our words make worlds

Language Acts and Worldmaking Debates: Traversing Traditions, Opening Opportunities



Traversing Traditions,


Opening Opportunities


The Language Acts and Worldmaking round-table Debates Series was conceived by Cristina Ros i Solé (Goldsmiths, University of London) for Language Acts and Worldmaking, an Arts and Humanities Research Council Open World Research Initiative project (OWRI), to foster a dialogue on the connections, divergences and identities of well-established traditions in Modern Languages and Language Education. As a major element of the project’s Language Transitions strand led by Debra Kelly (Westminster) and Ana de Medeiros (King’s College London), the series focuses in particular on the synergies and fissures between Language Education across educational sectors and the humanities, as well as seeking to investigate new openings and possibilities for the future. This is a three-year programme of debates which began in the academic year 2017/18, culminating in a collective publication and a series of associated papers. The Debates take place at Language Acts and Worldmaking universities and collaborating institutions.


We have defined ‘Language Transitions’ as ‘border zones of learning’ between stages that often become more of an hindrance than a stepping stone for so many language learners, whatever their level. The aim in the Debates is therefore to establish connections and create new directions for existing provision and for educational sectors in order to discuss how to foster dialogue, create smoother transitions and re-energise the field by examining current concerns and pedagogies in the field. Each Debate addresses a different aspect of these transitions and emphasises the benefits and challenges of traversing educational terrains and traditions to enrich and widen the experience of Modern, Community and World Languages.


The Debates adopt various formats, including short presentations and Q&A sessions, position papers and responses to these papers, panel and round table discussions with prominent experts, policy makers, academics and teachers.


All papers are posted on-line on the Language Acts and Worldmaking website and blog: www.languageacts.org. This is the virtual home for posting information on the latest news and developments in the Debates Series, and the place where all the information about this series is archived.


Debates Series 2017/2018:


Debate 1: 4 Oct 17, Language Education Activism (King’s College London)


Debate 2:15 Nov 17, Modern Languages—A Discipline (still) in Search of an Identity?

(University of Westminster)


Debate 3: 14 Feb 18, Should second language acquisition and language teaching be aligned and how? (King’s College London)


Debate 4: 21 Mar 18, Has the digital world revolutionised language pedagogy? (King’s College London)


Debate 5: 25 Apr 18, Interculturality and Creativity in Language Education (King’s College)


Debates Series 2018/2019:


Debate 1: 7 Nov 18, Communicating Emotions in a Foreign Language (University of Westminster)


Debate 2: 13 Feb 19, Theme: TBC (King’s College London)


Debate 3: 13 Mar 19Gender and Modern Languages in Schools  (University of Westminster)


Debate 4: 1 May 19, Gender, Modern Languages and Technology  (King’s College London)


Debate 5: June 19, Date, theme, venue TBC


There were 5 Debates in the academic year 2017/2018: October, November, February, March, April; 5 Debates in 2018/2019: , November, February, March, April,June and 3 final Debates in 2019/2020. Debates take place on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7.30pm, followed by refreshments (until 8pm). An event in the final year of the project will be dedicated to bringing all the strands of these debates together, with a view to ensuing publication.