March 2012 e-bulletin - LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

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News Bulletin

Dear colleague,  

Welcome to the LLAS e-bulletin for March 2012. Click here to see this email on the LLAS website.

Message from the Director 

From cold snaps to warm spells, the weather cannot decide whether it is spring or winter. It is a reasonable metaphor for the wider uncertainties that hang over us. We do now know that the new student fee regime is having an impact on four year degrees. There are signs that the government will take some steps to reduce the fees paid by students in England for the year abroad. On the other hand, it is less clear how these steps will affect the financial position of languages departments. What is certain is that UK higher education is accelerating its involvement in transnational education, though departments of languages, linguistics and area studies are not yet at the forefront of these developments. We have long known that we will not survive unless we innovate, and the Shaping the Future project showed that the path of internationalisation provides a number of opportunities for us to take leading roles. It is very much in the hands of academic leaders in our field, and at LLAS we will do what we can through professional development and collaborative projects to help colleagues in the area of languages, linguistics and area studies to seize the chances offered.

Mike Kelly (follow Mike on Twitter at @ProfMikeKelly)
Director, LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies

This month's e-bulletin in brief

In the news

Languages South East :
ICT and Languages Conference #ililc2 25-26th February 2012
Languages South East hosted a very successful conference dedicated to ICT and Languages for the schools audience last weekend. Approximately 120 delegates from across the UK and as far away as Japan and Ethiopia travelled to be at the event. Live-streamed sessions and a very active twitter feed enabled those that could not attend feel as though they were there.  Keynotes from Joe Dale and José Picardo, plus another 50 sessions from new and experienced speakers gave delegates lots to choose from. Watch the recordings (complete with presentation slides) and download presentations from the Languages South East website.

Routes into Languages :
Call for tenders for research project on Translation and Interpreting for the Public Services (PSIT)--Winner announced
Routes into Languages is delighted to announce that Anne Marie Graham, Director of Arqueros Consulting, is the lead investigator for a research project about Interpreting and Translation for the Public Service (PSIT) under the auspices of Routes into Languages. This project aims to provide an overview of PSIT provision in the UK and to build a platform for future collaboration between academics, practitioners and stakeholders in the sector. Anne Marie will be presenting interim research findings at the LLAS Higher Education Conference in Edinburgh in July.

Researchml blog :
Spreading the word on Modern Language learning and teaching research
Researchml is a new blog which aims to share information and to encourage dialogue about research in teaching and learning of modern and community languages (other than English) in schools, colleges and universities.

Blogposts will include:

  • Discussions about research in progress
  • Abstracts from conference papers
  • Questions about research problems, issues and methodology
  • Reflections on interesting research studies
  • Problems in practice needing research solutions

We are interested in hearing from researchers and teachers. Please contact us if you have something that you would like to share or contribute.

Louise Courtney, Angela Gallagher-Brett and Zena Hilton, University of Southampton

HEFCE’s new policy on Strategically Important and Vulnerable Subjects (SIVs)
HEFCE has now published its new policy approach to SIVs which includes modern languages.  The funding council is inviting views on its approach through its consultation on teaching funding.  Go to to find out more.  The deadline for responses to the consultation is 25 May 2012. 


LLAS blog

International landscape for language and culture. Mike Kelly, LLAS

The international landscape for languages, linguistics and area studies is changing rapidly. Globalisation is accelerating, but is increasingly counterbalanced by local and regional particularisms. Mobility and trade, together with technological advances, have increased the diversity of languages and cultures in contact in every country and city in the world. But they are also powering the emergence of wide ranging lingua francas, of which English is particularly dominant in business, science and entertainment.

Click here for the full post

The LLAS brochure

Please find a brochure detailing LLAS events for the coming academic year 2011-2012 here. This brochure contains details of all of our events for 2011/12 which include:

  • Practical workshops providing skills development and training in a range of fields such as the use of new technologies, pedagogic research, language teaching, relating theory to practice
  • Conferences on a range of themes including languages in higher education, e-learning and languages of the wider world
  • Professional development events aimed at early career lecturers, senior managers, subject specialists in LLAS disciplines, postgraduate students and language teachers
  • Bespoke events for departments on any of the themes covered in this brochure

A downloadable flier about LLAS activity is available here, which you might like to forward to colleagues.

Call for papers

Research in and for Languages - DEADLINE 7 March 2012
27 April 2012 - University of Strathclyde


LLAS Why study languages? calendar 

FREE calendar download: This calendar, for the month of March 2012, in Urdu, was produced by LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. It was created with help from teachers working on the JISC-funded Community Cafe project. Look out for another language next month Quiz questions and answers are also included. This is the sixth of a 16-month series lasting until Dec 2012. Please visit : You can find all months so far at

Hard copies available to purchase: This is the fourth year that the popular ‘Why Study Languages?’ calendar has been produced. The January-December 2012 calendar features 12 languages, one per month. Languages featured this year include: Icelandic, Gaelic, Urdu, Spanish, Persian, French, Punjabi, Estonian, Malay, Hungarian, Welsh and German.

The calendar is available for FREE, with a charge of £3.50 for postage and packing. Funding from JISC has made this possible. For more information, please go to

Forthcoming events 

MARCH 2012

Revolution and Revolt : Understanding the Forms and Causes of Change – BRISMES Annual Conference 2012
26–28 March 2012 – London School of Economics and Political Science

FOCUS ON Sustaining a Global Society : Languages of the Wider World
29-30 March 2012 – School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Our Languages of the Wider World conference aims to bring together scholars, teachers and postgraduate students working with or having an interest in languages which are under represented in the education system in the UK, including minority, endangered and heritage languages as well as languages of countries with emerging economies. The conference will try to bridge the gap between the world of academia and various language communities in the UK and beyond, by offering people working in these too often separated spheres an exciting opportunity to share practice, knowledge and expertise.

Previous delegates rated this event very good or excellent, and said that it would contribute to their future teaching.

APRIL 2012

FOCUS ON Life and work in academia : event for new and aspiring lecturers in languages, linguistics and area studies
12 April 2011 - Aston University Conference Centre, Birmingham

Aimed at early career teaching staff in languages, linguistics and area studies, this workshop aims to complement ‘generic’ Postgraduate Certificate courses offered by institutions. The workshop will also be useful for experienced staff who are new to the UK and finishing and recent PhD students seeking academic employment.

The event will take a holistic and long term examination of the academic career and will include discussions of:

  • managing an academic career
  • career promotion and progression (for both fixed-term and permanent staff)
  • good practice in e-learning
  • assessment of student learning and feedback

Previous delegates thought that the course was helpful and inspiring. They particularly valued the sessions on promotion, career progression and strategic thinking. 

Developing Materials for English for Specific Academic Purposes
17 April 2012 - University of Nottingham

The Translation Classroom: Technology, Strategies and Employability
20 April 2012 - University of Salford

The LOC tool for teachers : authoring your own online learning materials
27 April 2012 - University College London

Nature and the natural in the humanities: Teaching for environmental sustainability
27 April 2012 - University of Birmingham

CALL FOR PAPERS: Research in and for Languages
27 April 2012 - University of Strathclyde


MAY 2012

Essential e-Learning Skills for Teachers of Non-Latin Languages
8 May 2012 - Manchester Metropolitan University

NEW Unleashing the Creative Spirit : Integrating Film making into Literature Teaching
11 May 2012 - University of Sheffield

NEW Collaborative working using open research data to create OERs in the humanities
23 May 2012 - University of Southampton

The Year Abroad: Maximising and promoting its real value
23 May 2012 - University of Strathclyde

JUNE 2012

Teaching in higher education through the medium of English
18 - 22 June 2012 - University of Southampton

JULY 2012

The LOC tool for teachers : authoring your own online learning materials
4 July  - University of Southampton

Language Futures: Languages in Higher Education conference 2012
5-6 July 2012 -  University of Edinburgh


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