Book your place on our forthcoming Open Days!

Avenue CampusThere are still spaces for our open days coming up in just over a week on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September! You can book your place using this booking form.

You can follow our Twitter account @ModernLangs and take a look at our departmental website. You can also follow the day using the hashtag #UoSOpenDay on Twitter.

If you can’t make our open days in person, why not explore Avenue Campus virtually?

The eLearning Symposium is back!

eLearning Symposium 2019

Following a three-year break, the department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton is delighted to invite you to the new re-branded eLearning symposium, previously successfully run by LLAS, the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies.

The Symposium will take place on Friday 25th January 2019 and the theme is “New perspectives: eLearning symposium rebooted. Language learning and technology in new educational landscapes.”

The key dates and further information can be found on the event website and Twitter account. If you have any questions, please email Erin Forward, the Conference Administrator, at elearn19@soton.ac.uk. We look forward to seeing you there!

Paper by Professor Roumyana Slabakova receives Albert Valdman award

Professor Roumyana SlabakovaProfessor Roumyana Slabakova from Modern Languages and Linguistics and her co-authors Tania Leal and Thomas Farmer, whose paper “The fine-tuning of linguistic expectations over the course of L2 learning” has been selected as one of two recipients of the Albert Valdman award, given for outstanding publication in Studies in Second Language Acquisition (CUP) for a publication appearing in 2017.

Here are the acceptance remarks of the authors:
The article addresses the fascinating topic of whether second language speakers are capable of making predictions as to what they can expect in the upstream linguistic string, based on what words they have already encountered. We know that monolingual native speakers are very good at such anticipation. It turns out that second language speakers are good at it, too, when they are sufficiently advanced in proficiency and language experience. This finding is one more blow to the argument that second language speakers’ competence and processing are fundamentally different from native speakers’. The article findings have an interesting real-world implication, too. We know that Clitic Left Dislocation, the property we investigate, is not taught explicitly in most Spanish classrooms. Naturalistic language experience, in the form of study-abroad, proves sufficient to overcome this lack of explicit teaching. We very much hope that future research will bring further insights on the effects of naturalistic input on SLA competence and performance.

Southampton University Primary Languages (SUPL)

Southampton University Primary Languages (SUPL)Our collaboration centres on research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Southampton Modern Languages & Linguistics researchers and primary school FL practitioners continue to collaborate to explore FL literacy practices through knowledge sharing and co-construction. Our 2017-18 workshops were funded by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account award and we’ve just secured additional ESRC funding to continue these through 2018-19.

Visit https://www.soton.ac.uk/supl to find out more about how our partner teachers are engaging in innovative practice and reflecting on their languages classrooms.

Welcome to our open days!

July 2018 open daysWelcome to everyone coming to the University of Southampton open days today! You can find out more about what’s on offer on the official University open day website and by following #UoSOpenDay on Twitter.

You can also find out more from the Open Day Programme of events.

Don’t forget you can also follow our Twitter account @ModernLangs and take a look at our departmental website.

Enjoy your day!

Modern Languages and Linguistics outreach events this week

Modern Languages and Linguistics will be hosting two Outreach events this week as part of our commitment to engage with local secondary schools. On Wednesday 13th June, 120 Year 8 pupils will join us at Avenue Campus for a day full activities based on the Wearable Technology theme and language taster sessions in the afternoon when pupils will have the chance to try a new language.

On Thursday 14th June we will have 140 Year 10 pupils attending our Study Day: the theme is music and foreign language learning.

The events have sold out after only one day of being advertised, confirming the enormous interest and strong links between the University of Southampton and local schools.

Next TNS seminar: Transnational Religion: Textual Trails (Or how to domesticate the transnational)

TNSAnne O’Connor from NUI Galway will be speaking at the next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar, taking place on Wednesday 16th May 2018 from 5-6:30pm in Room 1177, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘Transnational Religion: Textual Trails (Or how to domesticate the transnational)’. All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
This talk will look at the transnationality of religion and how the spread of religion is supported by the printed word. It will use the example of global Catholicism and devotional reading to question how orthodoxies emanating from the Vatican reach the lives of Catholics in the Anglophone world. It will look at the intersection of translation, book history and religion to examine how each can work together and provide momentum for transnational influence. By focusing on the materiality of the transmitted words, the talk will discuss how popular printing allowed for the transnational to enter the domestic sphere.

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.

SIGLTA meeting on Thursday 10th May: Round table discussion: Integrated Language Testing

SIGLTA
You are cordially invited to attend the Special Interest Group in Language Testing and Assessment (SIGLTA) meeting. This time, we are delighted to host a round table discussion with three specialists on language testing, Carolyn Westbrook from The British Council and Alex Thorp and Mark Griffiths from Trinity College, London. SIGLTA is supported postgraduate student-led reading/research group from the Faculty of Humanities. The meeting is at 18:00-19:30 on Thursday 10/05/2018 in Lecture Theatre A, Avenue Campus (building 65).

Abstract: Nowadays, there is an ever-increasing focus on integrated tests, because these are considered to ‘reflect authenticity of task and response’ (Pearson Language Tests, 2010). However, integrated testing is not without its issues. This Round Table on Integrated Assessment will investigate some of the issues around integrated skills testing and will look at practical ways in which skills can be tested in an integrated way. We will also consider how we can integrate language teaching with language testing and then we will open up the floor for discussion and contributions from the audience.

The speakers:
Carolyn Westbrook (Test Development Researcher | British Council): Considerations / issues in integrated testing; discrete vs integrated testing
Alex Thorp (Lead Academic-Language-Europe | Trinity College London): What does it mean to test in an integrated way?
Mark Griffiths (Academic Consultant | Trinity College London): Integrating language teaching with language testing.