Cornips, Ganuza, Nistov & Opsahl 2014. Urban vernaculars in contemporary northern Europe: Innovative variants of V2 in Germany, Norway and Sweden

WPULL is currently among the 0.5% most visited sites on academia.edu, and since these pages became active in October 2014, the most downloaded papers on this site (but not necessarily elsewhere) have been:

  • WP141 Wiese with Eley & Rampton 2014. Linguist in an ideological firestorm: Personal reflections on the Kiezdeutsch controversy
  • WP143 Collins 2014. Literacy practices, linguistic anthropology and social inequality
  • WP131 Georgakopoulou 2014. Between narrative analysis and narrative inquiry: The long story of small stories research
  • WP125 Rampton, Maybin & Roberts 2014. Methodological foundations in linguistic ethnography

The series focuses on linguistic practice, literacies and mediated communication in diverse and stratified urban settings. It publishes research committed to developing

  • sociolinguistic, applied and educational frameworks adequate for the analysis of urban language, literacies, interaction and learning
  • modes of intervention in language policy and practice that are productively tuned to the realities of contemporary urban life.

You can follow WPULL on Twitter @UrbLang (http://twitter.com/UrbLang)

2015 Founders’ Emergent Scholars Award

International Society for Language Studies

Remove 1 March 2015

Application deadline: March 1, 2015


Award description:

This award is intended to promote critical language scholarship and to recognize and advance the academic work of emergent scholars who have completed their doctoral dissertations within the past five years and are entering into the community of scholars. It honors the efforts of the founding members of the International Society for Language Studies (ISLS) who established the first international society dedicated to critical scholarship in language studies. In particular, it recognizes research that addresses neglected populations, focuses on little-studied research sites, offers new perspectives, and/or uses innovative methods. The award is granted once a year. Previous applicants are welcome to reapply. We encourage all applicants to join the ISLS, but membership is not required for nomination. The winner is expected to become an ISLS member.

The award includes an opportunity for awardees to publish an article in the society’s journal, Critical Inquiry in Language Studies (CILS) or in their Readings in Language Studies book series. Awardees will be recognized at the society’s biennial conference and will have a portion of their travel expenses to the conference covered.

Direct link to the call for nominations: http://www.languagefoundation.org/FESA_2015.pdf

Presentations at Right to Left Scripted Languages seminar

Remove 25 February 2015

Here is a link to some of the presentations from the seminar in June http://natecla.org.uk/news/790/Presentations-Right-to-Left-Scripted-Languages.

We are working on the proceedings and hope to have these out early in 2015.

Dr.Naeema B. Hann

New publication from the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication, KCL

Remove 20 February 2015

We would like to draw your attention to a new publication from the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication at King's College London.

This book is a sociolinguistic analysis of a key gatekeeping encounter - the licensing of doctors to practise in the UK and is based on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between King's, Nottingham and Cardiff Universities in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners.  

Performance Features in Clinical Skills Assessment: Linguistic and Cultural Factors in the MRCGP exam  by Celia Roberts, Sarah Atkins & Kamila Hawthorne can now be found here:



The Tromsø Repository of Language and Linguistics

Remove 9 February 2015

Announcing a free service for the archiving of linguistic data and statistical code at http://opendata.uit.no/: the Tromsø Repository of Language and Linguistics.

Many linguists are now publishing articles based upon data analysis, creating a need to safeguard the corresponding data and statistical code and make it available to colleagues and to the linguistic community at large.

The Tromsø Repository of Language and Linguistics, also known as "TROLLing", is a free professional service.


  • is an international archive of linguistic data and statistical code;
  • shares the platform of the Harvard Dataverse;
  • is compliant with CLARIN (Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure in the EU) standards for digital data storage;
  • assigns a permanent URL to each post;
  • collects metadata that are searchable through the site;
  • is professionally managed by the university library in Tromsø and an international Steering Committee.

Authors of scholarly works are welcome to deposit their data in TROLLing, along with citations of their publications. Conversely, authors can reference their data by citing their TROLLing posts in their publications.

Instructional videos, a user guide, and the TROLLing banner can be accessed at http://site.uit.no/trolling/getting-started/.

There is also a promotional video explaining why linguists need a place to store and share their data and statistical code. You can view the video here: http://youtu.be/uEf0c0NT9_A TROLLing

Survey for English Tests Study

Remove 9 February 2015

My name is Roy Wilson, I am a PhD student at The University of Warwick. I am researching academic English tests for international students - in particular the PTE Academic - but I would also like to hear from participants who have done any other English test such as IELTS or TOEFL or you may have used a qualification in English from your home country's education system in order to indicate your English proficiency for university entrance.

I am looking for undergraduate or postgraduate students (any discipline) from Commonwealth countries (outer circle, Kachru, 1985) to take part in an online survey in relation to academic English tests and demonstration of English proficiency for university.  You may be from an African, Asian or Pacific Commonwealth country (including Hong Kong), such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Fiji, etc. I want to survey your experiences of and attitudes towards academic English tests and your experiences of proving your English proficiency for admission to university in the UK system. You may be studying or have finished your course in the UK.

If you are willing to answer an online questionnaire or know people who would be interested, please send me an email or click on the link below:


If you respond before 21st November 2014 you will be entered into a prize draw for one of two £50 book tokens.

Many thanks,

Roy Wilson  roy.wilson@warwick.ac.uk

Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies is now tweeting

Remove 30 January 2015

You can follow us @UrbLang (http://twitter.com/UrbLang)

 WPULL/ UrbLang is a fast outlet for research on linguistic practice, literacies and mediated communication in diverse and stratified urban settings. It is based at King's College London and has a track-record for publishing papers at the cutting edge of sociolinguistics,

  • broadening its theoretical vocabulary with concepts like 'securitisation', 'governmentality', 'complexity', 'scale' and 'superdiversity'
  • interrogating or reformulating established notion like 'ethnolect', 'repertoire' and 'speech community'
  • developing new methods in variationist sociolinguistics and linguistic ethnography
  • investigating the culture and politics of language education

There are papers coming up on:

  • language ideology firestorms and how to survive at their centre (Heike Wiese)
  • language work in a call-centre: the first linguistic ethnography (Johanna Woydack)
  • teaching the language of a former enemy and how it challenges assumptions about language pedagogy (Constadina Charalambous, Panayiota Charalambous & Ben Rampton)
  • 'conviviality' in superdiverse urban environments - can we really pin it down? (Ben Rampton)
  • history and challenges for bilingual education in Hong Kong (Miguel Pérez Milans)


Contributors to WPULL/ UrbLang also include Jan Blommaert, Jim Collins, Jie Dong, Branca Fabrício, Alexandra Georgakopoulou, Roxy Harris, Jürgen Jaspers, Cathy Kell, Martha Karrebæk, Adam Lefstein, Lian Madsen, Rob Moore, David Parkin, Michael Silverstein, Julia Snell, Max Spotti, Karin Tusting, and Piia Varis.

Ben Rampton, Editor, Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies

Babel seeks answers (and questions)

Remove 21 January 2015

If anyone has answers any interesting linguistics questions, or if you have questions that you want to be answered, please contact Jane Lugea at Babel magazine, for inclusion in Babel's Ask A Linguist column.

Dr Jane Lugea, Assistant Editor Babel


The Forum for Modern Language Studies Prize competition 2015

Remove 3 April 2015

The Forum for Modern Language Studies Prize competition 2015 invites submissions on the subject of translating cultures.

Submissions may address literature of any period, from a literary or linguistic perspective, and in any of the languages covered by the journal (usually Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian, but we will consider others too). The competition is open to all researchers, whether established or early-career: it is worth noting that previous competitions have been won by scholars in both categories.

The winner's prize will consist of:

  • Publication of the winning essay in the next appropriate volume of Forum for Modern Language Studies
  • A cheque for £500

A panel of judges will read all entries, which will be assessed anonymously.

At the judges' discretion, a runner-up prize of £200 may be awarded. The Editors may commission for publication any entries that are highly commended by the judges.

The closing date for entries is Friday 3 April 2015.

Full details of the Essay Prize rules can be found at: