Building the language base for research: the impact and future of Language-Based Area Studies

Date: 14 December, 2012
Location: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre SOAS, London
Event type: Conference

Location map | Programme

CEELBAS and the Centre for Language Pedagogy at SOAS, University of London

This one-day event will address the achievements, and future challenges, of the Language-Based Area Studies (LBAS) initiative in developing provision in the languages of Central & Eastern Europe & Russia, China & Japan, and the Arab World.
Showcasing some of the success stories of LBAS since its launch in 2006, the conference will also look to the future challenges of training and research in Languages of the Wider World. Building the necessary language base remains essential both for UK research to achieve world-leading impact and for graduates of UK universities to succeed in the global job market. The conference will ask how language training for research can be taken forward over the next decade and discuss the future of LBAS from the perspective of UK language policy.

This conference will be of interest to:
• Language teachers
• Organisations interested in UK language policy and higher education
• Area Studies researchers
• Postgraduates with an interest in language learning for their research
• People involved in the promotion of a country’s language and culture
• Language training providers

The main objectives of the conference are:
• To provide an overview of the achievements and future challenges of LBAS
• To facilitate interaction between language teachers, researchers, the HE community and their user communities 
• To create a forum for reflections on language training for research
• To work towards an inter-regional perspective on training in Languages of the Wider World

This conference is held in association with the British Academy's first ‘Language Week’. This will include a series of events for a combination of public and invited audiences. The events will explore and champion the learning and use of languages in schools, universities, policy making and public life. For further details, visit


This is a free event.  


The aim of the conference is to consider the achievements, and future challenges, of Language-Based Area Studies (LBAS) in developing provision in the languages of our regions – Central & Eastern Europe & Russia, China & Japan, and the Arab World. It is being co-organised by CEELBAS and the LLAS Centre for languages, linguistics and area studies, in association with the Centre for Language Pedagogy at SOAS, University of London.
Speakers include language teachers and linguists from the LBAS and LLAS Centres, members of the British Academy Language Inquiry ‘Lost for Words’, and key policymakers interested in HE language policy.




Keynote address on strategic issues for Language-based area studies
Anne Pauwels (Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS, University of London) will be introduced by Robin Aizlewood, 
Director, UCL (SSEES and CEELBAS)


Tea and coffee break


Achievements of the LBAS centres in language development: What are the lessons learnt?
(10-15 minute presentations followed by questions and discussion)
Marta Jenkala: The Centre for East European Language-Based Area Studies (CEELBAS)
Richard Berry: The Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES)
Caroline Rose: The White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC)
Jonathan Featherstone: The Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW)
Shio-yun Kan: The British inter-University China Centre (BICC)

Chair: Hilary Footitt, University of Reading; CEELBAS Advisory Committee


Buffet lunch


A look into the future of the LBAS centres’ work
(15 minute presentations followed by questions and discussion)
Vanessa Pupavac, University of Nottingham & Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts: “Language knowledge in global NGO work”
Mourad Diouri, University of Edinburgh: “eLearning and the use of technology in teaching languages”
Eszter Tarsoly, UCL SSEES: “Using specialised corpora to facilitate language learning: an experiment with Hungarian”

Chair:  Jeremy Morris
, University of Birmingham, Department of Modern Languages


Tea and coffee break


Pedagogic reflections and innovation: How can we take forward language training for research?
(15 minute presentations followed by questions and discussion)
JJ Gurga, UCL SSEES: "From the classroom to the field: A researcher's perspective"
Alison Scott-Bauman, University of Lancaster: “Cultural, social and economic capital: the case for Arabic in British research networks”
Yang Lan, University of Leeds: “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language (exact title TBC)

Chair: Caroline Rose, The White Rose East Asia Centre (WREAC)


Keynote address and closing panel discussion
Nigel Vincent, Vice-President for Research and Higher Education, British Academy
Richard Hardie, Chair of UBS, and Ambassador for Speak to the Future campaign for languages
Ian Lyne, Associate Director of Programmes,
 Arts & Humanities Research Council

Chair: Robin Aizlewood, Director, UCL (SSEES and CEELBAS)


Drinks reception at UCL SSEES