Other Linguistics News

New UNESCO Publication

Remove 14 July 2015

Action Research to Improve Youth and Adult Literacy: Empowering Learners in a Multilingual World

Edited by Hassana Alidou and Christine Glanz

With this guidebook we would like to highlight the importance of multilingual and multicultural contexts for youth and adult literacy. Research and practice are leading the way, and the Post-2015 Agenda to follow the global Education for All initiative emphasizes the importance of culture. Culture gives languages, oral or written, a prominent place as a key means of communication and voice.

Full text: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002322/232243e.pdf

Can you create (small) problems for young students?

Remove 30 June 2015

There has been a new development here at the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO).  

We have created a new collection of UKLO style problems aimed at pupils in Years 5 - 8, which are designed to spark pupils' interest in linguistics and to provide teachers with a bank of easily accessible, 'ready to use' linguistics activities for use in class or for extra-curricular activities.  The problems aren't entered into any UKLO competition, but we hope that pupils who complete them will be inspired to take part in the competitions too.

The collection is entitled Breakthrough Workout, and the problems all come with markschemes, commentaries and suggested prompt questions for teachers. We hope that they will be enjoyed by pupils not only in MFL (Modern Foreign Languages), English or Classics but also more broadly - for example in science lessons, or for enrichment activities.  

They can be downloaded from the UKLO website www.uklo.org/breakthrough-workout

It is our hope and plan that the Breakthrough Workout collection will grow steadily from now on, and we are now looking for interested people to help us 'crowdsource' more problems.  Anyone who is interested in creating a Breakthrough Workout problem for us (or more than one!) can find all the details of how to do so (including an information sheet and problem template) on the website, and will receive support and guidance from the UKLO Breakthrough Workout team if they need it.

We at UKLO would be very grateful if you would consider helping us with this project.

Please feel free to share details of the Breakthrough Workout project with anyone you feel may be interested in it. Do get in touch if you have any questions or comments!

Sarah Campbell, UKLO

Raymond Williams Society Postgraduate Essay Competition (2015) (the Simon Dentith Memorial Prize)

Remove 3 June 2015

The Raymond Williams Society postgraduate essay competition is open to anyone studying for a higher degree (masters or doctoral) in the UK or elsewhere, or who graduated no earlier than 31 July 2013. The prize for the winning entry is 100 GBP and a year's subscription to the Society. The winning essay will also be considered for publication in Key Words, the journal of the RWS.

The competition aims to encourage a new generation of scholars working in the tradition of cultural materialism, especially those whose research is rooted in the work of Raymond Williams

Entries should be 5-7,000 words in length, including endnotes, which should normally be kept to a minimum. Entries must follow the Key Words Style Notes for contributors. The Style Notes, and information about previous winning entries, can be found on the Raymond Williams Society's website: www.raymondwilliams.co.uk.

Entries should be sent to Catherine Clay at catherine.clay@ntu.ac.uk.

They should be accompanied by a brief coversheet with the following details:

  • Name
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Current or most recent programme of study
  • Date of graduation (if applicable)
  • Title of essay
  • Word count

Entrants are asked to request that their supervisor send us an email confirming their status.

The closing date for entries is 3 June 2015.

New Referencing App from Warwick

Remove 29 June 2015

Here at Warwick we'd like to let you know about a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that helps students (and academics) to reference properly according to the three most popular citation styles in Social Sciences:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago

masterCite was developed by GlobalPAD (at Warwick). I myself use it quite often and find it very useful - quick and easy to use, avoiding the need to go online to check a reference style.

In case you or your students are interested in it, please follow this link:


Helen Spencer-Oatey

TIRF 2015 Doctoral Dissertation Grants competition

Remove 22 April 2015

TIRF - The International Research Foundation for English Language Education - is pleased to announce its 2015 Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDG) competition. Grants of up to US $5,000 will be made to successful applicants investigating any of the following topics:

  • Bilingualism or Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, and the Professions
  • Language Assessment
  • Optimal Uses of Technology in the Delivery of English Language Instruction
  • Language Teacher Education
  • Students' Age and Effective English Language Education in Schools
  • Language Policy and Planning

Applicants must be enrolled in legitimate doctoral programs and must have been advanced to candidacy. That is, they must have completed any required coursework and/or examinations, and must have had their research plan officially approved by the university.

TIRF is pleased to note that half of available funding for the 2015 DDG competition will be used to fund doctoral candidates' research at universities in the countries on the OECD DAC list of countries: http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/49483614.pdf. These monies will also be used to fund candidates' research whose work has the potential for positive impact in countries on the list of nations on the OECD DAC list.

TIRF is particularly interested in research proposals that have clear implications for policy makers and others in positions to make decisions about English language education practices. Thus doctoral students from countries on the OEDC DAC list are eligible, as are candidates whose work has the potential to directly and positively influence English language education in those countries.

The application deadline is April 22, 2015. To read the call-for-proposals, please click here. For further information, please visit http://www.tirfonline.org/research-grants/doctoral-dissertation-grants/

New resource for variations of English in the West Midlands

Remove 28 May 2015

Some of you may find the learning and teaching resource accessed through the link below for courses in linguistic variation, specifically in the Birmingham and Black Country regions of the UK.


Urszula Clark, Professor of English Language

Three leading international scholars of second language learning and teaching are joining the University of Greenwich

Remove 28 May 2015

The new appointments will add to the expertise at CAROLE, the Greenwich Centre for Applied Research and Outreach in Language Education. Launched last year, CAROLE specialises in second language acquisition and linguistics, and carries out national and international research projects into the subject.

Professor Bill VanPatten and Professor John Schwieter both join as Visiting Professors.

Professor of Second Language Studies and Spanish at Michigan State University, USA, Bill VanPatten has lectured around the world and has published eight books. He is co-editor of the prestigious journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition, published by Cambridge University Press, is an editorial board member of several other journals, and has edited numerous articles and book chapters, including several top-selling language textbooks.

Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics and a Faculty of Arts Teaching Scholar at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada, John Schwieter is also the university's Director of the Psycholinguistics & Language Acquisition Laboratory. He is a renowned expert in the ways in which adult language learners access, process and acquire words, and is widely published. He is the General Editor of the Bilingual Processing and Acquisition book series (John Benjamins Publishing) and has recently edited The Cambridge handbook of bilingual processing (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Dr Florentina Taylor will be joining CAROLE from April as a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to speakers of other languages. Currently a Lecturer in Language Education at the University of York, she has more than 20 years' teaching and lecturing experience in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and related areas.


ELTRA 2015

English Language Teaching Research Awards

Remove 20 April 2015

Following the success of the past six years, the British Council is pleased to announce its 2015 call for research proposals under the ELT Research Awards scheme.  Through this scheme we aim to facilitate the production of innovative research to benefit the learning and teaching of English throughout the world by co-funding a number of partnership awards. Resulting articles will be published as part of the British Council Research Papers series online. The deadline for the 7th round of applications is 20th April 2015.

What is the purpose of the ELTRA scheme?

  • To facilitate the production of high quality research from the UK relevant to ELT practitioners.
  • To improve access of ELT policy makers and professionals worldwide to high quality and relevant research from the UK.
  • To facilitate and encourage the establishment and maintenance of active research links between ELT professionals and policy makers in the UK and overseas.

Who may apply?

Any person resident in the UK with an affiliation to a UK educational institution. The award agreement may be with either the individual or the institution.

Note: Although the applicant must be resident in the UK, the research may, in whole or in part, take place outside the UK or by persons not resident in the UK.

What type of activity can be considered?

The British Council is particularly interested in research within the following areas:

  • Learning & teaching of English at younger ages
  • ICT and new technologies in ELT
  • Teacher education and training
  • English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)
  • English language testing and assessment and applications of the CEFR
  • English language programme evaluation
  • English for development: Social, economic, political aspects of English, education, and language teaching

However, proposals for any research activity relating directly to the learning, teaching, or assessment of English as a foreign, second, or additional language will be considered.

There must be a clear research output which the British Council will disseminate and which must be in a format that can be shared publicly and without cost throughout the world. Successful applicants must produce a final article on the project. This would normally include the rationale, methodology, findings, discussion and implications, and references. See guidelines to authors for more information. In addition to this output, researchers are encouraged to publish further outputs elsewhere, for example in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences.

New AILA Research Network for the History of Language Learning and Teaching

Remove 17 May 2015

Website: http://hollt.net

AILA - L'Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée or International Association of Applied Linguistics http://www.aila.info/en/about.html) - has a changing portfolio of Research Networks (ReNs). They are approved for three years, are renewable once, and are not generally expected to last for longer than six years. They receive no financial support from AILA, nor can they charge for membership, in other words they have no budget of their own for activities. All ReNs are required to organize a symposium at the AILA Congress, which happens every three years (the next one is in Rio de Janeiro, in 2017). Beyond this, the Research Networks are largely autonomous and decide on their own activities. More information about ReNs here: http://www.aila.info/en/research/about-research-network.html

In January 2015 the AILA Research Network committee approved a proposal submitted by Giovanni Iamartino (Milan), Friederike Klippel (Munich), Nicola McLelland (Nottingham) and Richard Smith (Warwick) to found a Research Network for the History of Language Learning and Teaching (HoLLT). This AILA Research Network can be seen as the extension of an AHRC-funded network project (2012-2014) coordinated by Nicola McLelland and Richard Smith. The principal activities of the previous project consisted of two workshops (December 2012 in Nottingham and June 2013 at Warwick, both in the UK) and an international conference in Nottingham in July 2014. At the 2013 Warwick meeting, representatives of a number of existing national and language-based associations (APHELLE, CIRSIL, the Henry Sweet Society, PHG, SEHEL and SIHFLES)  agreed that a further intensification and internationalization of networking would be desirable.

Emerging from this background, the AILA Research Network for the History of Language Learning and Teaching is intended to provide a forum which existing national and language-based associations (see 'Links' tab on the website) can take advantage of to communicate with one another and build research collaborations, and which can provide them with additional publicity, thus helping to strengthen them. At the same time, a major function of the Research Network is to serve individual researchers interested in the history of language learning and teaching for whom no dedicated national or language-based association currently exists.

HoLLT.net (The AILA Research Network for the History of Language Learning and Teaching) is free to join for all interested researchers! To join, please see the instructions on the website.

We will be posting more information and resources on the website over the coming weeks and months relating to the projected activities of this Research Network.

Free online learning course on Dyslexia and language teaching

Remove 20 April 2015

We are pleased to announce a free online learning course on 'Dyslexia and language teaching' (https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/dyslexia) which runs from 20th of April - 17th of May 2015.

This exciting new course is offered by Lancaster University in cooperation with FutureLearn and takes place over four weeks entirely online. It is aimed at English language teachers, teachers of modern foreign languages, teacher trainers, educators and trainee teachers who are interested in how they can accommodate and cater for the needs of students with dyslexia in foreign/second language classrooms.

In this course, which is based on the award-winning materials of the Dystefl project (www.dystefl.eu), you can find out about the nature of dyslexia and how it affects the learning of additional languages. You can explore a variety of useful techniques, including recent computer-assisted tools that you can take into the classroom to help students with dyslexia in acquiring another language.

Lead educator Dr. Judit Kormos and well-known experts Anne Margaret Smith and Dr. Joanna Nijakowska give practical guidance and advice on enhancing the phonological awareness, vocabulary knowledge and reading skills of dyslexic language learners.

The materials and tasks in the course can be applied for various age groups of dyslexic students and for a variety of language learning contexts including the teaching of English as a foreign/second language and the teaching of modern foreign languages.

Enrolment is now open (https://www.futurelearn.com/register) and we are looking forward to welcoming you and your colleagues as one of our participants. Please feel free to distribute this course information to other interested colleagues, teachers, students and share it on social media and the word-wide web.

University of Edinburgh Summer Course: New Directions in Second Language Teaching

Remove 11 May 2015

This course will introduce and explore the complex relationship between global level contexts of second language acquisition, language learning and language pedagogy, and a micro-level approach focused on the language itself. It presents the current evidence base that informs practice and encourages participants to engage with this evidence on a critical and practical level.

This course introduces the evidence base of second language learning and teaching and its practical implications for a range of diverse contexts. It considers this with regards to the practical applicability of practitioners’ knowledge and skills in relation to their own background, interest and future direction.

There is a strong emphasis on research and problem-based pedagogy, considering the importance of the participants own experiences in the inquiry.

The course gives students the opportunity to research aspects of the field, e.g. through the use of corpora or collecting data in a natural setting. There may also be opportunities to observe practitioners and experiment with pedagogies in practical microteaching tasks.

Students will work, with guidance, on small research projects and present their research outcomes at the end of each week. The feedback from these presentations will feed forward to the summative poster presentation at the end of week 3.

The course will be staffed by regular TESOL staff (for lectures) and TESOL PhD students and ATs (for workshop and assessment).