Teaching languages ab initio

Date: 12 November, 2009
Location: The School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Event type: Seminar

Location map | Programme

Many language degrees are now offered ab initio to students with no previous experience in the language. This event will examine challenges and issues in the teaching of languages to beginners in HE and will be of interest to language teaching staff involved in ab initio provision.  It will include the exchange of practice in the following areas:

  • Building confidence
  • Encouraging beginners to speak
  • Getting started on grammar
  • Progression
  • Identifying research needs in ab initio language learning


There is no charge to attend this event for employees and postgraduate students of publicly funded UK higher educational institutions and other institutions with a subscription to the Higher Education Academy. The fee for employees and postgraduate students of private institutions/organisations and non-UK institutions is £50. We reserve the right to charge a £50 non-attendance fee.
Lunch will be provided.

Programme for 12 November 2009
Time Session
09.45-10.15 Registration and coffee
10.15-10.30 Welcome and introduction
10.30-11.00 Getting started on grammar and progression
Enza Siciliano Verruccio, Italian, University of Reading
Powerpoint Slides (Powerpoint, 676Kb)
11.00-11.30 The ab initio teaching experience
Patricia Romero de Mills, Spanish, University of Southampton
Powerpoint Slides (Powerpoint, 1.66Mb)
11.30-11.45 Coffee
11.45-12.15 How far can you go and what can be achieved?
George Zhang, Chinese, SOAS
Word Summary (Word File, 28.0Kb)
12.15-12.45 Discussion Scenarios
Word Presentation (Word File, 32.0Kb)
12.45-13.45 Lunch
13.45-14.15 Building confidence and encouragement
Ulrike Bavendiek, German, University of Liverpool
Powerpoint Slides (Powerpoint, 648Kb)
14.15-15.00 Groups - identifying research needs in ab initio
Word Research priorities (Word File, 28.0Kb)