Next CLLEAR seminar: Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 at 4pm in Room 1177, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Thinking ahead in a second language: On the role of prediction in L2 processing” and will be delivered by Theres Gruter from Hawaii. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The role of prediction in native language (L1) processing has been investigated, and debated, extensively over the past couple of decades. Yet it is only in the last few years that prediction/anticipation in second language (L2) processing has become a topic of interest. In this talk, I will discuss how the investigation of prediction in L2 processing may help us move beyond the common but rather unsatisfying description of differences between L1 and L2 speakers as L2 learners having “a processing problem”. In recent and on-going research in our lab, we have used online (visual-world eye-tracking) and offline methods to probe to what extent L2 listeners engage in proactive ‘thinking ahead’ during sentence and discourse processing. Drawing on findings from studies targeting various linguistic cues that can give rise to anticipatory processing – including classifiers in Mandarin Chinese and grammatical aspect in English – I will argue that L2 speakers do not necessarily differ from L1 speakers in whether or not they engage in prediction, but in how and when they engage in prediction, and what information they use to generate expectations about upcoming information. Taken together, these findings suggest that prediction is a universal mechanism of human language processing (and behaviour more generally), and that L1 and L2 speakers make adaptive use of this mechanism depending on its utility given their knowledge and processing goals.

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?

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.

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.

Call for papers extended – BAAL Language Learning and Teach SIG, July 2018

University of Southampton

The deadline for submitting a propsal to “Language teaching and learning in unstable times, and in changing political landscapes”, the BAAL SIG running on 12th-13th July 2018, has now been extended to Wednesday 21st March. You can find out more about the event from our previous blog post.

Italian film showing today: Profondo rosso / Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)

Italian flagThe Italian film Profondo rosso / Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975)(126 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 12th March 2018. Review, introduction and discussion via Skype by Emilio Audissino. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

Dario Argento è stato chiamato “l’Alfred Hitchcock italiano”, un maestro della suspense. In realtà, più che della suspense, Argento è maestro di fantasie sanguinolente e della vera e propria paura, ma come il regista inglese, Argento è uno “stilista”, tutti i suoi lavori mostrano una grande attenzione estetica per la composizione fotografica e per l’eleganza visiva. Profondo Rosso è da molti considerato il suo capolavoro, il rappresentante di maggior successo di quel genere chiamato “giallo”, un tipo di thriller all’italiana caratterizzato da un assassino misterioso e psicopatico e da omicidi altamente coreografati e sadicamente ingegnosi. Il film racconta la vicenda di un jazzista britannico che, trovandosi in Italia per un contratto d’insegnamento, assiste a un omicidio e si ritrova così coinvolto in un’investigazione privata che svelerà un agghiacciante segreto del passato e metterà la sua stessa vita in serio pericolo. Il film si avvale di una celebre colonna musicale che unisce il rock progressive dei Goblin con il jazz di Giorgio Gaslini, senza contare una ninna-nanna inquietante difficile da dimenticare…
Dario Argento has been hailed as “the Italian Alfred Hitchcock,” a master of suspense. Actually, more than suspense, Argento is a master of gruesome fantasies and outright fear, but like Hitchcock, Argento is a “film stylist”. All his works present a great aesthetic concern for careful photographic composition and visual elegance. Profondo Rosso is generally considered to be his masterpiece, the most successful representative of a genre called “giallo,” a type of Italian thriller characterised by mysterious and deranged killers and highly choreographed and sadistically inventive murders. The film tells the story of a British jazz musician who, while in Italy for a teaching engagement, witnesses a murder and as a consequence is caught up in a personal investigation that will expose a horrifying secret from the past and will put his own life in grave danger. The film features a celebrated score that mixes Goblin’s progressive rock with Giorgio Gaslini’s jazz, not to mention an unforgettably sinister lullaby…

Second call for papers – 14th Annual Conference of the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG

University of Southampton


“Language teaching and learning in unstable times, and in changing political landscapes” – the 14th Annual Conference of the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching Special Interest Group

12 & 13 July 2018

Hosted by the Centre for Language Learning, Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR), Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics (MLL), University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Proposal deadline is Friday 16th March 2018

CONFERENCE THEME: “Language teaching and learning in unstable times, and in changing political landscapes”

The theme of the LLT SIG conference at Southampton in 2018 will enable participants to discuss the challenges offered to traditional language education policy and practice by increasing interconnected globalization and changing conceptions of identity, accompanied by a rise in global migratory flows, resurgent nationalism and social inequality. These challenges have both foreseen and unforeseen consequences for the development and implementation of language education policy, and for teaching, learning and assessment practices. We invite papers and posters which make a contribution to understanding the issues which arise in the pre-school, school, and university language curriculum, in community-based and online learning and teaching contexts, and in the evaluation and management processes which shape language education experiences.


Abstracts are invited on any aspect of language teaching and learning, based on research in Applied Linguistics or related perspectives on language education. Abstracts which address the conference theme, and which relate to lesser taught languages, such as Chinese, will be particularly welcome.
Proposals are invited for paper presentations of 20 minutes + 5 minutes for questions. Poster proposals are also welcome. A title + abstract of maximum 250 words should be submitted. Abstracts should report original research and profile the context, objectives, method(s), and results of your study.
All proposals should be submitted by 16 March 2018 here.

Italian film showing today: L’ora legale / It’s the Law (Salvatore Ficarra e Valentino Picone, 2017)

Italian flagThe Italian film L’ora legale (Salvatore Ficarra e Valentino Picone, 2017)(89 minutes, Italian subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 5th March 2018. Review, introduction and discussion by Leonardo Provvedi. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

A Pietrammare, un paesino della Sicilia, gli abitanti sono stanchi del livello di corruzione e malaffare dell’amministrazione comunale, guidata dal sindaco Gaetano Patanè. All’avvicinarsi delle elezioni un altro candidato, Pierpaolo Natoli, decide di sfidare Patanè presentandosi con un programma che promette di riportare nel paese i valori dell’onestà e di ristabilire il rispetto delle regole. Malgrado tutte le previsioni, Natoli riesce ad essere eletto sindaco e comincia a mantenere le promesse fatte in campagna elettorale. Ma le cose non andranno esattamente come previsto. I protagonisti di questa commedia sono Salvo e Valentino (Ficarra e Picone), parenti del nuovo sindaco Natoli, due personaggi molto diversi tra loro che rappresentano i diversi atteggiamenti degli italiani di fronte alla politica.
The residents of Pietrammare, a small town in Sicily, are fed up with the corruption and dishonesty of the local administration, which is led by Mayor Gaetano Patanè. As local elections approach, he is challenged by another candidate, Pierpaolo Natoli, who runs on a programme that promises to bring back honesty and reestablish legality. Against all odds, Natoli is elected as the new Mayor and begins to fulfill the promises made during his electoral campaign. But things don’t go as planned. The protagonists of this comedy are Salvo and Valentino, who have family ties with the new mayor and who, with their opposing characters, represent the Italians’ different attitudes towards politics. A topical film after the Italian general election yesterday.

Italian film showing today: Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973)

Italian flagThe Italian film Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973)(118 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 26th February 2018. Review by the late Sandro Filipik who presented the film to us in 2009; introduction and discussion by Paola Visconti. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

Amarcord è certamente il film più autobiografico di Fellini. In questo film lui ricorda, come in un sogno, un anno della sua adolescenza raccontando e descrivendo, tra realtà e fantasia, i personaggi che facevano parte del suo mondo. Il film è ambientato nella sua città natale, Rimini, ed il titolo, Amarcord, viene dal dialetto romagnolo: “a m’arcord” vuol dire “io mi ricordo”. Siamo nel 1933 e Fellini, si diverte producendo un film pieno di satira politica (è il periodo del fascismo e Mussolini è al potere) con ironici riferimenti continui ai valori morali dell’epoca. Non sorprende che Fellini ha iniziato la sua carriera come giornalista umoristico ed è considerato uno dei più eccellenti ed eccentrici registi del ventesimo secolo. Il suo forte è sempre stato, in tutti i suoi film, come risalta l’individualità dei suoi personaggi: tutti diversi e tutti completamente validi nel senso che vedendoli apprendiamo a rispettare, capire e dare valore a tutte le caratteristiche dell’essere umano…ed ad amare la vita.
“Amarcord “is the most autobiographical of Fellini’s films. In this film he remembers, as if in a dream, a year of his teen years and describes, between reality and fantasy, the characters who were part of his upbringing. The film is set in his home town, Rimini, and the title, “Amarcord”, comes from “a m’arcord” which means “I remember” in the dialect of the Emilia Romagna region. We are in 1933 and Fellini has fun producing a film full of political satire (it is the height of Fascism and Mussolini is in power) as well as ironic comments on the moral values of the period. It is not surprising that Fellini, who started his working life as a satirical journalist, is considered one of the greatest, eccentric directors of the twentieth century. His strength lies in his ability to highlight the uniquely compelling traits of his characters, who are all completely different from one another and all completely valid. Getting close to them on the screen makes us respect, understand and appreciate every aspect of human nature…and love life all the more.

Italian film showing today: L’arbitro / The Referee (Paolo Zucca, 2013)

Italian flagThe Italian film L’arbitro / The Referee (Paolo Zucca, 2013)(93 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 19th February 2018. Review, introduction and discussion will be via Skype by the director himself, Paolo Zucca. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

L’Arbitro sviluppa diverse trame incrociate, tutte legate al mondo del calcio. Una è quella del ‘principe’ Cruciani, un arbitro professionista più ambizioso che onesto, il cui sogno è quello di dirigere una finale di Champions League. Una è quella della rivalità tra due squadre dell’ultima categoria del calcio dilettantistico in Sardegna: il Montecrastu, capitanato dall’odioso ‘fazendero’ Brai e il Pabarile, sempre ultimo in classifica, fino a quando in paese non ritorna dall’Argentina un giovane emigrato di nome Matzutzi. Una è una bizzarra love story tra Matzutzi e Miranda, la bisbetica figlia di Prospero, l’allenatore cieco (!) del Pabarile. La quarta e ultima trama è legata ai codici arcaici del mondo agropastorale sardo: un giocatore del Montecrastu ruba un agnello a suo cugino, che reagisce con un dispetto, al quale ne segue un altro. E così via fino alle estreme conseguenze. Uno degli aspetti più interessanti del film è il riferimento costante alla simbologia del cristianesimo.

Several storylines are intertwined in “The Referee”, all of them linked to the world of football. One of the stories is that of ‘Prince’ Cruciani, a professional referee, more ambitious than honest, who dreams of officiating at a Champions League final. Another deals with the rivalry between two low-ranking amateur league teams in Sardinia: Montecrastu, captained by the hateful ‘fazendero’ Brai, and Pabarile, who always come bottom of the league until a young emigrant, Matzutzi, returns to the village from Argentina. Then there is the bizarre love story between Matzutzi and the shrewish Miranda, daughter of Prospero, Pabarile’s blind (!) trainer. Finally a fourth story relates to the archaic customs of rural Sardinia’s farming society. One of the Montecrastu players steals a lamb from his cousin, who then plays a nasty trick to get his own back and so on, the whole thing escalating until it gets totally out of hand. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the recurring references to Christian symbolism. (Translated by Neil Tibbetts).