Modern Languages and Linguistics at University of Southampton: inspiring and raising awareness of the value of learning languages by inspirational teaching and learning approaches

On Friday 28th June 2019, Modern Languages and Linguistics hosted InnoConf19 at Avenue Campus. The conference theme “Treasuring languages: innovative and creative approaches in HE” enabled attendees to discuss and seek innovative approaches dealing with creative ways to raise awareness about the value of learning languages. The event marked …

Call for papers – 22nd Annual Conference of the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR)

International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) 22nd Annual Conference, Nuffield Theatre, Highfield Campus, Southampton, 31st July – 2nd August 2019 ‘Post-Truth’: Applying Critical Realism to Real World Problems The term ‘post-truth’ denotes a particular form of right-wing politics and public discourse that includes intentional misleading, misinformation, and disinformation, often …

SIGLTA meeting on Thursday 23rd May: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Changing the Face of Formative and Summative Assessment

You are cordially invited to attend the Special Interest Group in Language Testing and Assessment (SIGLTA) meeting. SIGLTA is a postgraduate student-led reading/research group within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The meeting is at 17:00-18:30 on Thursday 23/05/2019 in room 1173, Avenue Campus (building 65), and will be …

Next CLLEAR talk: Findings from GECO: The Ghent Eye-tracking Corpus of Monolinguals and Bilinguals Reading an Entire Novel

The next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) talk will take place on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 4:30pm in Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The talk is entitled “Findings from GECO: The Ghent Eye-tracking Corpus of Monolinguals and Bilinguals Reading an Entire Novel” …

InnoConf19 on 28th June: Treasuring languages: innovative and creative approaches in HE

It is with great pleasure that Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton are hosting the 9th annual conference in the Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University series, InnoConf19, this year. The conference will take place on Friday 28th June 2019. We are delighted to have …

LCAWB talk tomorrow: DeCentring the intercultural and small culture formation on the go – implications for internationalisation, research methods and who we all are.

Language & Culture in the Academic World & Beyond logo
As part of the Language & Culture in the Academic World & Beyond being run by PGR students in Modern Languages and Linguistics, there will be a talk by Professor Adrian Holliday from Canterbury Christ Church University on Friday 10th May 2019 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The talk is entitled “DeCentring the intercultural and small culture formation on the go – implications for internationalisation, research methods and who we all are.” All welcome – please register for the talk here!

Here is the abstract for the talk:
So much of what has become normalised regarding the intercultural now seems invalidated by Centre structures (e.g. associated with ‘the West’, native-speakerism, the neoliberal university, patriarchy, and methodological nationalism). This includes common large-culture concepts such as equating second language with second culture, quantifying intercultural competence, locating third spaces as between, interpreting integration as mixing with locals. The struggle to deCentre requires finding threads that dissolve assumed boundaries and are often not where we expect, beginning with transient and everyday small culture formation on the go. However, things are often not what they seem. The intercultural is everywhere; interculturality is messy and political; researchers and the researched merge; and data needs to be disturbed. I will attempt to look at these questions through reference to my forthcoming book with Sara Amadasi, Making sense of the intercultural: finding deCentred threads.

Next CLLEAR seminar: A dynamic typology of syntactic change in contact Englishes

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 15th May 2019 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The talk is entitled “A dynamic typology of syntactic change in contact Englishes” and will be delivered by Devyani Sharma from Queen Mary, University of London. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Postcolonial Englishes are an ideal testing ground for the influence of universals and language transfer in contact languages. However, the tendency to conduct static comparisons of contributing grammars to an outcome grammar often overlooks a dynamic aspect of the actuation problem, namely ‘why certain instances of variation become changes and others don’t’ (McMahon 1994). I assess this question in relation to contact settings: Why does only a subset of variable usage become entrenched over time in a given contact variety? An initial comparison of several syntactic features in Indian English and Singapore English supports a strong substrate, rather than universalist, basis for new usage. However, a closer examination shows that only some of these variable features have stabilised and become deeply embedded across the community. Substrates cannot fully account for this subtler distribution. They over-predict change. To better understand which forms become more entrenched, I turn to a sociohistorical hallmark of postcolonial Englishes: diminishing input from the source variety. Drawing on models of input sensitivity from second language acquisition theory (the Subset Principle; the Interface Hypothesis), I develop a two-dimensional typology to assess the relative role of substrate difference and input demand (the degree to which rich input is needed for the acquisition of a specific syntactic form) in stable outcomes in New Englishes. Both appear to be operative but substrates may be the more powerful force, as certain entrenched forms point to hard limits on learnability due to the substrate grammar, despite low input demand. Modelling contact as dynamic phases of individual learning embedded within a changing linguistic ecology helps to account for selective change over time within wider feature pools of variability. It also uses long-term outcomes of social contact to feed into theoretical questions of featural representations and learnability.