Italian film showing today: Tre fratelli / Three Brothers (Francesco Rosi, 1981)

Italian flag

The Italian film, Tre fratelli / Three Brothers (Francesco Rosi, 1981) (107 minutes, subtitles in English) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6.30pm on Monday 30th January 2017. Review, introduction and discussion by Paola Visconti. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube. Read more…

MeXsu film screening and seminar: “Hip Hop Revolución” (Documentary)


The next Centre for Mexico-Southampton Collaboration (MeXsu) event will be a film screening and seminar, hosted jointly with the Department of Film, which will take place from 5:15-7:00pm on Wednesday 1st February 2017, in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled “Hip Hop Revolución” (Documentary, Alborada Films, 60 mins, 2015) and will be presented by the documentary director, Pablo Navarrete. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
British activist Jody McIntyre travels to Venezuela with UK-Iraqi rapper Lowkey to spend time with ‘Hip Hop Revolución’, a dynamic collective of musical revolutionaries. They witness their inspiring grassroots work and share music and ideas, exploring the cultural and political changes taking place in the country. At its heart, this film is about the power of music, community and the spirit of rebellion.

Pablo Navarrete will be joining us to discuss the film after the screening. He is a British-Chilean journalist and documentary filmmaker. He is the founder and editor of, a website covering Latin America related issues such as politics, media and culture and is co-editor of Alborada Magazine. Besides directing acclaimed films and work for television, he has co-authored a book on Venezuelan politics and spoken and written on many occasions about Latin American political issues.

Chinese New Year Celebration Event

China Day

The Confucius Institute at the University of Southampton and the Chinese Association of Southampton are jointly hosting a Chinese New Year Celebration Event 2017, taking place at WestQuay Shopping Centre on Sunday 29th January 2017 from 2:00-5:00pm. Activities will include a lion and dragon dance, a Kung Fu display, Chinese opera, cultural workshops and a Chinese children books exhibition.

For further information about this event, please visit the Confucius Institute website.

EuroCALL 2017: Call for papers extended


The call for papers deadline for the 25th EuroCALL conference, to be held at the University of Southampton from 23rd-26th August 2017, has been extended to 14th February 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 programme will include individual papers, symposia, workshops, presentations on EU-funded projects, and posters. Submit your abstract here. You can also visit the EuroCALL 2017 website for further information about the conference.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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!