April 2013 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 April 2013. Click here to see this email on the LLAS website.

Message from the Director 

As social inequalities continue to deepen, languages are emerging as a key element in inclusion and exclusion. Because languages are potent carriers of identity, the language choices that individuals make tend to express the way they see themselves. In the case of school students, choosing to learn a language often expresses confidence in their ability to take opportunities outside their own close circles. It expresses their potential to work and travel around the world and to interact with strangers. Conversely, a lack of confidence can inhibit students from learning a language that may seem difficult and certainly seems different.

Turning this argument around, it is also clear that when students do make progress in language learning, it gives then the kind of confidence that will help them to face the challenges and opportunities in the world. Since education has the task of building this confidence, there is a strong argument for giving all students the language advantage. Governments in the UK, and some teachers, have been reluctant to embrace the need to make languages compulsory for all students during a substantial part of their studies, though some progress has been made in primary language learning. Pressure still needs to be kept up to extend language learning through the teenage years, when confidence issues are a key to educational and social development.

Meantime, the efforts of teachers in school and university to motivate language learning need to be intensified. Encouragement will have to serve where compulsion is lacking. Fortunately there are many people working hard to provide this and LLAS will continue to work to promote language learning. Through the Routes into Languages programme, which we lead, nearly 80 universities across England Wales are collaborating with secondary schools to reach thousands of school students and encourage them to keep up their language studies. There are many examples of sustained interventions that have made a real difference in disadvantaged schools. Of course, this requires resources, but publicly funded support for our young people is a valuable investment that will enable them and the country to face the future with greater confidence.

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
  • Meet the LLAS team: Laurence Georgin and Mike Kelly
  • LLAS blog: A world of languages
  • LLAS events : Our events programme in full can be found at www.llas.ac.uk/events  
    IN FOCUS : 
    Language Partnerships across Sectors: Seminar and Discussion Workshop, 1 May 2013, University of StrathclydeTeaching in higher education through the medium of English, 10-14 June 2013, University of Southampton

In the news

The Amazing OpenLIVES project! 
The openLIVES project has now officially ended. This video describes the work achieved throughout the project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeocSbDlfKE 

British Academy report on Multilingual Britain
The British Academy is continuing its useful series of publications on language issues within the UK. The latest is “Multilingual Britain”, produced in cooperation with Cumberland Lodge.
Click here for the link to the report.

Call for papers - 5th International Language in the Media Conference 
'Redefining journalism: Participation, practice, change'
28-30 September 2013, 
Queen Mary, University of London
Find out more at http://linguistics.sllf.qmul.ac.uk/langmedia2013

Open Access: UCML response to HEFCE 
UCML responded to the HEFCE consultation on the requirement of research items to be Open Access for the next REF (possibly 2020). Both the HEFCE document and the UCML reply are available below. Find out more at http://www.ucml.ac.uk/languages-research 

PGR training in foreign language skills | Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies 
In the context of its postgraduate training brief and of projects such as the Modern Languages and Film Spring School, the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies is seeking to compile a database of courses and other provision in the UK which specifically target the development of foreign language skills for postgraduate research students in the Humanities. To find out more, please contact Bill Marshall, Director, IGRS, at william.marshall@sas.ac.uk

LLAS e-learning symposium 2014 - Call for papers - coming soon!
Do you make innovative use of technology in delivering language teaching content or assessments? Do you use social networking sites, virtual worlds or mobile technology with your language students? Are you engaging students in the creation or use of open educational resources? If so, then the LLAS community would like to hear from you!
LLAS’s successful annual symposium on the use of technology in HE language education is a 2-day event of practical presentations, workshops and inspiring ideas to fuel the imagination.. Read more about the symposium on our scoop.it page at http://www.scoop.it/t/e-learning-symposium.


LLAS/Routes into Languages 'Why study languages?' 2013 calendar !!
This calendar is produced by LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies as part of the Routes into Languages programme. You can download all months for free at the beginning of each month at http://languagebox.ac.uk/3126 
This year, languages featured include Italian, Arabic, Chinese, Tigrinya and more! 

Read more news items on our Scoop.it page at www.scoop.it/u/llas-centre#curatedTopicsTabSelected

Meet the LLAS team

Laurence Georgin
After finishing my MA in English at the University of Nancy, France in 2002, I have worked in a variety of environments including teaching, customer relations and project management in the private and public sectors. I joined the Subject Centre in 2009 as Assistant Programme Manager of the Links into Languages programme. My current role at LLAS is to support the development of LLAS activities. I coordinate marketing activities including the LLAS ebulletin, the LLAS website, events publicity (LLAS biennial conference, e-learning symposium) and projects advertising (SPEAQ, Routes into Languages). I manage projects such as SPEAQ and contributed to others such as iTunes and You and OpenLIVES. I also actively look for new projects and coordinate new proposals. Other parts of my work include managing our customer database, looking for sponsors at our events and the day-to-day line management of our administration and web development team. I am particularly interested in the social, cultural and psychological dimensions of language learning and the impact of travelling on travellers themselves and their encounters. In continuation of my MA thesis which was about the concepts of 'homelessness', 'travel' and 'language' in Canadian literature, I recently started a PhD with the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3 and will explore these concepts further through studying the artistic productions of several British women explorers who travelled to the Canadian North at the beginning of the 20th century. You can follow me on twitter at @laurencegeorgin 

Mike Kelly 
I have been Director of LLAS since it was formed in 2000 as the Subject Centre in languages, linguistics and area studies within the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN). The Subject Centre made a real difference to the academic community, and I am proud of what the team achieved over 11 years in supporting and enhancing teaching in higher education. In the past 2 years LLAS has reinvented itself as a specialist unit bringing its expertise to professional development and education projects. We have a great team of people working on a wide range of projects and activities within Higher Education and beyond. At the University of Southampton I am Professor of French and Director of Research in Modern Languages. I publish regularly on French issues, especially the intellectual and cultural history of the 20th century, when so many exciting ideas were generated that help to understand ourselves and the world we live in. I also work on language policy, at least in part inspired by the challenges encountered by LLAS in making the case for languages in the UK. My most recent project has studied the issues of language during the UN/NATO intervention in Bosnia in the 1990s. This confirmed to me that every area of life is affected by what language capabilities people can bring to communicating with those they encounter. My commitment to the importance of languages is also what inspires me work to persuade others, for example through Routes into Languages, a collaborative programme that brings universities and schools together to increase and widen the take-up of languages by young people. Routes involves hundreds of teachers and thousands of students across England Wales in an amazing variety of activities involving languages (playing football, making a video, organising a business and lots else). I try to promote language education more broadly at national level, for example through the Speak to the Future campaign, and at European level, for example through the European Language Council. There is so much to do, but there are so many inspiring people working for the same aims that there is always something new and most of the time it is a lot of fun. You can see Mike’s profile on http://www.southampton.ac.uk/ml/about/staff/mhk.page  Follow me on Twitter @ProfMikeKelly

LLAS blog

A world of languagesErika Corradini, LLAS

Last Friday, 22 March, I was in snowy Nottingham at Language World 2013. Organised by the Association for Language Learning this yearly conference is aimed at teachers of languages and offers an excellent opportunity for networking, sharing practice and attending talks.
Delegates came in the hundreds despite the bad weather and chilling cold to join in the friendly atmosphere and the excitement of the day. A great selection of talks and workshops showed the wide variety of approaches to teaching languages in schools at whatever level. Although the main focus of the day was teaching and learning languages in secondary education, a lot of interest came from primary teachers as well. 


Forthcoming events in the LLAS community

May 2013

IN FOCUS  Language Partnerships across Sectors: Seminar and Discussion Workshop
1 May, 2013 - University of Strathclyde

This seminar and discussion workshop will bring together stakeholders in language education from universities across Scotland. Presentations of existing best practice in cross-sector collaboration between schools and universities will be followed by a discussion on how this partnership working could be enhanced to support language learning in schools. There will also be an opportunity to view some of the project work from this year’s intake of Foreign Language Assistants in Scottish schools. Lunch and refreshments included. This event is a collaborative venture between Scotland's National Centre for Languages (SCILT) and the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS).

Who should attend?

  • Programme designers of undergraduate language courses
  • Language professionals in universities

This event is free of charge, for further information and details on how to register, please click here

June 2013

IN FOCUS Teaching in higher education through the medium of English 
10 - 14 June, 2013 - University of Southampton

This is a five-day course designed for academics in universities across the world whose first language is not English and who are delivering degree programmes and presenting research through the medium of English.

Key areas to be covered during the course are :

  • Using English in the lecture theatre and the seminar room
  • Supporting the language needs of your international students
  • Giving papers and presentations at conferences
  • Raising your profile through English
  • Building your confidence to deliver through English

The course will be delivered by staff working in the field of English as a medium of instruction (EMI) and will consist of presentations, discussion, group work and individual support.

September 2013

Thriving for the public good
11 September, 2013 - The British Medical Association, London

January 2014

e-learning symposium 2014
23-24 January, 2014 - University of Southampton

Remember that you can apply for the HEA UK travel fund to cover travel, subsistence or conference fees for these events. To find out more, visit the
HEA website or download the application form here


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LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies 
University of Southampton | Avenue Campus | Southampton | SO17 1BJ 
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