Italian film showing today: Pazze di me / Women Drive Me Crazy (Fausto Brizzi, 2013)

Italian flagThe Italian film Una giornata particolare (Fausto Brizzi, 2013)(91 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 30th April 2018. Review, introduction and discussion by Benedetta Brossa, Modern Languages Erasmus student from Turin, Italy (English & Arabic). All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

N.B. This is the last film of the season, so the discussion will take place over nibbles and drinks. You can bring some finger food or something to drink, but it is not a must.

In questa commedia si racconta la disgraziata vita di Andrea, unico maschio in una famiglia composta da sole donne alfa. A trent’anni non è ancora riuscito a lasciare il nido famigliare e a sfuggire alla morsa delle femmine squilibrate da cui è circondato: madre, tre sorelle, nonna, badante e cagnetta. Le sue storie sentimentali sono sempre state rovinate dalla presenza invadente della sua famiglia e per questo Andrea decide di tentare di salvare la sua relazione con Giulia attraverso un nuovo espediente: fingerà fin dall’inizio di essere orfano. Ma presto il suo piano inizia ad incrinarsi perché le vicende personali delle donne della sua famiglia vanno complicandosi e Andrea si trova a doverle gestire tutte. Riuscirà Andrea a conquistare la sua indipendenza, a trovare la felicità e a risolvere anche i problemi di tutte le donne della sua famiglia?

This comedy is about the unfortunate life of Andrea, the only man in a family consisting wholly of alpha females. He is thirty but he hasn’t been able to leave his family home and escape the oppression of the crazy women he is surrounded by: his mother, three sisters, grandmother, carer and the female dog. The stories of his love life are always ruined by his family sticking their nose in. For this reason, Andrea decides to save his relationship with Giulia with an elaborate lie: he pretends to be an orphan. However, this plan soon fails because of growing complications in his family’s stories that he is forced to deal with. Will Andrea be able to achieve his independence, find happiness and at the same time solve the problems of all the women in his life?

Next CLLEAR seminar: ‘I’ll have a burg[ə] and a fant[ʌ]’: acquiring variation in a new language

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 25th April 2018 at 4pm in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “‘I’ll have a burg[ə] and a fant[ʌ]’: acquiring variation in a new language” and will be delivered by Dr Gerry Howley from the University of Sheffield. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this paper, I present results from a mixed methods study that combines quantitative analysis with ethnography. I examine the acquisition of vernacular dialect variation by Roma migrants in Manchester, England. While it is now widely recognised that migrants can acquire local dialect features in a new language, it is still unclear why some speakers acquire more features than others. I analyse variation across a range of vocalic variables to establish what social factors impact upon Roma migrants acquiring (or not) local patterns of variation. Results indicate that speakers with more open friendship networks produce more vernacular patterns of variation, providing further, fine-grained understanding of why some migrants may acquire more dialect features than others. Increasing (super)diversity in Europe’s cities brings issues of migration and integration to the top of political agendas. When a migrant acquires a dialect in a new language, this can be seen as an indicator of the way he is positioning himself within the local culture.

Italian film showing today: Una giornata particolare / A special day (Ettore Scola, 1977)

Italian flagThe Italian film Una giornata particolare (Ettore Scola, 1977)(105 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre C (please note the change of room from usual), Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 23rd April 2018. Review, introduction and discussion by Neil Tibbetts. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

In questo film del 1977 Sophia Loren e Marcello Mastroianni interpretano due vicini di casa che si conoscono per la prima volta quando sono gli unici due abitanti di un condominio rimasti a casa il giorno in cui Hitler è a Roma per una visita di Stato con Mussolini.

Le loro vite sono completamente diverse. Lei è la moglie di un attivista del partito fascista e una madre affaticata dalla cura di tanti figli. Lui, che abita da solo in uno degli appartamenti di fronte, vive nella paura di esser perseguitato dalle forze dello Stato fascista perché è anti-fascista e omosessuale.

Il film, un classico italiano degli anni ‘70 che ha vinto premi internazionali (César e Golden Globe) per miglior film in lingua straniera e che fu anche nominato agli Oscar, narra come questo incontro casuale tra Antonietta e Gabriele, due persone emarginate in una società patriarcale ed oppressiva, diventa una storia d’amore un po’ particolare.
In this 1977 film, Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni play two neighbours who meet for the first time when they are the only two left in their block of flats on the day when Hitler comes to Rome on a State visit with Mussolini.

Their lives are completely different. She is the wife of a Fascist party activist and the exhausted mother of many children. He lives alone in an apartment opposite and is in fear of persecution by the Fascist state because he is anti-Fascist and homosexual.

This classic 1970s Italian film, winner of international prizes for best foreign film (César and Golden Globe) and nominated for an Oscar, tells the story of how this chance encounter between Antonietta and Gabriele, two marginalised people in an oppressive, patriarchal society, becomes a special kind of love story.

SIGLTA meeting on Friday 20th April: An Investigation of Assessment Practices in Mexican EMI Programmes

You are cordially invited to attend the Special Interest Group in Language Testing and Assessment (SIGLTA) meeting. SIGLTA is a faculty-supported postgraduate student-led reading/research group. The meeting is at 17:00-18:00 on Friday 20/04/2018 in room 1097, Avenue Campus (building 65).

Abstract: Assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning practices, in fact, assessment is oriented to develop the students’ academic skills. However, nowadays in Higher Education Institutions (HEI) where the instruction is offered in a second language and where neither the teachers nor the students are native speakers of such language; assessment could represent a double challenge for the instructors. On the one hand, they have to design authentic, valid and reliable assessment tools that represents the proper students’ skills’ development in the topic to be learned; and on the other hand that shows enough evidence that the students are improving their language skills.

The aim of this study is to examine the assessment practices of content teachers in a University in Mexico where English language is used as the Medium of Instruction (EMI); and where the students are no required to prove language competences at the beginning of their courses. The objective is to evaluate to what extent content teachers are consciously including language features in their assessment practices and the level of integration of content and language in this particular programme. Overall, it is expected that the results of the data analysis and interviews with the content teachers could be used in the design of a framework to help content teachers to develop valid and reliable assessment tools in higher education in programmes where the main goal is the integration of content and language.

Biodata: Lizbeth Morales-Berlanga, 2nd year PhD student at the University of Southampton. Her research project specialises in assessment and language testing in EMI environments in Mexico and Latin America, her previous research provides information about teachers´ perspectives in assessing speaking skills in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. Her research interests include assessment methods and assessment practices in EAP, EMI, CLIL and ELF contexts.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Methodological considerations in measuring ambiguous relative clause attachment strategies in bilinguals

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Monday 16th April 2018 at 15:30 in Room 1011, Building 67, Highfield Campus. The talk is entitled “Methodological considerations in measuring ambiguous relative clause attachment strategies in bilinguals” and will be delivered by Elena Valenzuela from the University of Ottawa. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
It has been argued that monolinguals and bilinguals differ in how they resolve ambiguities in relative clause attachment. Cuetos and Mitchell (1988) first noted that sentences as in (1) and (2), which contain a complex NP of the type “NP of NP” followed by a relative clause (RC), are parsed differently depending on the language:
(1) She kissed the brother(NP1) of the poet(NP2) that was on the balcony.
(2) Elle a embrassé le frère(NP1) du poète(NP2) qui était sur la balcon.
In English (1), the poet is on the balcony whereas in the same sentence in French (2), it is the brother who is on the balcony. Languages can be grouped according to the parsing strategy for monolinguals: high attachment (Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, etc.) and low attachment (English, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, etc.).

Dussias and Sagarra (2007) found that language dominance was the Spanish-dominant bilinguals with limited exposure to English preferred high attachment in both languages, while bilinguals with extensive exposure to English preferred low attachment in both English and Spanish. Valenzuela et al. (2015) examined the parsing strategies of bilinguals in code-switched sentences and also found that language dominance and exposure played the greatest role for parsing. However, in these previous studies, participants were all living in an English environment at the time of testing which may have influenced so-called language dominance. In our study we test French/English bilinguals living their dominant language environment.
This research examines parsing strategies in monolingual and code-switched sentences to address the following research questions:
i. Does language dominance play a role in parsing strategies?
ii. Does direction of the language code-switch affect processing?
iii. Does the direction of the language code-switch affect processing differently based on individual’s language dominance?

Two groups of bilinguals: French/English living in English dominant environment (n=15) and French/English living in French dominant environment (n=14) were tested on their parsing strategies of French, English, and French/English code-switched ambiguous relative clauses. Participants were given two experimental tasks: Sentence Judgment Task and Sentence Completion Task. Results show that across the board low attachment was preferred regardless of the language environment and language dominance of the participant. This may suggest that, as in Dussias and Sagarra (2007), language exposure plays an important role. However, this may also be due to the prolonged language contact situation in Canada resulting in an emerging dialect. Results will be discussed in terms of language dominance, frequency of language usage, and appropriateness of the methodology used.

The Basque Child Refugees from the Spanish Civil War – history and memory

28 June 2018 1330-1630: Building 6, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton

The University of Southampton, which houses the Basque Child Refugee Archive in its Special Collections, plays host to an afternoon of talks, followed by an opportunity to see a new exhibition of work by the artist Claire Hignett. Booking is essential.

• Introduction and welcome: Dr J Beswick, University of Southampton
• The Spanish Civil War and the battle for the souls of the Basque children: Dr P Anderson, University of Leeds
• The Basque children in Suffolk – a local study: Dr E Packard, University of Suffolk
• The Spanish Civil War refugees and the French “concentration” camps of 1939: Dr G S Soo, University of Southampton
• The teachers from Spain who accompanied the Basque children into exile: Carmen Kilner, Basque Children Association 1937
• Questions, discussion and summary: Dr G S Soo

From Bilbao to Southampton to Salford: an exhibition of work by Claire Hignett

1630-1730: Level 4 Gallery, Hartley Library, Highfield Campus

An opportunity to view the exhibition, with tea.

Booking instructions

Tickets for the event can be booked through Eventbrite.

CGE Research Seminar on 18th April: Tutor-student interaction in one-to-one academic writing tutorials


The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 18th April 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Ursula Wingate from King’s College London. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
One-to-one advice on academic writing, which has a long tradition in US universities, has recently proliferated in the UK university system. As this is a cost-intensive provision, evidence of teaching behaviours that lead to satisfactory outcomes for students is important. Previous research has identified dialogic instructional discourse, in which knowledge is scaffolded and co-constructed, as a feature successful tutorials (e.g. Haneda 2004; Thonus 2002). In a recent study, I analysed ten tutorials involving five tutors and eight students for interactional features related to dialogic teaching, focusing on exchange initiations, distribution of knower roles, and moves which facilitated extended sequences of exploratory talk. The findings show a prevalence of collaborative dialogue that enabled the joint construction of meaning and knowledge. However, there were also examples of monologic tutoring, characterised by a lack of questions and a high occurrence of unmitigated directives. Based on these findings, I make some recommendations for tutor training and the organisation of academic writing tutorials.

Haneda, M. (2004). The joint construction of meaning in writing conferences. Applied Linguistics 25, 178–219.
Thonus, T. (2002). Tutor and student assessments of academic writing tutorials: What is “success”? Assessing Writing 8, 110–134.

Critical Realist Discourse Analysis, Motherhood and Gender: A Systematic Method of Analysis

4-6pm on Thursday 19th April, Building 6, Room 1081, Highfield Campus

In this talk, Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten (University of Portsmouth) proposes a method for undertaking applied critical realist discourse analysis (CRDA) with a specific focus on talk around motherhood, female employment and daycare generated from interviews with Dutch and English mothers (N=40).

This will be done through providing a framework, a method, for making sense of the participants’ narratives and accounts, looking at discursive and non-discursive factors through proposing three distinctive phases (a scaffolding phase, a data collection phase, and a synthesised discourse analysis phase) grounded in Bhaskar’s critical realist approach. Focusing on abduction, retroduction and Bhaskar’s (2014) ‘laminated systems’ (irreducible mechanisms that influence a phenomenon at different levels/scales) Sims-Schouten aims to provide insight into causal variables and structures that scaffold the participants’ narratives.

You can register for the talk on Eventbrite.