our words make worlds


Thursday 15 April

Roundtable: Language Acts and Worldmaking: Multilingualism, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism

Yuval Evri, Monolingual ideologies in multilingual realities: mapping and dividing linguistic entities in Israel/Palestine

Following Javed Majeed’s Colonialism and Knowledge in Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India (2019) and Nation and Region in Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India (2019) my presentation explores the issue of nationalization and partition of languages in a (post)colonial monolingual era. Through engaging with Majeed’s illuminating work on George Abraham Grierson’s (1851-1941) Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) and its legacy in the postcolonial present Indian subcontinent, my presentation explores some of the main issues raised in this work such as the strong link between the imperial and national unilingual perceptions and the politics of script and transliteration in the process of naming, forming and dividing linguistic entities, in relation to the cultural and political relations between Hebrew and Arabic in Palestine/Israel.

My presentation focuses on the turn of the 20th century Palestine, which was a time of shifting national and imperial orders and an intensifying national conflict between Jews and Arab-Palestinians process which also left its mark on linguistic and cultural arenas. The Indian subcontinent and Palestine/Israel share a common British imperial heritage with its logic of partition which had a crucial effect on the development of the linguistic and national identities in both places. The presentation examines the points of comparison between the two cases regarding the question of linguistic conversions and modernity, inventions and partitions of national languages (separation between Hurdu and Hindi and Hebrew and Arabic as two separate national language); as well as the politics of script conversions and lexicography as a process of "muting" or "demise" of languages which also embodies complexities, anxieties, tensions and opportunities.

David Landau, Fluidity and fixed rubrics: colonial language mapping and the postcolonial nation-state

The immense power of Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India is still acutely present in many contexts in India. Javed Majeed’s Colonialism and Knowledge in Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India (2019) and Nation and Region in Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India (2019) are crucial in understanding the multifaceted encounter between the colonial drive for categorization in face of the fluid nature of languages. The shadow of the Linguistic Survey of India continues to loom large on aspects of language and language nationalism in present day India . I will discuss a few examples of current usages of Hindi, India ‘s national language, to show how Majeed’s reading of Grierson helps us trace colonial knowledge production in present day delineations of “us” and “them” in North India

Javed Majeed, Multilingualism, colonialism, and postcolonialism in India

My presentation considers how colonialism shaped multilingualism in India. It focuses on George Abraham Grierson’s (1851-1941) Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) and its legacy in the postcolonial present. The Survey’s 21 volumes, published between 1903 and 1928, cover 723 South Asian linguistic varieties, and provide lexical and grammatical information for 268 varieties of the major South Asian language families. It also lists 216 vocabulary items in 364 languages and dialects in its Comparative Vocabulary (1928). As such it is a key reference work for the classification of Indian languages, and it has influenced many subsequent studies of the language situation in India. It has also had an impact on Indian Censuses after 1947, and it has been a factor in how multilingualism has been approached in postcolonial India.

Drawing on the Survey’s published volumes and its unpublished files in the Oriental and India Office Collection in the British Library in London, I show how the Survey exemplifies the instabilities and ambiguities of the term ‘colonial’ in the field of languages, and how Indians participated in the Survey and appropriated it for their own strategic purposes. I address the afterlife of the LSI in post-independence India in terms of its conflicting strands and consider how we might be able to work with these tensions in the postcolonial present. Here I focus on the term ‘India’ in the Survey and what it signifies, the tensions between extra-linguistic considerations and the linguistic analyses of some Indian languages in the LSI, and the postcolonial state’s institutionalisation of multilingualism through various means and methods in conjunction with conflicting narratives of citizenship which were prefigured by the LSI. I end by considering possible alternatives to the current hierarchical form of multilingualism in India, for which some specific aspects of the LSI might serve us well.

Dr Yuval Evri is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Kings College London. His research focuses on the cultural and political history of Palestine/Land of Israel focusing on Sephardi and Arab-Jewish thought. His recent book titled: The Return to Al-Andalus: Disputes Over Sephardic Culture and Identity Between Arabic and Hebrew was published by Magnes press at 2020.

Dr David Landau is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies at the University of Zurich. He received his PhD at SOAS, University of London (2018) on “Writing from the Margins: Muslim Authors in Hindi”. His research interests include Hindi Literature, Nationalism, and Minor Literature. He is currently working on a project examining representations of Hindutva in contemporary Hindi Literature.

Dr Javed Majeed is Head of Department, Comparative Literature at King’s College London. He completed his DPhil at Oxford. He then went on to a Smuts Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellowship in English Literature at Churchill College Cambridge. After teaching Comparative Literature and Urdu at SOAS, he moved to the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, in 1999, where he became Professor of Postcolonial Studies in 2007. He joined King’s College London as Professor of English and Comparative Literature in January 2012.

His research interests are on colonial and postcolonial literatures in English, Intellectual and cultural history of British India and postcolonial South Asia, Religion, colonialism and postcolonialism, Urdu literature and linguistic ideas, language and translation in colonial and postcolonial South Asia.

Panel: Multilingual Poetry Writing: Strategies of Translation, Disruption and Resistance

The aim of this panel is to explore the concept and the practice(s) of multilingual poetry writing from an interdisciplinary perspective and by bringing together poets and academics working with language(s) in various ways. It will attempt to explore the space of multilingual poetry writing through the writing strategies of “expanded translation”, “disruption” and “resistance” and by unpacking the notion of the monolingual, as well as deconstructing the thinking and practices of one language-one identity-one nation. It will do so not only through space, but also through time. Such an exploration seems especially important in the current context of Brexit and the number of (global as well as local) challenges imposed by COVID-19.

Zoë Skoulding, Worlds of the multilingual poem

I will consider how language worlds of the multilingual poem enact relations at different scales, with particular reference to the work of the Canadian poet M. NourbeSe Philip and Harryette Mullen from the USA, in which experimental, procedural approaches intersect with oral traditions and the speech sounds of language. Drawing on Karen Barad's theorisation of 'intra-action' and Édouard Glissant's 'poetics of relation', I will examine the kinds of multiplicity and difference that these poetries open up, and will consider the ways in which forms of translation and rewriting reveal poetry's interconnectedness across and between continents.

Maria Jastrzębska, Which język is this music in?

Snow Q cross-arts collaborative project completed a tour of Live Literature performances just before lockdown last year. Since then, (while the artists have not travelled), its filmpoems have visited festivals all over the world, necessitating some translation. Snow Q’s writer Maria Jastrzębska will be talking about the joys and challenges of writing in Ponglish - that extraordinary hybrid language, mixing Polish and English, which migrants and the children of migrants at times speak. She will be asking the question: whose voice do we/ want to write in? With examples from her recent work she’ll be reflecting on how multilingual writing creates opportunities for texture and voice in poems and also how it confronts a monolingualism increasingly being imposed on us today.

David Caddy, Multilingual presence in Shakespeare's tavern Scenes

This presentation offers a reading of the languages at play in Shakespeare’s tavern scenes, especially in King Henry IV Part II, and provides a background and contextualisation to the specific multilingual use with its extensive punning and comedic elements. Shakespeare’s English, read as a dynamic multicultural amalgam of languages, is related to his presence within the migrant community north of Cheapside. The myriad linguistic usages at play in the tavern scenes and their diverse origins is seen in relation to the demand for language manuals and glossaries and classical translations which had the distinct purpose of enriching Protestant England.

Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani, Reveries about language: challenges and opportunities of performing multilingual poetry

This presentation will deal with some of the challenges and opportunities of creating and performing multilingual poetry live and in pre-recorded form. It will offer some insights into the current multilingual poetry practice of the author based on her work and collaborations with sound artists, musicians, theatre directors, filmmakers and actors.

Dr Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani is a multilingual poet of mixed heritage (Croatian / Algerian) born in Zagreb, Croatia. She has lived and worked in London since 1995. Her poetry has been published in various journals and magazines in the UK, Croatia and Canada. She is the author of the collaborative multilingual poetry project “Unbound” that has received funding from the Language Acts’ 2018 and 2019 Small grants programme. She has (co-)directed a series of multilingual poetry recitals entitled “Reveries about language”. Her first multilingual poetry collection “Reveries about language” was published in 2019 (for Language Acts and Worldmaking under the imprint of the Faculty for the Arts and Humanities, King’s College London). Jasmina has a PhD in Francophone literary and cultural studies.

David Caddy is a poet, essayist, critic and literary sociologist. He was co-author of London: City of Words (2006), a literary companion, with Westrow Cooper. His most recent book is a literary travel novella, Cycling After Thomas And The English (Spout Hill Press 2013). He has published nine collections of poetry. His most recent books are a collection of essays, So Here We Are, and a volume of poetry, The Bunny Poems. David is the editor of the Tears in the Fence independent literary magazine. Recent issues of Tears in the Fence (71-73) have featured a range of multilingual poets and poems utilising different registers and approaches to multilingual poetry. The international magazine has championed a range of international poetics and poetries in both its creative and critical sections throughout its thirty-five-year history.

Maria Jastrzębska is a poet, editor and translator. Maria was born in Warsaw, Poland and came to England as a child. Her most recent, fourth full-length collection is The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue (Cinnamon Press/Liquorice Fish 2018). She is the co-founder of Queer Writing South and co-edited Queer in Brighton (New Writing South 2014) with Anthony Luvera. Her poetry features in the British Library project Poetry Between Two Worlds and her drama Dementia Diaries toured nationally to sell-out audiences with Lewes Live Literature. She is the writer for the collaborative project Snow Q. www.mariajastrzebska.wordpress.com, www.snowqproject.wodpress.com.

Prof Zoë Skoulding is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University. Her recent poetry publications include Footnotes to Water (Seren, 2019), which won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry Award 2020; The Celestial Set-Up (Oystercatcher, 2020) and A Revolutionary Calendar (Shearsman, 2020). Her critical work includes Poetry & Listening: The Noise of Lyric (2020). Her current research project is Transatlantic Translation: Poetry in Circulation and Practice Across Languages (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2020-22).

Invited Talk: David Crystal, The Future of Englishes

What are the consequences of the global status of English for the future development of the language? The talk reviews the relevant statistics, the historical reasons for the language's present position, and the trends which are affecting English world-wide, both formally (in relation to grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary) and functionally (in relation to cultural diversity). Implications for language teaching are briefly discussed.

Prof David Crystal OBE is a writer, editor, lecturer and broadcaster. For several years a Professor at the University of Reading, he is now Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Bangor. He has authored books primarily in English language studies, in such fields as intonation and stylistics including several Penguin titles, but he is perhaps best known for his two encyclopedias for Cambridge University Press, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language and The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (3rd edn 2018). Recent books include Let's Talk: How English Conversation Works (2020), and Sounds Appealing: the Passionate Story of English Pronunciation (2018).

He has been a consultant, contributor, or presenter on several radio and television programmes and series. These include The Story of English (BBC TV, 1986, consultant), The Story of English (radio version, BBC World Service, 1987, writer and presenter), English Now and other series for BBC Radio 4, Radio 5, and BBC Wales during the 1980s and 1990s (as writer and presenter), and The Routes of English (as consultant and contributor).

He is currently patron of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) and the Association for Language Learning (ALL). He lives in Holyhead with his wife, business partner and sometimes co-author, Hilary Crystal.

Friday 16 April

Panel: Ways of Worldmaking

Olivia McCannon, (Re)making language, (re)making world: future French in the poetry of Louky Bersianik

I am translating Louky Bersianik’s Maternative, published in Québec in 1979. Bersianik (1930–2011) is best known as the author of the experimental-philosophical-feminist-science fiction-poem-manifesto-novel L’Euguélionne (1976). In this paper, I want to focus on her long poem Maternative, whose understories resound homophonically through the title (maternité alternative, ma terre native / alternative maternity, my native land etc).

Québec in the 1970s saw the rise of a powerful, vocal avant-garde, driven by activist writers and translators of feminist consciousness, producing works that disrupted inherited frames of reference, and creating new literary and linguistic models and spaces for different ways of being in the world. Bersianik’s writings were a vital part of these discussions, a rallying point, and point of departure.

Bersianik once said: ‘Je suis radicale, parce que j’écris à la racine’ / ’I am radical because I write at the root’. I want to explore the ways in which Bersianik challenges and transforms the capacity of French to write female presence, as she seeks to root it, in its own native soil. I will focus in particular on her pioneering feminisation of French, through transformations that write at its Greek and Latin roots, through the formal-experimental play of poetry.

Bersianik writes of wanting to ‘break the sequence’ of the archaeological past and to ‘slide into the fissure the beginning (the renewing) of a viable world’ (AF p.17). What strategies can I find to mesh with this project, as I translate, and tangle with the world she made in her writing? How does my translation require me to transform English, as Bersianik’s French exposes the European ideological rigidities and patriarchal domination systems that contemporary English also hides in plain sight?

Joseph Prestwich, Staging the institution: diversity, accessibility, and the converging of ‘crowds’ in Jack Thorne’s Woyzeck (2017)

As an important site of cross-cultural exchange, theatre translations performed in Britain form key routes for international writers to be introduced to, and to influence, British audiences and theatre-makers. This article will introduce Jack Thorne’s 2017 adaptation of Woyzeck by Georg Büchner, performed at the Old Vic Theatre in London, as a case study to trace how British theatre practitioners and institutions frame and utilise German texts and playwrights in the UK context. I will focus in this short talk on institutional practice, tracing how the Old Vic Theatre framed this production as appealing to two different ‘crowds’ and how Woyzeck relates to the Old Vic’s stated institutional aims. I will argue that despite attempting to bridge international cultural difference, this production ultimately reinforces cultural borders within the UK.

Jessica Bradley and Juliette Taylor-Batty, Beyond Babel: multilingual literature and not knowing languages

How does multilingual literature force the reader to engage with the otherness of the writer’s linguistic world(s)? How does the writer present the experience of not understanding languages, and how does the reader deal with not understanding all the languages used? Language memoirs such as Eva Hoffman’s Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language (1989) can help us to understand the linguistic alienation experienced by the migrant writer. Other types of experimental texts, however, engage the reader with the linguistic otherness of the writer’s linguistic worlds in much more radical ways, by forcing the reader into a position of not knowing and not understanding. In this interdisciplinary paper, we will draw on literary studies, applied linguistics and translanguaging theory to argue for the significance of not knowing within multilingual literary texts.

We will focus our paper on a long poem by the trilingual modernist writer, editor and translator Eugene Jolas, Words from the Deluge (1941). In his autobiography, Man From Babel, Jolas describes the languages spoken by himself and other young immigrants to New York as a ‘baragouin’, ‘a grotesque alloyage of primitive English and illiterate German, mingled with accents and sonorities from Balkan and Latin tongues.’(Jolas, 1998, p. 21) Words from the Deluge appropriates that ‘baragouin’, mixing and blending English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, as well as contemporary slang and accented speech that combines different languages. The poem performs and enacts some productive effects of ‘not knowing’ languages: ‘incorrect’ English, blended languages and multilingual devices create poetic effects and new linguistic formations. The poem’s multilingualism challenges what Yildiz (2012) has defined as the ‘monolingual paradigm’, and reflects a conception of language that, we argue, is much more in keeping with recent translanguaging theory. The poem also, however, presents particular linguistic challenges, even for the multilingual reader, who is forced into a position of partial understanding. In this paper, we argue that this experience is positive and productive. Literature can represent the experience of language learning, migration, and linguistic alienation; multilingual literature, however, by placing the reader in the position of not knowing, performs that alienation. It thus holds the potential to transform our engagement with linguistic otherness.

Jim Anderson, Vicky Macleroy and Lucy Rogers, Our stories: a multilingual community film-making project in Deptford

This film project celebrates Deptford’s rich history and vibrant and diverse community through personal stories of those living here. This community-based activity set up in collaboration with Deptford Cinema (a community-led cinema) and Goldsmiths, University of London offers a creative space for exploring lifeworlds, asserting cultural alternatives and developing a shared community. Resonating in particular with the key debates of Language Actions the project was open to all ages, languages and backgrounds. Making participant agency and collaboration central concerns, it builds on previous successful work on multilingual digital storytelling which demonstrated the contribution that resources in home and community could make to language-and-culture learning in schools.

The project provides an opportunity to explore, in a London community context, how the creation and sharing of multilingual stories can extend understanding and respect for diversity leading to greater understanding, empathy and respect in society. Not least it validates and opens up spaces for multilingual being. As part of the presentation, we will reflect upon how the storytellers’ language repertories are drawn upon and extended in their digital stories.

This presentation is linked to the online screening event that can be accessed here.

Olivia McCannon Olivia McCannon’s translations include Renaissance to contemporary poetry by women (including Louise Labé and Ariane Dreyfus), contemporary drama (Royal Court residencies) and a novel, Balzac’s Old Man Goriot, for Penguin Classics.

Her poetry collection Exactly My Own Length (Carcanet) won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. A new collection, Z, is forthcoming, and she is collaborating with Clive Hicks-Jenkins on an illustrated Beauty and Beast: a conversation with Jean Cocteau’s 1946 film of La Belle et la Bête. Her creative practice PhD at Newcastle (Northern Bridge), considers poetry and translation as “arts of living on a damaged planet.” She is co-founder of the Anthropocene Network for PGRs and a postgraduate member of the steering committee of the Anthropocene Research Group.

Joseph Prestwich is an AHRI-funded post-graduate research student based in the German Department at King’s College London, writing on German theatrical culture in Britain. He is also an actor and theatre-maker and works regularly with Shakespeare improvisation group ShakeItUp Theatre (London, UK) and Theater Frankfurt in Germany.

Dr Jessica Bradley is Lecturer in Literacies at the University of Sheffield. Her doctoral research ‘Translation and Translanguaging in Production and Performance in Community Arts’ (2018) considered translanguaging and text trajectories in street arts production and performance. Her current research explores young people’s understandings of multilingualism through linguistic landscapes, collaborative ethnography and creative practice. She co-directs the Literacies Research Cluster at the University of Sheffield and co-convenes the AILA Research Network on Creative Inquiry in Applied Linguistics.

Dr Juliette Taylor-Batty is Reader in English and Comparative Literature at Leeds Trinity University. She is the author of Multilingualism in Modernist Fiction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and a number of articles and chapters on twentieth-century literature. She is co-author (with Mark Taylor-Batty) of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (Continuum, 2009). Her current research focuses on modernist writers’ use of translation as a compositional process. She is on the Executive Committee of the British Association for Modernist Studies.

Dr Jim Anderson is Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Educational Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work focuses on creative and critical approaches to language learning and he is co-director with Vicky Macleroy of the Critical Connections Multilingual Digital Storytelling Project (2012-present).

Dr Vicky Macleroy is a Reader in Education and Head of the Research Centre for Language, Culture and Learning at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research focuses on multimodal composition, multilingualism, poetry and transformative pedagogy.

Lucy Rogers is an artist and writer. She is a volunteer at Deptford Cinema, where is she a film programmer and advocate for community outreach and inclusion. She is a doctoral researcher in the School of Arts at the University of Westminster.

Panel: Language Acts and Worldmaking PhD Researchers: Active in our Own Work

As PhD students on the Language Acts and Worldmaking project we would like to present our work together, not just an outline of our work in progress but how we ourselves, undertaking our research, have become agents and subjects in our own work. The theme of “Language Actions” touches on exactly this: despite the diversity in approaches and focuses in our research, in different ways we have become a subject in our own work in processes that allow the researcher to come forward in the work, through writing, interacting with others and researching.

Mary Ann Vargas, Mediating re-enactments of belonging away from home

The ideas, theories and encounters explored in my research are embedded within and revolve mainly around three Latinx variety nights at Southwark Playhouse: Barrio I, I and III. The latter could not take place last year because of COVID 19. Central to Barrio I (3rd March 2019) were questions regarding the notion and representation of ‘home’. Nine days before the UK voted for Brexit, Barrio II (3rd November 2019) included as many languages on stage as possible to expand on the notion of a single, physical abode as 'home'. This choice aimed to reinforce the role of language as a mediating agent in times of crisis. Barrio III would and will focus on multilingual choral representations through song, dance, and hybrid performative practices. As Sarah Ahmed suggests, ‘community comes to life through the collective act of remembering in the absence of a common terrain’. In this respect, live performance, and now, its temporary suspension and subsequent move to digital platforms, continue to facilitate spaces from which to rethink and experience the relationship between people and the places they inhabit away from home.

Isabel Cobo Palacios, Shaping identities from practitioner to researcher and vice versa

Being able to combine different identities where they feed into each other is a task I encountered as soon as I started my PhD journey. I will discuss how researching Spanish teachers and their role as mediators at British universities while being one of them has presented some advantages and disadvantages in my study. The fact that my researcher persona was growing has impacted directly in the way I teach, how I justify and question my actions and the critical reflections throughout. These changes are key aspects of my evolution of becoming a researcher from an insider perspective.

Donata Puntil, Whose narrative is it?

Investigating language teachers’ life and professional trajectories generated complex questions about epistemology and methodology in my approach to research. The use of a psycho-social framework grounded within a post-structuralist ontological approach to data collection and analysis enabled a reframing of the researcher’s position within the dyad researcher-participant and facilitated the use of a different terminology to describe the entanglement of emotions, affects and voices within the research process. This study aims at challenging the traditional notion of objectivity and distance as the fundamental outset of qualitative research and proposes an innovative and explorative stance to research in education.

Ella Dunne: My position as translator of Quechua and Spanish texts

The role of the translator in research and writing has often been discussed, from being pushed to quiet anonymity to taking on the Borgesian role of the writer as translator. Throughout my research, a consideration of this movement of the translator has become central to my work, as I translate articles written for La Prensa newspaper in Buenos Aires by the Peruvian José María Arguedas between 1939 and 1948. In this paper I will discuss how I have approached the translation task and how this has brought me into the centre of my writing, making me a subject of my own thesis, asking: where am I in relation to this writing?

Mary Ann Vargas is a doctoral researcher working in the Translation Acts strand. Born in Lima and based in London, she trained as an actor and director in Peru before completing an MA in Translation Studies at Kings focusing on a body of dramatic material written and performed during the Peruvian civil war.

Her current research interests involve working closely with the Latin American community in South London to create a body of texts and performance pieces, which aim to crystallize what this community has experienced, desired and dreamed of whilst living in London over the last three decades. Her investigation will cross-over at least two other research strands, Travelling Concepts and Digital Mediations, by facilitating the creation of textual, kinetic and sound archives. She is an active member of the Out of the Wings Collective at King’s.

Isabel Cobo Palacios is a doctoral researcher on the Diasporic Identities strand of the project. She graduated from her BA in English Philology & Tourism at her hometown in Universidad de Jaén. She achieved her online MA in Applied Linguistics in Spanish as a Foreign Language at FUNIBER and her passion for her work took her to qualify as a Teacher in Spain and in England. She is also part of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), member of ELE-UK, ASELE and the AHBGI, and Chartered Linguist by Ciol.

Her research interests revolve around second language learning and teaching through new technologies, the roles of language teachers in the classroom and mediation. It is in this last interest where she is carrying out her PhD at Open University. She is examining the role that Spanish language Higher Education teachers play in mediating language and culture in the classroom and their personal and professional perceptions on this process.

Donata Puntil is the Programme Director for the Modern Language Centre, where she is responsible for internal and external staff development and intercultural training. Donata has extensive teaching and research experience in Second Language Acquisition, Intercultural Studies and Applied Linguistics, with a particular focus on using cinema and literature in language teaching.

Donata studied MFL in Italy with a degree in English and German literature with a thesis on Virginia Woolf and psychoanalysis. She carried on her passion for literature in her postgraduate studies in London with an MA in Comparative Literature at UCL and her passion for psychoanalysis with an MA in Psychoanalytical Studies at the University of Essex and at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. She also completed a number of postgraduate language teaching qualifications at the University of Siena and Bologna (DITALS I & II). She is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education at the Open University as part of the Diasporic Strand of the Language Acts and Worldmaking Project.

Ella Dunne is a doctoral researcher working in the Translation Acts strand. Having studied BA French and Spanish at UCL, Ella went on to complete an MA in Translation Theory and Practice focusing on the narrative work on José María Arguedas for her final translation thesis.

Her current research interests focus on translating post-colonial multicultural societies, using Arguedas as a case study of author/translator. She is exploring the implications of recognising Arguedas as a translator and considering his work from this particular perspective. As her research focuses on translation, it ties in well with the aims of the Translation Acts strand, but a corpus of literature, poetry and essays rather than theatre means that her research also relates strongly to the Travelling Concepts branch’s focus on post-colonial theories.

Roundtable: The Role of the Language Teacher in Society: How the Present will Shape the Future

The Covid-19 pandemic and recent socio-political events have brought deep changes into our ways of thinking, behaving and learning which are reflected in language and language education. In the midst of these changes, the place of language teachers as agents of social change and key stakeholders in language education needs to be examined.

Globalization already saw the transformation in the role of the language teacher from “a classroom manager and information provider to fellow analyst and interpreter, someone who can help students place the facts into historical and subjective contexts” (Kramsch 2014, p.308). In the current context, positive aspects associated with language teaching, such as reflection and lifelong learning, giving guidance and caring for learners, autonomy and agency, and collaboration, need to be analysed in reference to practitioners’ responses to the challenges posed by Covid-19 and post-Brexit scenarios.

This roundtable is aimed at language teachers, policy makers and anyone interested in finding out what modern language teaching professionals have to say about how they perceive their role in current global, educational and social contexts. We will also discuss the challenges and concerns experienced by practitioners at different levels of the educational spectrum and how these might shape the future of language learning and the position of language teachers in this country.

A panel of experienced language teaching professionals, which include practitioners across a range of educational levels, will discuss the following topics:

  • Meeting expectations: professionalism, accountability, and autonomy in language teaching in present circumstances.
  • Pedagogical choices, emotional challenges and professional development.
  • Visions of language teachers as agents of social change in the post-Covid 19 and post-Brexit context.

Our aim is to create an opportunity for an honest open debate among practitioners, which can be taken forward beyond the time and the space of the session.

Silvia Bastow is a qualified translator/ interpreter for German and Slovak, a secondary German teacher and a Head of Modern Foreign Languages. She is also an Edexcel Examiner and has worked as consultant for secondary and primary German language teaching and learning courses in Germany funded through Comenius and Erasmus + programmes. She has been designated the post of Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for MFL at the SALOP Alliance for Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire.

Her interests are teaching and learning, cultural awareness, EAL and foreign links. Silvia is fluent in Slovak, Czech, English, German, she also has knowledge of Russian and Spanish.

silvia.bastow@taw.org.uk. Head of Languages/Specialist Leader in Education at Salop Teaching Alliance/Research Lead/GCSE Edexcel Examiner/MCCT.

Dr Mark Critchley is the current Chair of the Association of University Language Communities in the UK & Ireland (AULC), and is a member of the Coordinating Committee of CercleS, the confederation of language centres in higher education in Europe. As Director of the Centre for Foreign Language Study at Durham University since 2013, he oversees the institution wide language programme offering courses in 19 languages to more than 2,000 language learners each year.

Mark Critchley, mark.critchley@durham.ac.uk. Director, Centre for Foreign Language Study in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Durham University.

Ms Xavière Hassan is a Lecturer in French, at the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics at The Open University. She regularly develops French Language materials for open and distance education as well as face-to-face, for the BA in Modern Languages and for other contexts. This includes OpenLearn, collaborative projects such as the London Centre for Languages and Cultures, the OU-AMU Virtual Exchange, etc. Xavière has a special interest in accessibility and her role also includes advising module teams on accessibility issues to ensure that OU language modules are accessible to all students regardless of disabilities.

xaviere.hassan@open.ac.uk. Lecturer (French), Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies, School of Languages & Applied Linguistics, The Open University. Member of the Executive Team for the London Centre for Languages and Cultures, LCLC.

Dr Christina Richardson is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Education Communication and Society at King's College London, where she is a tutor on the PGCE Modern Foreign Languages, coordinates the Cultural Diversity in Language Teaching and Language People and Boundaries modules for the BA in English Language and Linguistics as well as contributing to the MA TESOL and ELT and Applied Linguistics programmes. She worked as a dissertation supervisor on the distance MEd. in Bilingualism in Education at the University of Birmingham for many years. Her research interests are on first and second language teaching and learning; multilingualism; inclusive education; dyslexia and language learning: cross-linguistic perspectives on dyslexia.

Christina is also a member of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum, NALDIC, and editor of the EAL Journal: https://naldic.org.uk/publications/eal-journal/

Christina.l.richardson@kcl.ac.uk. Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Education Communication and Society, King’s College London. Member of NALDIC and editor of the EAL Journal.

Julien Wecxsteen A French native speaker, I discovered my passion for teaching after working a year as a French Teaching Assistant in Spain. I am also interested in the role that languages can play in schools and in society. At present, I work as a French and Spanish TA in a secondary school in West London, while doing a PGCE and a MA in French Language at King’s College London.

julien.wecxsteen@kcl.ac.uk. French and Spanish Teacher Assistant in secondary school. PGCE and MA student at King’s College London.

Dr Matilde Gallardo (MA, PhD) is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London where she teaches Applied Linguistics. She contributes to language teacher training in MA and Doctorate programmes in the UK and in Spain. As well as being a language teacher educator, Matilde has taught Spanish and applied linguistics in a number of universities in the UK where she developed cross-institutional collaborative projects for MFL teachers and led two successful Aimhigher funded Language projects for secondary schools. She has published on the history of Spanish language teaching in the UK, language teaching in blended contexts, dyslexia and language teaching and more recently, on language teachers’ identities.

matilde.gallardo@kcl.ac.uk. Diasporic Identities and the Politics of Language, DIPL, strand. Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London. Editor of Negotiating Identity in Modern Foreign Language Teaching, Palgrave Macmillan 2019, https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030277086

Panel: Storytelling as Worldmaking: Word, Text, Image

Dr Rachel Scott, Understanding the world through storytelling: Kalila wa-Dimna in contemporary London

In this brief presentation, I will reflect upon recent public engagement work with schools and community groups in London undertaken in relation to my research project on the global travels of a medieval collection of exemplary fables known in Arabic as Kalila wa-Dimna.

Jean Morris, The boat: an untethered archive

This paper will talk about the ways in which she uses storytelling as a research method to explore silences in the archived past. This presentation will draw from Judah Ben Hayyat’s account of being cast adrift on the Mediterranean as he attempted to leave Iberian shores after Expulsion (c.1494). As Jean’s reading will show, her ‘turn to fiction’ gives voice to female protagonists who are otherwise erased or marginalised by dominant historical accounts.

Sonia Tuttiett, Weaving stories: textile work and fables in East London

Sonia will discuss her work on the Kalila wa-Dimna fable the ‘Tale of the Four Friends’ with East London Textile Arts, a participatory arts group that works with diverse groups of all abilities, including adults with learning disabilities and local communities from different cultural backgrounds, ethnic groups, and religions in Newham, East London.

Dr Rachel Scott is a medievalist and early modernist teaching World and Comparative Literatures and Cultures and Hispanics Studies in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. I specialise in the literary and textual cultures of the Iberian Peninsula between the 13th and 17th centuries. Her approach is comparative and transnational: she takes a global perspective on Hispanic studies that emphasises Spain’s position within the transnational nexus of influence, exchange, and power. She is interested in the mobility of culture and concepts across time and space and the renegotiations that take place in the act of translation and reception, not only in the meaning of words but how such evolutions shape perceptions of the world. Much of her research to date has focused on diasporic and canonical texts, which necessitate comparative and transnational approaches that go beyond disciplinary and linguistic boundaries.

Jean Morris is a Nottingham Trent PhD student and creative writer. Jean’s PhD thesis is a ‘creative critical’ investigation which focuses on the experiences of conversa women during the early decades of the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1525). The work is presented as a collection of essays on exilic and migratory phenomena throughout which fictional vignettes are interspersed. The project is as historical as it is contemporary. It harnesses a wide range of critical theory which is set alongside archival research, literature and ethnography. Themes include: radicalisation, forced migration, border-crossing, detainment and the lure of ‘promised’ lands.

Sonia Tuttiett lives and works in East London. She originally trained as a violinist and has a music degree, but her love of art and textiles has led her into an exciting and interesting career in the world of textile art. Sonia is greatly involved in her local community through art projects and as a leader in her local church. She is also the Lead Textile Designer for East London Textile Arts.

Wednesday 21 April

Panel: Language Actions: Innovative Pedagogy

Lekh Baral and Terry Lamb, The place of pluri/multilingualism in the Norwegian School curriculum
The Norwegian Department for Education has published a new school curriculum to be introduced from the school year beginning August 2020. The main feature of the curriculum is its incorporation of the principle of Deeper Learning. This presentation will consider how deeper learning principles should take into account the multilingual resources students bring into the classroom. It will also present some alternatives to existing approaches to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching to inculcate deeper learning. These will include reference to the Supporting Multilingual Classrooms initiative of the European Centre for Modern Languages.

Rocío Díaz Bravo and Leyre Martín Aizpuru, Students as protagonists in the Spanish language class
In this paper, I would like to present an experience of innovative pedagogy in the Spanish language class where students were the protagonists of their own learning, as they became researchers and teachers. They were responsible for conducting research and designing teaching materials (supervised by their tutor) that were later presented to their fellow students in class. In particular, university students from different modules (Spanish Lexicology and Semantics and, especially, Varieties of Spanish), organised in small groups, prepared and delivered oral presentations and interactive activities about the study of related words (e.g. gay / homosexual) and of twelve different varieties of Spanish (e.g. Judeo-Spanish, United States Spanish, Chilean Spanish, etc.). A selection of these materials will be published online. A flipped classroom approach was followed. I have used mixed methods to analyse this experience in terms of effectiveness, competences development and students’ motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic).
One of the main goals of this paper is to change attitudes to language learning by showing how innovative approaches such as the flipped classroom and peer teaching can be more engaging and effective than a traditional class where the teacher is responsible for delivering the content. Ultimately, I aim to challenge the fragmentation between content and language modules, language teachers and academic scholars, research and teaching.

Dr Carlos Soler Montes, Adding linguistics to Modern Languages degrees: the case of Spanish at the University of Edinburgh

In the British Higher Education context, Linguistics is associated with the Social Sciences, whilst Modern Languages are part of the Humanities. However, Linguistics is a natural link between language and literature, as literature itself is a natural ‘language-dependent’ cultural vehicle, representing all kinds of artistic ways of using the language (Pountain 2017).

Adding explicit linguistic and philological content to a Modern Language university degree is a unique opportunity to make students explore the nature of human languages, what they are composed of and how they are used, hence facilitating their language learning (Muñoz-Basols et al 2017).

For the past five years, the Section of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Edinburgh has integrated Hispanic Linguistics in the Spanish MA Honours programme. Throughout their four years of study, students reflect on the nature of human languages, their structure and use, applying this ‘new knowledge’ to the case of the language they are learning: Spanish. For that purpose, we have created different modules and optional courses, which explore concepts and perspectives related to prescriptive and descriptive Linguistics, the history and evolution of Spanish, the geographies and social considerations of the language, and the relations between language and communication.

With this presentation, I would like to share our experience, focusing on the new linguistic and metalinguistic knowledge that our students are gaining, and how it is enabling them to raise their ‘consciousness’ (Schmidt 1990) and to make connections between the structure of Spanish and relevant issues in contemporary Linguistics and Communication. I will share examples and evidence of how our students are learning and how they are applying these linguistic principles to other content areas of their degree.

Lekh Baral is Assistant Professor of English at the Norwegian National Centre for English and Other Foreign Languages in Education. He has an M Phil (Peace Studies) from the University of Tromsø and an MA (TESOL) from UCL (Institute of Education). He has over 2 decade’s experience as a Teacher of English as a Second/Foreign Language in Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Norway.

Dr Terry Lamb is professor of Languages and Interdisciplinary Pedagogy at the University of Westminster. His research interest is on the promotion of language learning. He is a member of the School of Humanities and the Westminster Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation. Before moving into higher education, he spent 16 years teaching languages (French, German, Spanish and Turkish). He has carried out advisory work, taught English in Poland and Turkey, and been a consultant to the Ministry of education in Malaysia on the ‘Learning how to learn’ curriculum development. He is an official EU Expert on Intercultural Education; in this capacity, he has worked as a consultant to the Ministry of Youth, Education and Sport, Czech Republic, on projects relating to the development of a European dimension in the curriculum and to the development of positive attitudes towards the Roma population. I am a member of the Multilingualism Expert Group and the Executive Committee of the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism. In 2020 I was invited to join an ad hoc committee of the Council of Europe to draft a Recommendation on Plurilingual Education and Democracy for Ministers to send to Member States.

He is the former President of the Association for Language Learning. He was a member of the government’s National Languages Steering Group and a governor of CILT, the National Centre for Languages. In 2008 he was given a personal appointment as Chair of the Languages Diploma Development Partnership by the then Secretary of State for Education, Ed Balls. He is also Vice President (and former President and Secretary General) of FIPLV, the Fédération Internationale des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes.

In 2009, he was awarded the title Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French prime minister for services to languages and European culture, in particular French. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Dr Rocío Díaz Bravo is Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Granada, an Affiliated Lecturer in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting Research Associate at King’s College London. She is currently investigating the teaching and learning of varieties of Spanish from the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives (including the flipped classroom) and is particularly interested in innovative pedagogy.

Leyre Martín Aizpuru studied a BA in Hispanich Philology and a Masters in La enseñanza del español como lengua extranjera at the Universidad de Salamanca. She is writing her PhD thesis ‘La norma lingüística de la Cancillería castellana en el siglo XIII: de Fernando III a Fernando IV’. She was a part of the team researching the ‘Variación lingüística en la documentación de Castilla y León II. Los Documentos de Mombeltrán (Ávila). Edición y Estudio’ funded by the MInisterio de Ciencia e Innovación.

Dr Carlos Soler Montes is a Lecturer at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, where he teaches Hispanic Linguistics and advanced Spanish Language courses. He started working at The University of Edinburgh in 2015 as a Teaching Fellow and e-Learning Coordinator. He is currently the Learning and Teaching Director of the Department of European Languages and Cultures.

Studying the Spanish language in Spain and Latin America has always been his passion and a source of inspiration. As a researcher, Carlos Soler Montes is particularly interested in the area of language variation from a pan-Hispanic and pluricentric perspective and how this variation can be dealt with by native speakers, as well as learners of Spanish and new speakers of the language. This is reflected in his research trajectory in Hispanic Linguistics as he has examined the ways in which Spanish grammar varies across different Hispanic regions, its particularities, cultural connections and social contacts with other languages.

He is very committed to teaching. He has obtained thorough training in language pedagogy and has worked as a Spanish language teacher throughout his career, teaching Spanish Language courses and Spanish Linguistics at The University of Connecticut, The University of Calgary and The University of New Mexico. Prior to joining The University of Edinburgh, he also worked for ten years at Instituto Cervantes (the Spanish National Cultural Institute) as academic coordinator, curriculum specialist, teacher trainer and quality evaluator. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is the winner of the 2017 Edinburgh University Students' Association Teaching Award for Best Feedback.

Roundtable: Modern Languages and Re-centring the Marginalised

In the course of this roundtable, Claire Taylor, Lucia Brandi and John D McInally will discuss how, in their respective research areas, marginalised voices assume centrality in the context of memory formation. Claire Taylor and Lucia Brandi will present the findings of their research on the activities of the Museum for Me initiative, which mobilises the concept of the museum from a creative and particpatory perspective in contrast to dominant models that focus on language as a means of memory communication.

John D McInally will present his findings on the re-centring or re-subjectivisation of witness.survivors of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda through the use, manipulation and presentation of both French and the indigenous Kinyarwandan language in collaborative testimonial writing published by French metropolitan publishing houses.

Claire Taylor is Gilmour Chair of Spanish and Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Liverpool. She is a specialist in Latin American culture with a particular interest in the literary and cultural genres being developed online by Latin(o) Americans. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics , is co-author of the recent volume Latin American Indentity in Online Cultural Production (Routledge, 2012), author of the monograph Place and Politics in Latin America Digital Culture (Routledge, 2014), and, more recently, author of Electronic Literature in Latin America: From Text to Hypertext (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). She is currently working on an AHRC-funded project focusing on memory, victims and representation of the Colombian conflict.

Lucia Brandi is Post-Doctoral Research Associate on research translation and follow-on projects for AHRC-funded research on ‘Memory, Victims, and Representation of the Colombian Conflict’: “A Museum for Me” develops educational products and activities with traditional and community-based museums; “Archives of Human Rights and Historical Memory” supports such work by NGOs and community groups. Lucia produced the trilingual children’s audiobook Tsikan Chu Nipxi (2014, Mantra Lingua) featuring Kgoyom Totonac as follow-on to her research on cultural minoritisation in Mexico - Tutunakú: Language, Power, and Youth in Central Mexico (forthcoming, Legenda).

John D McInally is a PhD researcher whose project is entitled Authorship, Editorship, and Publication Strategies of Collaborative Testimonies of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsis in Rwanda. His work looks at the power dynamics associated with the encounter between French metropolitan publishing houses, Western editors/interviewers and Rwandan witnesses/survivors. A key focus of his research is the relationship between paratextual elements of the published testimonies and the books’ narrative form and layout.

Panel: Language Actions: Innovative Pedagogy II

Arlene Holmes-Henderson, What if we taught Classical languages in place of modern languages in primary schools?

This paper will suggest that the future of language learning lies in the past. Based on a longitudinal research study conducted at Oxford University since 2014, it will outline the benefits of learning Latin and Greek for learners aged 6-11. Contrary to common misconceptions, Classical languages are fully accessible to all language learners – not just the most intellectually ‘gifted’ – and in fact facilitate significant leaps in literacy development for those performing below age-related expectations.

With policy support in England and Scotland, together with unprecedented levels of charitable funding available for the introduction of Classical languages in schools, surely the time is right to reconsider their role in the curriculum?

Argyro Kanaki, International education course: an innovative approach to worldmaking
This paper presents an innovative pedagogy for a course that consolidates and strengthens language orientated capacity-building for future teachers, researchers and activists who share the aim of making language-learning inclusive, socially engaged and international in scope. The International Education module of the Masters, Postgraduate course in Education at the University of Dundee is structured to facilitate learning about our globalised world. The module deals entirely with negotiated concepts, building a dialectic relationship with local and international students as partners in, and co-creators of, learning. The module is designed in two parts, and it offers knowledge and understanding of topics such as the role of language, the nature of intercultural awareness, and how concepts such as citizenship and identity are imparted in education. This paper will present how a dialectic relationship with students has been founded and operated. Students construct their own ways of worldmaking by exploring innovative pedagogies such as translanguaging, examining the future of languages in educational settings and discussing ecology and citizenship as well as intercultural awareness. As part of the course, students have to create a professional project which could be implemented in their future professional practice. The aim of this paper is to show through student work how a postgraduate course on international education can move towards a process of worldmaking and language acts in developing its dialectic relationship with students.

Prem Phyak, (Re)imagining a multilingual cityspace: community activism, new linguistic landscapes and indigenous language education
This paper discusses how one of the indigenous communities of Nepal, Newar, has created a new form of activism to resist neoliberal dominance of the English language and discuss how they have contributed to build a multilingual city of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Drawing on the notion of 'citizen sociolinguistics' (Rymes, 2014) and 'linguistic citizenship' (Stroud, 2015), I present my ongoing collaboration with Newari indigenous community towards creating space for Newari (known as Nepal Bhasha) in the metropolitan city of Kathmandu. I will present how spaces for the Newari indigenous language in public sphere and school are created through community activism. The data for this paper are drawn from my ongoing ethnographic study of linguistic landscape in Kathmandu, with a focus on minority languages. More specifically, the paper includes multiple data such as images of languages in public spaces such as signboards, shop signs and schools, and in-depth interviews with the community members. In the paper, I argue that community activism is necessary for creating space for indigenous languages in a city where neoliberal language ideology remains as a hegemonic force to shape space of languages.

Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson is a Research Fellow in Classics Education at the University of Oxford. She has been awarded a number of prestigious fellowships; she was a Fullbright Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii, a Churchill Fellow in Australia and an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand; she was awarded a Teaching Star from the Institute of International Education in New York; in 2020, she won the Vice-Chancellor’s Education award for Classics in Communities project. Dr Holmes-Henderson is currently collaborating with the Classics department at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa on a project to boost children’s literacy through the study of Classics via the Oxford-Africa initiative. She has acted as a subject expert for Classics to both BBC Bitesize and Oak National Academy. At King’s College London, she works with Professor Edith Hall to research the role of Classical Civilisation and Ancient History in UK curricula and raise the profile and status of these subjects as viable options for study in UK schools.

Dr Argyro Kanaki is a Lecturer in Education at the University of Dundee, Scotland. She holds a PhD in language education. Her current teaching focuses on the pedagogy of modern foreign languages, TESOL, issues around culture, and debates in international education. Argyro currently researches metalinguistic awareness and its relations with language policy and language practices.



Dr Prem Phyak is Assistant Professor at the Department of English at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include language policy, multilingualism, multimodality, and multilingual education. He has co-authored a book Engaged Language Policy and Practices (Routledge) and published articles in journals like Language Policy, Current Issues in Language Planning, Language in Society and Critical Inquiry in Language Studies.

Panel: Language Actions: Innovative Pedagogy III

Anna Constantino and Lora Blazheva Exploring language learning as a creative reflexive practice for a better quality of classroom life
Reflective writing is one piece of evidence that language students must submit as part of their portfolio in the Higher Education language department, where we teach and learn. This activity counts toward our students’ formative assessment. The literature has long evidenced the benefits of reflectivity in learning as it engenders metacognitive enhancement of learning and self-efficacy.

However, this reflective exercise has often failed to result in a deep engagement with learning. Hence, I, the language tutor co-presenter, have looked at pedagogical opportunities to break away from routinised formative assessment and learning by implementing participatory practitioner-research (Exploratory Practice). Through this approach, both learners and educators consider aspects of their practice to mutually understand their learning development and enhance the quality of life of their classroom. Rather than being a single activity to be carried out at the end of a formative journey, reflectivity becomes a continuous process of enquiry enacted by sustainably harnessing the multimodal affordances of conventional classroom activities.

In this presentation, we, an Italian language tutor and a language undergraduate student introduce the pedagogical underpinnings of approaching language learning as an enquiry and illustrate an instance of how a mutual and dialogical search for understanding has been enacted through creatively engaging with the classroom materials.

Phil Davis and Alicia Kent, Creative writing as language activism in the primary and university classroom

Phil Davis of Write Inspired employs an innovative pedagogy to encourage primary school children to play with language in order to help them to write creatively. For the majority of primary school teachers who are receptive to this approach, Phil’s work is seen as transformational within the classroom space.

Some teachers who are bound too strongly to ‘ticking off objectives’ can find this approach disruptive but soon see the positive effects to teaching and learning. In addition a few children who are unfamiliar with a more creative pedagogy, and bound to rigid outcomes may also feel challenged by this newly redefined space.

For many of the children, including those who were quieter members of the group, the new organisation of the classroom became a space where they found a voice, and through the course of the activities the children found this to be transformational. With children and teachers who were experienced in Phil’s methodology, the level of pleasure in their achievements and accompanying participation was high.

Kyara Rojas-Bustos and Katie Patterson, Plurilingual imaginaries in monolingual contexts/worlds
This paper is situated within current discussions around language ideologies and the conceptualization of language/s in early years education. It intends to provide a critical treatment of plurilingual imaginaries in contexts where ‘an-other language’ is new to the curriculum and, particularly, where young children are perceived as at a disadvantage. The research involves eleven early years provisions (attached to primary schools) for the most disadvantaged children in a small port-town in Coronel, Chile where the local authority has recently started the implementation of a bilingual programme (Coronel-Bilingüe).

The research is driven by the fact that monolingual ideologies have long dominated political spheres and continue to regulate educational systems (Kiramba, 2018, Weber and Horner, 2012). Monolingual discourses, that establish the learning of a single language as the norm, can act as ideological impediments to the transformation of habitus and dispositions (Bourdieu, 1991, 1977). As a result, the additional language(s) is presented, discursively, as a 'problem', particularly when the cultural and linguistic capital of certain social groups are perceived as deficient (Safford and Drury, 2013). Crucially, in the context of early childhood education these perceptions extend to the acquisition and development of the early linguistic skills that constitute the basis for all school learning. Thus far, research on language ideologies and second language learning has been based primarily on multilingual contexts (Garcia and Woodley, 2009), and very little has been developed around learning early communicative skills in a second language in early years education. These two factors make the proposed research original and much needed.

Ms Anna Constantino is a Lecturer and Programme Coordinator in Italian studies as well as a member of the CREL (Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language) at the University of Greenwich in the UK. She is a practitioner-researcher (Exploratory Practice) and member of the Fully Inclusive Practitioner Research in Applied Linguistics research network at AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics). Her research interests include language education, inclusive and participatory practitioner-research, philosophy of education and critical theories/pedagogies.

Lora Blazheva is a third-year student at the University of Greenwich majoring in Tourism Management with Italian. She took part in the 2019/20 Erasmus+ programme and studied Business and Tourism Management at the University of Alicante in Spain. Currently, she is participating in the J. P. Morgan Career Mentoring Scheme 2020/21.

Phil Davis is the creator of Write Inspired. He started his career as a teacher for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and moved on to mainstream classroom teaching where he developed his unique pedagogy to develop writing and inspire a more creative approach to all teaching and learning. He was soon speaking at conferences and running his acclaimed courses on creativity in the classroom particularly around the development of language. Write Inspired started in 2014 to put all his work under one banner. He is the creator of numerous resources including the Beat it series, Sounds inspirational and Picture the Music create, all designed to inspire and motivate writing and self expression.

He has worked in schools all over the UK and abroad including schools in Oman, Kuwait, Singapore, Norway, Hong Kong, China, The Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium. He is currently working on new resources, one for Early years called The Whole Of Me and Roll and Write, for all ages.

Dr Alicia Kent is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature & Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies. She is Chair of the Comparative Literature Staff-Student Liaison Committee. Her research interest is on literature and visual arts of early 20th-century Europe. Her most recent publication is Kent, A. 2019. ‘Leonora Carrington: Living Legacies’ in Cox, A., Hewison J., Man, M. and Shannon, R. (eds.). Wilmington, Del.: Vernon Press, pp.155-174.

Dr Kyara Rojas-Bustos is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Roehampton London. In her teaching, she has been forged within multi-disciplinary perspectives on education, language and literacy practice in diverse societies. She has worked in special education and higher education in both Chile and England, developing a sound knowledge of curriculum development and creating collaborative environments where everybody can excel. Her most recent project is with K. Patterson Transforming early years education into a bilingual experience: an exploration of language dispositions in a local authority in Chile (2020-2021).

Dr Katie Patterson is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Research Fellow at the University of Granada.

Panel: New Horizons

Iryna Semeniuk Zumrutdal, The future of English: current policy in Turkey and Ukraine

This presentation attempts to examine and compare the adjustment of Ukraine and Turkey’s language policy in response to the global influence of English at different levels of Ukrainian and Turkish national education systems, including its role in society within historical and geo-political contexts.

The question of to what extent Ukraine and Turkey should welcome English into its language ecology has been the subject of both academic and popular debate for the last decade. First, globalization has brought about an unprecedented spread of English in Turkey and Ukraine as in many other non-English–speaking countries. Second, the spread of English has created serious challenges to Ukraine’s and Turkey’s language policy.

On the one hand, there is a need in both countries to preserve and promote existing culture, language and identity. On the other hand, there is a desire for economic development and international integration with the West. The findings indicate that although there is much common evidence in both countries pointing to the prominent role that English occupies in Turkish and Ukrainian education system largely through the government’s planned language policy, there also exist different problems largely due to the historical and geo-political contexts in which Ukraine and Turkey developed as independent societies.

Mariya Bagasheva, Valentina Doneva and Bilyana Todorova, The future of languages in the time of global English language influence: the Bulgarian and Russian case
The presentation aims to show the influence of English on other languages in the time of globalisation. English influences languages through different channels, so it affects different styles and registers. At the same time, in most countries, there is some struggle against the increasing use of English words and structures. We will try to present the existing tendencies in Bulgarian and Russian, having in mind that they are Slavic languages. However, Bulgarian is closer to English as it is an analytic language.

We investigate texts from tabloids and broadsheets published online and describe which of them are more influenced by English. The type of influence is also investigated – whether it affects only the lexical items or changes the grammar. We also divide the texts containing English words and structures according to their thematic scope. At the end of our presentation, we make some hypotheses about the future of Russian and Bulgarian.

Dr Iryna Semeniuk Zumrutdal works as the Head of the English Preparatory Department at Piri Reis University, Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interests include cognitive and functional analyses of language units, the nature and organization of concepts, extension of categories by means of metonymy and integration of content area and language instruction, and bilingual education.

Dr Mariya Bagasheva is Chief Assistant Professor and a PhD Lecturer of English language at the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies at the Faculty of Philology at the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Her research interests are Morphology, Word-formation, Lexicology, Translation studies, Sociolinguistics.



Dr Bilyana Todorova is an Associate Professor and a PhD Lecturer of Bulgarian Language at the Department of Bulgarian Language at the Faculty of Philology at the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.Her research interests are Computer-Mediated Communication, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, etc.



Dr Valentina Doneva is a Chief Assistant Professor and a PhD Lecturer of Russian language at the Department of Slavic languages at the Faculty of Philology at the South-West University “Neofit Rilski” Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Her research interests are Russian literature, Phraseology, Translation studies.


Thursday 22 April

Panel: Seeing the Unseen: Community Languages and Heritage Speakers in UK Schools

Jim Anderson, Decolonising the curriculum: a place for children's home languages

In this presentation, I shall argue that the notion of 'global Britain' requires a fundamental change in how children's home languages are perceived, represented, recognised and supported.

Katarzyna Zechenter, Connecting language teaching with mainstream education system in UK: language and identity

Abstract TBC

Maksi Kozińska, Polish heritage speakers in England - seeing the unseen

In this paper, I will discuss some critical numbers that help us locate potential heritage speakers of Polish and some challenges that heritage speakers faced last year and how state schools can support community language provision.

Sabine Little, Normalising multilingualism in schools

In this short presentation, I explore the role of multilingualism in schools in England. Beginning with some quotes from participants in my research across several years, I move on to introduce some ideas for schools to adopt that could be considered "quick wins" in integrating multilingualism into the mainstream education system, drawing on my current Lost Wor(l)ds project (www.multilingualism-in-schools.net).

Kate Lightfoot, The place of the heritage speaker in a mainstream MFL classroom

In this presentation, I will discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by UK French teachers who teach heritage French speakers alongside L2 learners.

Dr Jim Anderson is Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmith’s, University of London. His work focuses primarily on theories and methods of second language learning and bilingualism. In addition to his work on multilingual digital storytelling, he has directed projects on the development of integrated and inclusive approaches to language teaching, with a particular focus on appropriate pedagogies for community/heritage learners in mainstream and complementary school contexts.

Dr Sabine Little is Deputy Director of Learning and Teaching, Lecturer in Educational Studies (Languages Education), Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Director, Ma Education, Teaching and Learning, Director iPGCE at the University of Sheffield. She has an over-arching faculty role, where she works with students across the Social Sciences to explore issues related to learning and teaching.

Her research interests are in the field of heritage language learners and identity. She has been involved in numerous projects, attracting funding from ERASMUS, the UK Literacy Association, Booktrust JISC, the Society for Educational Studies and others. Her last project was funded by the UK Literacy Association, where she worked with heritage language families to explore how they use technology to support the heritage language.

Dr Katarzyna Zechenter is Lecturer at University College London. Her research themes span heritage, history, culture and language/linguistics. In her most recent publications, she promotes bilingualism and supports heritage language usage in the home environment. In her book Po Polsku na Wyspach. A Guide for Parents of Bilingual Children she focuses on the role of parents in heritage language maintenance.

Maksi Kozinska is Vice-Chancellor Scholar in the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University. She is working on her PhD thesis on heritage Polish in the UK. She is an examiner for Polish language qualifications.

Kate Lightfoot is a PhD researcher at Anglia Ruskin University. Her research focuses on heritage French speakers in the UK, and she has a particular interest in how heritage speakers experience learning their home language in a mainstream MFL classroom.

Dr Michelle Sheehan has been at ARU since August 2015, being promoted to Professor in 2020. Before that, she worked as a researcher at the Universities of Newcastle, Durham and Cambridge. She is interested in the structure of language (syntax), how languages vary/change and how we can model this variation (typology, comparative syntax), with a particular interest in languages descended from Latin (Romance languages).

Michelle also leads the project Linguistics in Modern Foreign Languages (run with colleagues at Birmingham, Bristol, Lancaster and Westminster). This project aims to introduce secondary language students to linguistics. So far, the project has run for students of German, French and Spanish A-level, as well as heritage speakers of Portuguese and French. For a concise overview of the project’s philosophy, visit the TES website. To keep updated, follow us on Twitter.

Roundtable: Visualizing Data and Activism: Who is Made Visible and How?

This is a round table of artists, academics and practitioners who use data in their work on activism in multiple ways: as the basis for an interactive map, as a tool in teaching and research, as a starting point for creative responses through art and performance. Through a discussion we seek to uncover and explore some of the complexities and challenges of using data visualisation in practice in relation to activism, in particular when raising awareness of gender violence. We are particularly interested in the idea of visibility and how data can be used to raise awareness of untold stories, provide new insights into understanding the issue of gender violence and be interpreted across forms and languages in artistic practice.

The key questions that we want to explore are:

  • How is data used to misinform and how can we challenge misinformation?
  • How can data be used to tell multiple different stories?
  • How does the subjectivity of the researcher/presenter/creator play a role in how we interpret, share and visualize data?
  • What is the role of digital forms of activism today and in the future?
  • What happens between learners and teachers in the classroom when we deal with data and is there anything humanistic about these interactions?

Dr Renata Brandão is a Lecturer in Multimedia Journalism in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of East London. Her research focusses on the uses and representation of data across media outlets. Her work demonstrates how digital data enhances and expands Modern Languages research and learning in meaningful, creative and accessible ways. She is part of the Language Acts and Worldmaking project team on the Digital Mediations research strand and part of the 'Worldmaking in the Time of Covid-19' research project.

Dr Sophie Stevens is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her research project, Latin American Women Dramatists as Artists, Activists and Agents of Change, investigates the work of Latin American women dramatists in order to explore links between activism, performance, digital networking and translation. She is part of the Language Acts and Worldmaking project team on the Translation Acts research strand and is also a member of the Out of the Wings Theatre Collective.

Helena Suárez Val is an activist, researcher and social communications producer with a focus on feminism and human rights. She currently works independently, having previously worked with Amnesty International, the Global Call for Action against Poverty (GCAP) and Uruguayan feminist collective Cotidiano Mujer, amongst others. She holds an MA in Gender, Media and Culture from Goldsmiths and is pursuing a PhD at the Center for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, University of Warwick. In 2015, she started Feminicidio Uruguay, a database and map of feminicide cases in the country. She is currently collaborating with Catherine D'Ignazio and Silvana Fumega on an international participatory action research project, Data Against Feminicide.

Gaël le Cornec is a theatre maker from the Amazon, Brazil. Her work explores themes of identity, migration and environmental issues through the female perspective. An award-winning solo artist, she brought visibility to the voices of underrepresented women in the UK with the shows “Frida Kahlo: Viva La Vida”, “Camille Claudel” and “The Other”. She is a guest lecturer at East15 and Rose Bruford universities and an associate artist at Arts Depot and the theatre & new technology company Limbik. Gaël has collaborated several times with Prof. Cathy Mcllwaine from King's College, creating with her company Footprint Productions several artistic responses based on academic research, including the award-winning short film "Ana", the play "Efemera" and the audio story "Believe". You can find out more about her work on www.footprintproductions.co.uk

Prof Cathy McIlwaine is Professor of Development Geography at King's College London. Her work focuses on gender, violence and exclusion in cities of Latin America (and beyond) and among Latin American migrants in London. Cathy works across the academic-policy-public engagement divides with a range of third sector organisations and artists. She has published 11 books and numerous journal articles.

Panel: Tackling the Languages Crisis from the Ground Up: Linguistics in Schools

Alice Corr, Anna Havinga, Jonathan Kasstan, Norma Schifano, Michelle Sheehan and Sascha Stollhans, The Linguistics in MFL project: progress so far

Abstract TBC

Oliver Hopwood, Using linguistics as an MFL teacher

Abstract TBC

Anna Paradis, Linguistics in Catalonian schools

Abstract TBC

Dr Alice Corr is a Lecturer in Modern Languages specialising in the linguistics (especially morphosyntax) and dialectology of the Ibero-Romance language family (Spanish, Portuguese, Galician, Catalan and other lesser-known languages such as Asturian, Aragonese, Aranese, Ladino/Judaeo-Spanish, Leonese, Mirandese and Mozarabic) at the University of Birmingham since 2017. She was a Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge and a Bye-Fellow at Magdalene College, Cambridge. She has held a temporary lectureship position in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Oxford and Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Anna Havinga is a Lecturer in Sociolinguistics (German) in the Department of German at the University of Bristol. Her research is centred on historical sociolinguistics, language policy, language standardisation, languages attitudes. She is currently working on the emergence of Scots in legal texts in the Medieval and Early Modern Period. She was awarded the Fritz Thyssen Foundation Conference Funding in 2019 and the International Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler Prize in 2016.

Oliver Hopwood Bio TBC.

Dr Jonathan Kasstan is a Lecturer in French and Linguistics at the University of Westminster. At the same university, he is completing a Leverhulme-funded research project. Before arriving at Westminster University, he lectured at Queen Mary University of London (2015-2018), predominantly quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistics and research methods. His research interests broadly fall within quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on language variation and change and language death theory. He also conducts research on heritage languages. His most recent publication is Amos, J., Kasstan, J.R. and W. Johnson. (2020). ‘Reconsidering the variable context: a phonological argument for (t) and (d) deletion’, English Today, 36(3): 6-13.

Anna Paradis Bio TBC.

Dr Anna Rosen is Lecturer in English Linguistics at Universität Freiburg. Her research focuses on the use of linguistics to teach English as a second language in Germany.

Dr Norma Schifano is a Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Birmingham, specialising in the comparative morphosyntax of Spanish and the Romance languages, with a particular focus on the documentation of non-standard and endangered varieties (including Italo-Greek), phenomena of language contact and microvariation.

After completing a BA in Modern Languages and Science of Language at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (2006-2009), where he specialised in Spanish and English language and linguistics, he enrolled into the Master’s degree in Science of Language at the same institution (2009-2011), and he spent one year at Christ’s College, University of Cambridge (2010-2011) to attend the MPhil in Linguistics as a visiting student. After completing my MA, he was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD at Clare College, University of Cambridge (2011-2015). In 2015, he was appointed Research Associate at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages of the University of Cambridge to work on a Leverhulme Research Project Grant that he co-authored with Prof Adam Ledgeway (PI) and Dr Giuseppina Silvestri (RA) (2015-2019). In 2018, he was awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, which he turned down to take up a lectureship at the University of Birmingham. Before joining this university, he held temporary lectureships at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University of Manchester. He acted as Director of Studies in Spanish and Italian at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. He officially joined the University of Birmingham as Lecturer in Modern Languages (Spanish) in September 2019.

Dr Michelle Sheehan has been at ARU since August 2015, being promoted to Professor in 2020. Before that, she worked as a researcher at the Universities of Newcastle, Durham and Cambridge. She is interested in the structure of language (syntax), how languages vary/change and how we can model this variation (typology, comparative syntax), with a particular interest in languages descended from Latin (Romance languages).

Michelle also leads the project Linguistics in Modern Foreign Languages (run with colleagues at Birmingham, Bristol, Lancaster and Westminster). This project aims to introduce secondary language students to linguistics. So far, the project has run for students of German, French and Spanish A-level, as well as heritage speakers of Portuguese and French. For a concise overview of the project’s philosophy, visit the TES website. To keep updated, follow us on Twitter.

Dr Sascha Stollhans is a Senior Teaching Associate in German Studies at Lancaster University. He is currently co-leading the German strand of the national 'Linguistics in Modern Foreign Languages' project, alongside Dr Anna Havinga (Bristol). The project, led by Prof. Michelle Sheehan (Anglia Ruskin), assesses the potential for the inclusion of linguistics in the Secondary Education MFL curriculum.

He is interested in cross-sector work to promote language learning in the UK. Dr Elena Polisca and has led a project funded by the "Language Acts and Worldmaking" strand of the AHRC Open World Research Initiative, which explored transitions and collaborations between different education sectors and culminated in a national conference.

In 2017, he organised a public exhibition and a workshop for academics and schoolteachers under the heading "The World of Language, Languages of the World", funded by the ESRC as part of its Festival of Social Science. His recent media contributions include an appearance on the Language Revolution Podcast to discuss language policy and transitions in language education, an interview with LBC Radio about language teaching and learning in the UK and Europe, an article in The Conversation about languages in the British education systems, and an interview with The Guardian for an article about the German education system.

Janette Swainston is a teacher of French and Head of Modern Foreign Languages at Longsands Academy in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. She participated in the Linguistics in MFL pilot and is currently involved in a co-creation project funded by Language Acts and Worldmaking.

Panel: New horizons II

Amanda Brown, Caroline Bennett, Gail A. Bulman, Stefano Giannini, Rania Habib, and María Emma Ticio Quesada, Lost in Machine Translation: The Chasm between Language Teachers and Students
Machine translation (MT) is an area where language teachers and students have historically disagreed (Lee, 2019). While research has demonstrated the benefits of MT (e.g. Benda, 2013; Chon et al. 2021; Correa, 2014; Dziemianko, 2017; Enkin & Mejías-Bikandi, 2016; Garcia and Pena, 2011; Lee, 2019) and reported frequent student usage (e.g. Alhaisoni & Alhaysony, 2017) Clifford, Merschel, & Munné, 2013; Jin & Diefell, 2013; Tsai, 2019; Yang & Wang, 2019), teacher views have traditionally been negative (e.g. Case; 2015; Clifford, Merschel, & Munné, 2013; Niño, 2009; Stapleton & Leung Ka Kin, 2019). Given that recent research has focused on ESOL (e.g. Lee, 2019; Murphy Odo, 2019; Tsai, 2019), that MT has evolved considerably since 2016 (Yang & Wang, 2019), and that teacher beliefs can be influenced by professional development and context (Borg, 2015), this study examined (1) contemporary attitudes toward and practices around MT among students (n=75) and teachers (n=25) of diverse languages, and (2) changes in instructor views after a professional development seminar on MT. Survey results indicate a wide, enduring chasm between students, who increasingly use and feel positively towards MT, and teachers, most of whom make no instructional use of MT, feel negatively about it, and maintain their views after professional development and contextual events related to technology. These results support research showing a general resistance to change in teacher beliefs.

Dr Amanda Brown is Associate Professor of linguistics at Syracuse University. Her main research program investigates the psycholinguistic effects of multilingualism in the domain of motion event expression in speech and gesture, with associated implications for language pedagogy, assessment, and teacher preparation. She teaches courses in second language teaching/learning and holds administrative positions in graduate programs in linguistics and language teaching.

Caroline Bennett is a recent graduate of Syracuse University, with a major in communication sciences and disorders and minors in linguistics and psychology. Awarded a research grant from Syracuse University SOURCE, she pursued research on machine translation and language teaching. She is currently teaching English in the EPIK program in South Korea.

Dr Gail A. Bulman is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean (PLACA) at Syracuse University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Latin American theater and narrative. She is the author of Staging Words, Performing Worlds: Intertextuality and Nation in Contemporary Latin American Theater (Bucknell UP 2007) and several articles and book chapters on theater and performance in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Her book Feeling the Gaze: Image and Affect in Argentine and Chilean Performances will be published in 2022.

Dr Stefano Giannini is an Associate Professor of Italian at Syracuse University. His research focuses on the historical novel and the notion of exile. He wrote on modern Italian authors such as Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Piero Chiara, Lucio Mastronardi, Vittorio Sereni, Luciano Bianciardi in Italian and North American periodicals. His current project looks at the relationships among the cultures of the Mediterranean basin, in particular between Italy and Egypt. His “Maps of Absence. Modern Italian Writers in Alexandria, Egypt” project investigates the encounters of modern Italian poets and writers with Northern Africa between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Dr Rania Habib is Associate Professor of linguistics and Arabic and Coordinator of Arabic Program at Syracuse University. She specializes in sociolinguistics, particularly language variation and change with interests in bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, child and adolescent language, second language/dialect acquisition, discourse analysis, pragmatics, morphophonology and syntax.

Dr María Emma Ticio Quesada is Associate Professor of Spanish and linguistics at Syracuse University. Her main research program explores how the syntactic and semantic properties of human languages are acquired in monolingual or bilingual first language acquisition and theoretically represented in formal models. She teaches courses in syntax, semantics and language acquisition and is currently the Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics.

Roundtable: Language and Human Security: Context, Hierarchy, and Interconnectedness

As part of the language Matters initiative at Syracuse University, the strand Comfort Zones: Languages and Human Security emerged. The guiding questions of this strand can be summarized in how and why language matters for human and societal security, including but not limited to (im)migration, physical and psychological health, cybersecurity, social justice, equality, diversity, inclusion criminology, natural disasters, etc. To answer these questions such as (1) how and where does language matter in your research/teaching area? And (2) how can campus resources fit that language need? Among others. This presentation intends to give a report of the findings of this campus-wide investigation. It will show the possibilities available for language researchers and educators to collaborate across the aisle. It will also present ideas of why and how language can impact other fields and research. We hope that this presentation will lead to further discussion among attendees about open possibilities and opportunities for language to be impactful.

Dr Amanda Brown is Associate Professor of linguistics at Syracuse University. Her main research program investigates the psycholinguistic effects of multilingualism in the domain of motion event expression in speech and gesture, with associated implications for language pedagogy, assessment, and teacher preparation. She teaches courses in second language teaching/learning and holds administrative positions in graduate programs in linguistics and language teaching.

Dr Gail A. Bulman is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean (PLACA) at Syracuse University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Latin American theater and narrative. She is the author of Staging Words, Performing Worlds: Intertextuality and Nation in Contemporary Latin American Theater (Bucknell UP 2007) and several articles and book chapters on theater and performance in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. Her book Feeling the Gaze: Image and Affect in Argentine and Chilean Performances will be published in 2022.

Dr Stefano Giannini is an Associate Professor of Italian at Syracuse University. His research focuses on the historical novel and the notion of exile. He wrote on modern Italian authors such as Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Ungaretti, Piero Chiara, Lucio Mastronardi, Vittorio Sereni, Luciano Bianciardi in Italian and North American periodicals. His current project looks at the relationships among the cultures of the Mediterranean basin, in particular between Italy and Egypt. His “Maps of Absence. Modern Italian Writers in Alexandria, Egypt” project investigates the encounters of modern Italian poets and writers with Northern Africa between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Dr Rania Habib is Associate Professor of linguistics and Arabic and Coordinator of Arabic Program at Syracuse University. She specializes in sociolinguistics, particularly language variation and change with interests in bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, child and adolescent language, second language/dialect acquisition, discourse analysis, pragmatics, morphophonology and syntax.

Friday 23 April

Panel: New Horizons III

Angela Giovanangeli, Indigenous perspectives in the language classroom: the Australian context
Increasingly foreign language studies research is challenging the idea of language and nation in the language classroom and shifts the focus on the need for curriculum that brings in notions of superdiversity (Creese & Blackledge 2018), global competencies and Indigenous voices (Burddett & Duncan 2018). In the Australian context, the inclusion of Indigenous representations within the foreign language curriculum specifically aligns with strategies in the Australian education context that are currently focusing on “closing the gap” between Indigenous and non-Indigenous educational outcomes. Foreign language disciplines in Australian universities have the potential to provide valuable opportunities for students to make intercultural comparisons across languages, including Indigenous perspectives, and to develop their understanding of concepts related to diversity across linguistic landscapes. Currently, language syllabuses in secondary schools in certain states of Australia include representations of Indigenous languages in delivery of second language syllabuses across New South Wales while some tertiary institutions across the country are investigating how to incorporate Indigenous Graduate Attributes in their foreign language subjects.

In this context, this paper examines how the Australian language education program will need to be shaped for what are significant changes in the way language subjects are designed in various educational contexts. Furthermore, this paper voices some of the practical dilemmas that arise for language educators when they consider and plan to teach Indigenous perspectives in their classrooms. Moving beyond a conversational dialogue, this paper invites a re-thinking of foreign language spaces, as possible sites of multiplicity that recognise dilemmas and convergences of language learning knowledge in relation to content and pedagogy.

Dr Diane Nelson and Professor Thea Pitman, The Kariri-Xocó linguistic retomada (reclamation)

The Kariri-Xocó (KX) Indigenous community live in Alagoas state, North-Eastern Brazil. Their language has no native speakers and is classified as extinct by linguists. However, since 1989, as part of a retomada (reclamation) and broader cultural reawakening, the KX have initiated a revitalisation of the language. We received a LAWM Small Grant to support a trip to Brazil in November 2019. Our talk reports on our visit to the KX community in Alagoas state, where we organised a focus group and interviews with students at the language school, parents and other community members, and our trip to the Viva Língua Viva conference in Rio de Janeiro with one of the Indigenous KX language teachers. The trip allowed us to build links with the community as well as set a collaborative research agenda for the project in the future. We were inspired by the energy, creativity and dynamism of the Indigenous language activists we encountered, particularly in the difficult political and economic climate of Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

Dr Angela Giovanangeli is a senior lecturer in the School of International Studies and Education in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research interests focus on language pedagogies, intercultural education and Indigenous perspectives in education. Email: Angela.Giovanangeli@uts.edu.au

Dr Diane Nelson is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Leeds. She is involved in several ongoing collaborative research projects. These include work on Uralic syntax (on Finnish and Saami with Ida Toivonen and on Meadow Mari with Elena Vedernikova and Jeremy Bradley); projects with Virve Vihman at the University of Tartu looking at the relationship between animacy, language and cognition in children’s narratives and emergent grammars; projects with Vesna Stojanovik at the University of Reading investigating the verbal and nonverbal abilities of children with William’s Syndrome. She is a member of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain.

Dr Thea Pitman is a Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Leeds. Her areas of expertise are Latin American digital cultures and cultural production; Latin American literature, film and popular cultural forms; indigenous cultures and cultural production. She is a member of the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures and a founding member of the new Centre for Endangered Languages, Cultures and Ecosystems. She is currently vice-president of the Society for Latin American Studies (2019-21); member of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London; member of the Consejo de Colaboración para Estados Unidos, Canadá e Inglaterra, Romance language at the University of Georgia, USA; the University of Leeds representative for the Standing Conference of Latin American Studies in the UK; having previously served as membership secretary for the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland; member of the advisory boards of three different journals and three major research projects, and member of the editorial board for three other journals, as well as for Tamesis Books. Her most recent publication is ‘Digital Culture and Post-regional Latin Americanism’ in Transnational Spanish Studies (2020).

Panel: Language Actions

Khawla Badwan, Reconceptualising language in worldmaking: ‘unmooring’ language for social justice
This paper problematises the traditional connection between language and place while highlighting social justice concerns caused by such conceptualisations in an age characterised by increasing levels of mobility and ‘hyper-diversity’ (Tasan-Kok et al., 2013). Traditional imaginings of speech communities based on ‘territorial fixedness, physical proximity and sociocultural sharedness’ (Blommaert, 2011:3) fail to address the fluid complexity of social life in hyper-diverse urban places. Such imaginings are based on the concept of ‘mooring’ that ties language to place so it becomes easy to map the distribution of linguistic features across horizontal spaces. Mooring, Phipps (2013) argues, offers certainty, order, stability and control. It offers confidence in the languages of people and places. It makes it easy to know what to expect. Traditional sociolinguistics, or what Blommaert (2010) refers to as ‘sociolinguistics of distribution’, taps into this moored world ontology.
Nonetheless, sociolinguistics over the past decade has witnessed a major paradigm shift aiming to engage with contemporary social changes. Here, I draw on recent anti-canonical sociolinguistic research to explore the potential for ‘unmooring’ language to produce complex, inclusive and realistic conceptualisations for researching language in place, and hence responding to Blommaert’s (2010) call for new metaphors for representing new events. ‘Unmooring language’ is a proposal for a language-based social justice concept that aims to go beyond national and local epistemologies of language in place. Conceptually, it draws on research from sociolinguistics of globalisation, human geography and sociology.
After that, I present data from a research project conducted with young people (18-25 years) studying at different universities in the urban city of Manchester, UK. Findings suggest that mobile young people embrace the fluidity of language in the city, which generally produces positive attitudes towards linguistic diversity. There are, still, some tensions between those who are seen as ‘of place’ and those ‘in place’. Language continues to be part of the carving of belonging and un-belonging to the city. I conclude my talk by emphasising the importance of language-based activism to ensure that linguistic diversity has a ‘right to the city’ (Lefebvre, 1996; Purcell, 2013), a step to combat growing sentiments of linguistic hostility (Piller, 2016) and ethnolinguistic nationalism (Cameron, 2013).

Erika Fülöp, Disrupting (foreign) languages and cultures (in) teaching: a dilemma
A major challenge facing us in the age of digital networks, social media, big data, natural language processing, and the marketing and political strategies that exploit these, is how we can stop the reductive normalization of language that is both the result and a facilitator of such exploitation. Surveillance, digital labour, targeted advertising, and political campaigns of crucial historical importance all rely on the increasingly sophisticated algorithmic and AI processing of our language. The more we repeat identifiable patterns, the more exposed we are to them being used to construct discourses that influence us in ways we are often unaware of.
As teachers of languages and cultures, we traditionally also try to extract patterns of language and a canonized core of culture that we can communicate as a more or less coherent, “teachable” system or network of organized information. It is, however, these unquestionably practical and historically crucial linguistic standards, from spelling to grammar and vocabulary, which have enabled the evolution of our cultures to great degrees of sophistication, that are now being turned against us. At the same time, poetic language, and literature more broadly, has always been to a large extent about exploring and proposing non-standard modes of expression, enriching language, and through it, thinking. We do research and teach (about) it as such. Linguistic disruption has never been an innocent aesthetic act, and we know the social importance of linguistic resistance also from popular phenomena such as slang or argot.
The dilemma facing us teachers of modern languages and cultures is then how and to what extent we can or should “teach” linguistic disruption as a necessary social phenomenon and/or as practice? It is our job to teach our students not only a language, but also about language. But how to communicate the (seemingly?) contradictory message of both the importance of linguistic standards and the importance of resisting the standardization of our language? In our digital environment, this is no longer a marginal issue.
I propose to present this problematic, together with a couple of examples of how French artists and authors problematize language in and through the digital medium, and my own first attempts at bringing it to the students through my teaching of a module on French digital culture. The primary objective of this talk is, however, to invite a discussion on potential future avenues for integrating awareness of this issue in our discipline and practice.

Donata Puntil, Teaching is knowledge, knowledge is power
There are many centres and many peripheries, many ways of being active within and outside the academic discourse. Many ways to fight for one own’s dreams. Auto/biographical life narratives of ten language teachers who work in a Higher Education institution in UK have been co-created by the researcher and by one of the participants and it has been used as an evocative object (Bollas, 2009) within the auto/biographical methodological framework employed for this study.
This paper, starting from one story about language teaching as re-negotiation of identity, focuses on powerful auto/biographical narratives of activism and of fight for one owns ideas. The presented narratives are stories of struggle, but also of resilience, hope and joy. They are stories of a passion for teaching and for sharing knowledge. They are situated stories (Haraway, 1988) of freedom and independence through education.
This paper also explores my position of conducting research differently (Holloway & Jefferson, 2013; Merrill & West, 2009) by actively engaging the participants as co-researchers within the study and by reflecting on my own transformative journey of becoming both a language teacher and a researcher. It will also consider the impact academic writing has on the self and on others (Richardson & St.Pierre, 2005).
The findings of this study give evidence that language teachers’ narratives, despite being considered marginal within the main academic discourse (Worton, 2009), can be regarded as powerful voices of negotiation and re-negotiation of one own’s professional identity through migration, displacement and reterritorialization into new physical and symbolic territories (Braidotti, 2011). These auto/biographical stories indicate that language teaching is more than a profession; it is an emotional, social and political act by which personal and professional identities are re-positioned within new physical and symbolic domains. The multidimensionality of the self seems to find expression within the fluidity, the cacophony of voices and the non-linearity of these diasporic stories of migration, that allowed the participants, including myself, to be other and same. Language teaching seems also to become a sacred place where beauty can survive and where resistance to mainstream academic discourse can be performed.

Dr Khawla Badwan is Senior Lecturer in TESOL and applied linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests include educational language policy, language and mobility, language and social justice, sociolinguistics of globalisation, and higher education research. She is currently authoring a book entitled, ‘Language in a globalised world: Perspectives on mobility and contact’ to be published by Palgrave McMillan in 2021.

Dr Erika Fülöp is a Lecturer in French at Lancaster University. Her research interests lie mainly in two broader areas: the impact of digitalisation and the internet on culture, and literature in particular; and the modern and contemporary novel, especially metafiction and self-reflexive phenomena, and the narrative theoretical and philosophical issues these raise. The authors she has worked on include Marcel Proust, Amélie Nothomb, Éric Chevillard, Jacques Roubaud, Brice Matthieussent, Gabrielle Wittkop, and philosophers from Schelling and Ravaisson to Nietzsche and the French poststructuralists (Deleuze, Derrida), and more recently contemporary logician Graham Priest.

Donata Puntil is the Programme Director for the Modern language Centre, where she is responsible for internal and external staff development and intercultural training. Donata has extensive teaching and research experience in Second Language Acquisition, Intercultural Studies and Applied Linguistics, with a particular focus on using cinema and literature in language teaching.

Donata studied MFL in Italy with a degree in English and German literature with a thesis on Virginia Woolf and psychoanalysis. She carried on her passion for literature in her postgraduate studies in London with an MA in Comparative Literature at UCL and her passion for psychoanalysis with an MA in Psychoanalytical Studies at the University of Essex and at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. She also completed a number of postgraduate language teaching qualifications at the University of Siena and Bologna (DITALS I & II). She is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education at the Open University as part of the Diasporic Strand of the Language Acts and Worldmaking Project.

Panel: Language Actions: Connecting Communities

Cari Bottois, Futures of Community Languages
Charity Translators have been acting with languages in a small way since 2015, nevertheless this grassroots network has attracted more than 500 volunteers from across the globe. The ‘Languages Future’ conference provides the perfect forum to reflect on the journey of becoming a language community to discuss the real-world landscape of multilingualism in the charity sector. This activity has raised questions surrounding the growing need for community translation and interpreting in the UK, as opposed to the international field, and has led to formal research to explore this with smaller, less well-funded organisations or locally based charities outside the most urban of areas. Furthermore, the approach of participatory action research and ethnography have since been challenged by the arrival of Covid-19 to raise significant questions around appropriate and effective methodologies.

Sue Leschen, Interpreters’ cultural interventions in legal settings – help or hindrance to asylum seekers and refugees?
Interpreters who interpret for asylum seekers and refugees in legal settings such as immigration appeal tribunals and at Home Office screening and substantive interviews are often obliged to provide cultural interventions in order to clarify various terms such as “traditional marriage” and “brother”.

This begs the question – how much or alternatively how little should the interpreter say? This is potentially a legal minefield where unwittingly (or in some cases deliberately) the interpreter provides the client and/ or the other side with information that they did not know previously. Thus, interpreters in these kinds of settings may help or even hinder their clients’ cases.

Where the interpreter does not originate from the same culture and/ or country as the client there is a danger that the interpreter might actually provide all present with incorrect information. If the interpreter does not provide an interpretation of their intervention to the client, the client may have absolutely no idea as to what has just been explained on their behalf about their country and/ or traditions.

Interpreters wield a great deal of power. They are language and culture brokers and are key to the relationship of those with power such as judges and those without power such as asylum seekers. Where interpreters are competent, they can empower their clients so that they can ultimately participate in society. If they are incompetent, then they may unwittingly disenfranchise them.

Emily Butterworth, Duncan Hay and Leah Lovett, Demonstration: Memory Mapper

In this presentation, we will demonstrate the Memory Mapper, a toolkit for mapping memory and place. The Memory Map Toolkit is an open source web application for creating interactive maps for heritage, history, tourism, or any other circumstance in which you might want to combine rich media content with an interactive map. Built and maintained by the Barlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, it is developed in collaboration with the Survey of London, the Space Syntax Laboratory, and the writer and artist Rachel Lichtenstein. Using material from the project Spinning Stories, a collaborative art project between academic Emily Butterworth and artist Clare Qualmann about the East End launderette as a place of gossip, we will demonstrate how to build a simple map using the software.

Cari Bottois is a co-founding member and trustee with Charity Translators, a growing network of language volunteers supporting our charity sector. Cari describes herself as an accidental translator because her bilingual skills come from having roots in both North Wales and Normandy, and which naturally led to many opportunities for translation and interpreting during her career in the private and public sector. Her enthusiasm for translation only sparked in 2011 when it came together with her passion for charity work. Since then, Cari has completed a part-time MA in Translation to support her voluntary work and has accidentally become a community leader, independent researcher, and language activist. Cari has also recently started a new journey in postgraduate research with the support of the SWWDTP (AHRC), Cardiff University and the University of Exeter, where she will explore translation in the charity sector from the South West (UK).

Sue Leschen Sue Leschen is a lawyer – linguist and also the Director of Avocate, a niche market legal and commercial French interpreting and translation company based in Manchester, UK. She is also an independent legal terminology trainer and a one-to-one mentor and business guru for new and “old” language professionals.

Sue is also a member of CIOL’s Council, CIOL’s Interpreting Division and CIOL’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Groups. Sue supports the need for properly qualified, experienced, regulated, security checked and insured language professionals.

Emily Butterworth is Reader in Early Modern French at King’s College London. She is Co-Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies which is running the collaborative art project London Migrations exploring the movements into and out of London in the early modern period and its rich linguistic diversity.

Duncan Hay is a researcher and technologist investigating the relationship between culture, space, and technology. His PhD thesis examined the work of the London-based writer and filmmaker Iain Sinclair. With reference to the work of Walter Benjamin, the writings of the Situationist International, and Fredric Jameson, it reads Sinclair’s poetry and prose as an attempt to rediscover writing as a political, socially-oriented praxis in the wake of the failure of the 20th Century avant-gardes to achieve their revolutionary aims. He currently holds Research Associate positions at University College London and Lancaster University, and his current research combines the critical approaches developed in his thesis with practice-oriented digital methodologies. Recent projects include A Memory Map of the Jewish East End (https://jewisheastendmemorymap.org/), the Memory Map Toolkit (https://memorymapper.github.io), and Chronotopic Cartographies (https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/chronotopic-cartographies/).

Leah Lovett is an artist and Research Fellow in Connected Environments at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, where she collaborates with technologists and engages community participants to create site-specific poetry walks and locative audio trails. She completed her PhD at the Slade School of Art in 2018 with a practice-research project investigating Brazilian theatre-maker Augusto Boal's development of Invisible Theatre as a model of urban performance.

Roundtable: How will the study of languages make the world a better place? With Rutherford House School

An online installation of students’ work that portrays our MFL teaching methodology. Our MFL strategies seek to offer a real purpose to our pupils when learning a language. They also have the additional intent of providing them with a holistic understanding of the world.

This presentation will reveal that our approach aims to teach languages whilst improving confidence, independence and increasing a sense of connectedness. It will also communicate that we want our students to develop their global citizenship. That is the reason why we focus on celebrating diversity, embracing activities and events that bring us together.

The selected material will show how we enhance our pupils’ language learning through a range of different cross-curricular activities. The installation is structured into sections that reflect children’s involvement on many levels, including art, culinary skills and cultural awareness. Comments from members of staff, parents and children regarding the importance of learning languages are also featured.

During the Q&A session we will open a dialogue addressing the above question. Participants’ contributions will be welcome.

Katia Gatti graduated at Universita’ Statale di Milano with a degree in Law specializing in International Law.

In 2006 Katia moved to England and after a short period of time Katia and her family transferred to India for professional reasons and lived there for 3 years as expatriates. In India she had the opportunity to fully immerse herself into different cultures, traditions and languages. She also had the fantastic experience of becoming a mum.

In 2012 after her return from India, Katia began her teaching career by first volunteering at Balham Nursery and supporting a visually impaired child. She has dedicated three years specializing in Braille.

In 2014 she started working at Rutherford House School as a braille teacher specialist supporting a blind girl. In 2018, she trained as a Spanish teacher. Since then Katia has been teaching Spanish to Early Years and Key Stage 1 children alongside her Braille teaching.

Marta Lopez has been living and teaching in London for 23 years. Previously she studied a degree in English Philology. After moving to London and gaining her QTS in 1999, she started working as a Spanish assistant in a Secondary school in London.

In 2001 Marta travelled to Italy with a scholarship that helped her to develop her career in languages. Upon returning to London and having gained her certificate to teach MFL to adults, Marta started working as a language tutor at a range of different colleges and universities. Marta was awarded a BA (Honours) in Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, London in 2009. She has also studied subtitling for audio visual at UCL.

She has also taught languages as a Specialist language teacher, EAL and SEN teacher at a Language Unit in the primary sector. Marta took part in the London Schools of Excellence Funding and the Legacy LSEF. At the same time, she completed an MA module in Action Research at Westminster University.

She is currently the MFL Subject Leader and KS2 Spanish teacher at Chesterton Primary School and Rutherford House School, both in Wandsworth, London. Marta has also prepared Spanish A level projects for a UK educational publisher.