our words make worlds

Languages Future Conference

*NOTICE: It is with great regret we write that, owing to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak in the UK, this event has been cancelled. We are hoping to find an alternative date and will update this page as soon as possible*

Language Acts and Worldmaking is pleased to announce the launch of its 2020 Conference, Languages Future, taking place at King's College London, Monday 27-Tuesday 28 April 2020. The guiding principle of Language Acts is that language holds the key to how we understand and construct the world and ourselves. This we call worldmaking. This principle has governed our commitment to connecting research and teaching in our work attempting to regenerate and transform Modern Languages. So far, we have worked with several hundred co-researchers and practitioners from a wide range of educational, social and cultural organisations. In our 2020 conference we want to strengthen these communities who share the aim of making language-learning inclusive, socially engaged and international in scope.

Languages Future consolidates our research by considering as a community how our work in languages and worldmaking should intervene in the major debates of our time. A key question is about capacity-building for future language learners, researchers and activists. Languages Future is a call for action. How do we boldly communicate the impact of the work languages do in the world?

Draft programme

Some conference themes include:

Changing the conversation Schools, university students, youth and community groups propose presentations and interventions around the question: ‘How will the study of languages make the world a better place?’

Ways of Worldmaking Fiction and the imagination of new linguistic worlds; Nationalism and languages; Storytelling; Translanguaging

Language Actions Activism; Changing attitudes to language-learning; Connecting communities; Framing policy; Innovative pedagogy; Setting agendas

New Horizons Digital culture and technology; Internationalism, transnationalism and the future of languages; Language, gender and sexuality; Translation and new media

PLUS Special Guest Speaker Professor David Crystal

Download the full draft programme: Languages Future draft programme 270220

Registration and further details

The conference will be free to attend and registration will be via eventbrite, which opens 3/3/20. For further information, please see the conference's Further details, and for information on the venue, please see its Practical information.

About Language Acts and Worldmaking

Language Acts and Worldmaking is an Arts and Humanities Research Council Open World Research Initiative flagship project. It aims to regenerate and transform Modern Languages learning, teaching and research by foregrounding language's power to shape how we think and feel about ourselves, other people around us, and the world in general. Involving colleagues from King’s College London, the Open University, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Westminster, our six different research strands are Travelling Concepts, Translation Acts, Digital Mediations, Loaded Meanings, Diasporic Identities and the Politics of Language Teaching, and Language Transitions.

Language Acts thanks the AHRC and King's College London's Arts and Humanities Research Institute for their support of this conference.

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