Language-related events in Scotland and beyond. Does not claim to be comprehensive or represent the views of SCILT.

Recognizing complexity in language learning and teaching

Venue: School of Education, University of Leeds
Visit website

Event Date: 03/07/2014 - 04/07/2014

The conference of the BAAL  Language Learning and Teaching Special Interest Group on "Recognizing complexity in language learning and teaching."

Plenary Speakers:
  • Professor Adrian Holliday, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Dr Sarah Mercer, Karl-Franzen University Graz, Austria
  • Professor Pauline Foster, St Mary's University College Twickenham

Everywhere we look in language education, things seem to be getting more complex. Once it seemed we had a manageable set of individual differences to distinguish learners; now, recognizing them as whole persons, we see an almost infinite array of attributes, identities and trajectories. Regarding learning activities, we long ago abandoned the search for a one-size-fits-all methodology for language teaching but the pedagogic options continue to multiply and the potential subject matter of the syllabus keeps expanding. We know teaching must fit the context, but on close inspection the classroom is found to be irreducibly complex too, and is often just one node in a network of communities relevant for learning. And in the broader context of language development and use, communities which were once largely monolingual are now 'superdiverse'.

What are teachers to do? Will continued research in language education inevitably complexify matters further? Or is it producing insights that can genuinely help teachers and learners? Are there theories, new or old, which offer hope of greater clarity in our understanding of learning and teaching processes?

Contributions are invited that address any of these questions, or indeed any other question broadly pertaining to the theme.

Call for papers:

Papers are invited for presentations of 20 minutes + 10 minutes for  questions. Poster proposals are also welcomed. Please send title and  250-word proposals for these by Sunday 23rd March 2014 to the email above.

University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages