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Welcome to Languages at Southampton

Welcome to Languages at Southampton
Are you interested in learning a new language or improving one that you have learnt before? At Southampton, you have a wide choice of languages to learn and ways to learn them. You can study them as part of your degree, in a social group, through a Lifelong Learning class or independently, using the University’s language learning resources. This portal will link you to all you need to find out what’s going on in languages at Southampton, as well as national and international language-related news.

Language teaching and learning at Southampton is coordinated by the Centre for Language Study within the Department for Modern Languages. This site is maintained by the eLanguages team.

Latest News


Modern Languages to welcome Year 12 students for Study Day

Modern Languages

Modern Languages will welcome 40 Year 12 students from 6 schools across the south east to Avenue Campus next Wednesday 18th January for a Year 12 Study Day. This will be the first of two events in the year for Year 12 students to think about studying languages at university. There will be sessions on cultural topics, grammar and speaking in French, German or Spanish, plus the chance to do an ab initio session in another language (such as Chinese or Portuguese). There will also be a student panel session, where students will have the opportunity to ask our own students about studying languages at university, and find out first-hand about the year abroad and other aspects of student life.

Visiting students may be interested to check out our resource Get Ready for Languages, which aims to guide you to useful information about your life as a Modern Languages student at Southampton. You can read about staff in the Modern Languages department, discover what sorts of things Modern Languages students, past and present, are getting up to, and explore some of the modules you might decide to do. All this and more! To keep updated on Modern Languages events and languages-related news, you can also follow us on the Languages at Southampton blog, and on Twitter @ModernLangs.

We welcome all students to Avenue Campus and hope you enjoy your time with us!

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Modern Languages and International Centre welcome Chinese university English teachers


Modern Languages and the International Centre are delighted to welcome a group of 40 Chinese university English teachers who will be studying with us for Semester 2 on the China Scholarship Council (CSC) Training Programme.

Colleagues are invited to come and meet the group for tea and coffee in the South Corridor on their first day, Thursday 12th January at 11:00-12:00. We welcome all group members and look forward to working with you over the coming semester!

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Last chance to register for symposium


Don’t forget to register for your place at this month’s symposium in honour of Professor Michael Kelly before the closing date for registration of Tuesday 10th January.

The symposium will be taking place on Friday 20th January 2017 at Europe House, London. For further details about the symposium, see our recent blog post, and to register for your place, visit the Eventbrite page. The event is free of charge with lunch and refreshments included.

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Next CLLEAR seminar: “Once a native, always a native? Language attrition and constraints on bilingual development”


The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 11th January 2017 from 4:00-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Once a native, always a native? Language attrition and constraints on bilingual development” and will be delivered by Professor Monika Schmid from the University of Essex. All welcome for the seminar and discussion!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Bilinguals are not, as François Grosjean so famously pointed out, “two monolinguals in one person”. They use language differently from monolinguals, they differ from them in terms of processing, of acquisition, in their performance on controlled tasks and so on. We know this to be true, and yet it does not seem to have informed our research to the degree that it should: When we try to assess proficiency levels, probe underlying representations, investigate language production or processing, and so on, among L2 users – we still tend to compare them, as far as possible, to a monolingual reference group. Does it make sense to compare two groups that we know a priori to be different in order to find out that they are indeed different?

I will argue that in order to answer some of the most pressing questions in bilingualism research nowadays, such as whether language acquisition in childhood is qualitatively or merely quantitatively different from language acquisition later in life, we should invoke L1 attrition as part of the bilingual equation. We can thus put the populations that we compare on an equal footing with respect to their being bilinguals. In other words, we should not compare monolinguals and bilinguals, but dominant and non-dominant languages. In the case of L1 attriters, the non-dominant language is the one which was acquired as the first and only language in childhood (and was thus not subject to any maturational constraints). In the case of L2 learners, the non-dominant language (ie., the language that we are interested in) was acquired later in life, after the first language had been established.

Such a comparison has the potential of separating those linguistic factors that are vulnerable to cross-linguistic interference in both early- and late-learned languages (and on which both populations differ from monolingual controls) from those that might indeed have been affected by some kind of a Critical Period (which are stable in attriters but variable in L2 speakers).

I will illustrate this argument with data from a number of ongoing investigations, using behavioral measures, free speech data and evidence from neuroimaging studies.

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Happy New Year from Languages at Southampton!


Happy New Year 2017 to all followers of our Languages at Southampton blog! Keep an eye on our blog and Modern Languages Twitter to keep updated on Modern Languages events and language-related news this year.

If you are thinking of continuing your language learning in 2017, watch this space for details for our next series of Modern Languages evening courses starting this month!

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Merry Christmas from Languages at Southampton!

Christmas tree

Wishing all followers of our Languages at Southampton blog: students, staff and friends of Modern Languages at the University of Southampton, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017!

Please continue to follow us in the New Year on our blog and on Twitter to keep up-to-date about all Modern Languages events and language-related news.

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Merry Christmas to all our students!


Wishing all of our students starting the Christmas break at the end of this week a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017!

Have a restful and enjoyable break and don’t forget to connect with us again in the New Year on our blog and on Twitter to keep updated on Modern Languages events and language-related news.

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Modern Languages graduation today!

Winter Graduation

Many of our new graduates in Modern Languages are attending the Winter Graduation ceremony at the University of Southampton today, and are graduating alongside other students from the Faculty of Humanities.
Many congratulations to all of our new graduates! Don’t forget you can keep in touch with the University via the Southampton Alumni Facebook page or on Twitter @UniSotonAlumni.

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EuroCALL 2017: Call for papers


The 25th EuroCALL conference will be held at the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, from 23rd-26th August 2017. A call for papers has been issued and the deadline for submissions is 31st January 2017.

The conference theme is ‘CALL in a Climate of Change: Adapting to Turbulent Global Conditions’. This theme encompasses the notion of how CALL can, and is responding to changing global circumstances which impact on education, be they in economic, political or environmental spheres. It cuts across areas including teacher training, competitive educational models, open education, models for blended learning, collaboration, creative and innovative pedagogy, student engagement, students’ needs and sustainability.

The EuroCALL 2017 conference aims to discuss and discover insights into how the theories and practices of CALL are driving, responding to and facilitating change in the world around us.
EuroCALL conferences are hosted under the auspices of the EuroCALL: the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning. They bring together educators, researchers, PhD students, administrators, designers of software and language learning systems, policy makers and other professionals involved in Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) around the globe.

The programme will include individual papers, symposia, workshops, presentations on EU-funded projects, and posters. Submit your abstract here. Visit the EuroCALL 2017 website for further information about the conference.

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Next MeXsu seminar: ‘Volcano activity and other possible natural hazards in Mexico and its impact on the surrounding rural communities and urban settlements’


The next Centre for Mexico-Southampton Collaboration (MeXsu) seminar will take place at 6pm on Friday 16th December 2016, in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled “Volcano activity and other possible natural hazards in Mexico and its impact on the surrounding rural communities and urban settlements” and will be presented by Dr Carlos Valdés Gonzales, General Director CENAPRED, National Centre for Disaster Prevention in Mexico.

In the seminar, Dr Valdés will explain how different natural hazards are monitored on daily basis in order to ensure the safety of the populations at risk in México. When disaster strikes, effective and early warnings are paramount. How can Mexico hold an excellent record for ensuring its population safety since the mayor earthquake in 1986? All welcome! Wine and refreshments will be served.

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