our words make worlds

Language Acts and Worldmaking Debates: Collaboration in Languages in HE - Towards New Models?

Our third Debate in this year’s Series welcomes Chiara Cirillo (University of Reading), Mark Critchley (Centre for Foreign Language Study, Durham University), Benedict Schofield (King's College London) and Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi (University College London) to discuss the results of the recently published survey report on Language Provision in Modern Foreign Languages Departments 2018. The report was compiled by the Language Acts and Worldmaking project’s Diasporic Identities and the Politics of Language Teaching research strand, in collaboration with UCML and AULC (published in October 2018).

The focus of the survey is the provision of language models in Modern Languages departments and the various models of collaboration between Modern Language departments and Institution-Wide Language Provision (IWLP) in UK Universities. It aims to fill a space that is under-researched and to complement the annual AULC-UCML national IWLP survey.

Despite often growing, wider-ranging and deeper collaboration between Modern Languages departments and IWLP, several issues remain. On one level, for example, there is the need for better understanding between programmes; on another it is clear that better working conditions for IWLP staff still need to be addressed.

Our panel and participants will have the chance to discuss the recommendations of the report, to explore ways to strengthen inclusion and diversity, to consider better integration of all languages, and to debate the possibility of a 'single voice' for MFL and IWLP. This Debate is an invitation to reflect further on how our discipline is conceptualised and what sorts of measure could be implemented to overcome the challenges it currently faces.

This event is jointly organised by the Language Transitions and the Diasporic Identities and the Politics of Language Teaching research strands.

Guest speakers:

Chiara Cirillo, University of Reading

Mark Critchley, Centre for Foreign Language Study, Durham University

Benedict Schofield, King's College London

Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi, University College London


Mara Fuertes Gutierrez, Open University

A drinks reception will take place from 7:15–7.45pm.

Sign up for this debate here.

Download the poster for this debate here

Part of the Language Acts and Worldmaking Worldmaking Fair.