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

CLLEARThe 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” and will be delivered by Denis Drieghe from University of Southampton. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this talk:
Up until recently, models of eye movements during reading almost exclusively focused on monolingual reading, even though most people are bilinguals. Relatively few studies examined eye movements in bilinguals and even less had a focus on sentence processing. Those few studies that did look at reading in a second language (L2) examined eye movements on a single embedded target word without taking into account changes in global eye movement behaviour that L2 reading might entail. In my talk I will present GECO (Ghent Eye-tracking COrpus), the freely available monolingual (English) and bilingual (Dutch- English) eye-tracking corpus of participants reading a complete novel (56,000 words). The aim of this project is to establish a more comprehensive description of eye movement behaviour in bilingual reading. We collected this large-scale data corpus from 14 English monolinguals and 19 Dutch (L1) / English (L2) unbalanced bilinguals of intermediate to high L2 proficiency who read the entire novel while their eye movements were being tracked (Bilinguals read half in Dutch, half in English). In this talk, I will present descriptive statistics of reading time measures for first-language (L1) and second-language (L2) reading. I will also present analyses of frequency, neighbourhood size and cognate effects for L1 and L2 sentence reading.

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.

Research centres event on Wednesday 20th March: “Perspectives on the concept of the ‘native speaker'”

Research centresThe next seminar, which combines speakers from four of our research centres, will be held on Wednesday 20th March from 4-5:30pm in Lecture Theatre C at Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled “Perspectives on the concept of the ‘native speaker'” and will be presented by a range of staff from the department. All staff and students are welcome for what will be a lively session!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
Over recent decades, the notion of the ’native speaker’ has been much discussed and often contested in applied and socio-linguistics. In this cross-centres seminar, speakers from our four research centres, CGE, CLLEAR, MeXsu and TNS will each present their own approach to the notion, and the seminar will then be opened up to the audience for comment and discussion. The speakers are Rob Baird and Sonia Morán Panero representing CGE, Laura Dominguez representing CLLEAR, and Clare Mar-Molinero representing both MeXsu and TNS.

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar on Wednesday 6th March: Who defines what it means to be “disabled” in China today?

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 6th March from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Confucius Institute. The seminar is entitled “Who defines what it means to be ‘disabled’ in China today?” and will be presented by Dr Sarah Dauncey from the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
In this talk, Sarah Dauncey looks at the construction of disabled identities specifically from the perspective of Chinese cultural epistemologies. Drawing on sociological theories of citizenship, her research reveals how traditionally accepted notions of personhood are often fundamentally challenged through encounters and interactions with understandings of disability and impairment. She provides engaging examples of the ways in which representations and narratives of disability negotiate the identity of their subject(s) in relation to dominant discourses, where collective social, political and cultural understandings of what it means to live a ‘productive’ disabled life are both imbued and contested. Her findings offer new evidence as to the importance of intersectional accounts of disabled citizenship in revealing the complex and shifting power relationships between disabled individuals and/or groups and the state in any particular country or specific cultural context.

More information on Dr Dauncey can be found on her profile page.

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar on Wednesday 20th February: Mental Health under Communism

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 20th Febuary from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Centre for Medical and Health Humanities. The seminar is entitled “Mental Health under Communism: Transnational Connections across the Iron Curtain and within the Eastern Bloc.” All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
Historians have traditionally assumed that the psy-disciplines behind the Iron Curtain, when they were not being abused for political purposes, were dominated by a topdown ‘Pavlovisation’, whereby Moscow bound scientists within the restrictive orthodoxy of theories derived from the celebrated Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. In this paper I demonstrate that researchers were far from isolated from international developments – whether in the broader Soviet sphere, China, or the ‘West’ – and appropriated a broad range of theoretical models, including some which the Party had officially banned. Antipsychotic drugs were adopted from the West and mass-produced by state-owned firms. Psychoanalysis survived underground, coming into plain sight as theories of the unconscious influenced the world’s longest-running, state-sponsored LSD psychotherapy project in Prague between 1954 and1974. New models of mind from cybernetics, human ecology and infant attachment theory re-shaped research, treatment and even state-level policy. By tracing these transnational connections this paper challenges narratives of overwhelming state control. It traces the strategies that individuals used to further their professional and personal interests, both underground and in plain sight, and the examples of psychiatrists who engaged – whether explicitly or reluctantly – in the project of building socialism as a result.

More information on Dr Marks can be found on her profile page.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Aspirations of youth, English for future life plans in a school in Catalonia

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 13th February 2019 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The talk is entitled “Aspirations of youth, English for future life plans in a school in Catalonia” and will be delivered by Adriana Patino-Santos from Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The implementation of English as the language of instruction to teach content, usually referred to as Content and Language Integrated Language (CLIL) programmes, is changing the lives of teachers and students alike in Spain, as they deal with a set of issues related to new forms of teaching content though their second and, in the case of Catalonia, third language. Complementing my previous research on the portrayal of liberal selves among CLIL teachers in Catalonia (Codó & Patiño-Santos 2018), this presentation explores the narratives of secondary school students who attend these programmes. Through ‘life project stories’ (du Bois-Reymond 1998) and contrasted with ethnographic information, I aim to give an account of the ways in which a group of youngsters navigate social relations and imagine future plans under the new circumstances imposed by language policies that aim to neoliberalise the Catalan education system (Martinez & Albaiges Blasi 2013). ‘Generation’, even though a debatable concept within the sociology of youth (Furlong 2013), will be brought into the discussion to show how the ways in which young people engage with English in their daily lives signal an important ongoing generational shift in Spain, product of a set of recent traumatic collective events.

CGE Research Seminar on Wednesday 6th February: Ecological perspectives on researching multilingually: foregrounding and problematising language in an era of English-dominated scholarship

CGEThe next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 5th February 2019 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Richard Fay from the Manchester Institute of Education at the University of Manchester and is entitled “Ecological perspectives on researching multilingually: foregrounding and problematising language in an era of English-dominated scholarship”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this talk, with reference to a series of AHRC-funded research projects, and mindful of the Anglo-centric pressures within much global academic publishing, I will explore the area of research practice we term Researching Multilingually (RM-ly) and present an ecologically-framed analysis of researcher praxis vis-à-vis RM-ly. I will present these inter-related research projects and, in doing so, explore how the understanding of RM-ly has shifted over the years. In particular, there has been a move from:
a) foregrounding languages in research – exploring researcher thinking and practice regarding the use of multiple languages in research (in an institutional and global context of English-dominated research); to
b) problematising the languaging of research – exploring researcher praxis regarding their languaging of research.
By the end, I will raise a number of proposals relating to researcher education, research governance, and epistemic justice.

Next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar: ‘Just Like It Is at Home!’: Being Deaf across the Socialist Bloc

TNSThe next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar will be held on Wednesday 30th January from 4-5pm in room 1177 at Avenue Campus (Building 65) in collaboration with the Centre for Medical and Health Humanities. The seminar is entitled ‘”Just Like It Is at Home!”: Being Deaf across the Socialist Bloc.’ All staff and students are welcome!

Here is the abstract for the seminar:
The years following the Second World War and the sovietisation of Eastern Europe saw increased links between the Soviet deaf community and their Eastern European ‘brothers’. On one level, these links were institutional, with the All-Russian Society of the Deaf reaching out to equivalent deaf societies across the Eastern Bloc, culminating in the creation of an international Socialist Union of Deaf Mutes in the tumultuous year of 1968. At the same time, they were informal, familial, and grassroots, as groups of deaf people travelled across the socialist bloc and encountered people and institutions – both deaf and socialist – just like their own. This paper will explore these contacts as part of a concerted attempt to define the ‘socialist deaf person’. In the context of heightened international tensions and the consumerist competition of the Cold War, the socialist deaf community was seen as a success story worth celebrating: a group of people who had overcome the physical obstacle of deafness to become full-blooded, independent workers through the transformative power of socialism. Yet these contacts also revealed tensions, differences and misunderstandings and posited uncomfortable hierarchies between the ‘big brother’ USSR and the ‘little brother’ countries of Eastern Europe. As such, the transnational links of the late Soviet era reveal both commonalities and differences of deaf experience, and suggest that perhaps ‘socialist deafness’ was perhaps not as monolithic as its proponents might like to think.

More information on Dr Shaw can be found on her profile page.

Next CLLEAR seminar: The political economy of language education research (or the lack thereof): Nancy Fraser and the case of translanguaging

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Monday 10th December 2018 at 5pm in Room 3031, Building 7, Highfield Campus. Please note the change of day and time from usual. The talk is entitled “The political economy of language education research (or the lack thereof): Nancy Fraser and the case of translanguaging” and will be delivered by David Block Allen, ICREA Professor in Sociolinguistics from the Departament d’Anglès i Lingüística, Universitat de Lleida – Catalonia, Spain. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
This paper problematises the politics of language education research with regard to social injustice, which is not only cultural, but also material. Its starting position is that most language education research today is, following Nancy Fraser, recognition-oriented, in that it takes on culture and identity-based injustices such as racism, gender bias, religious bias and LGBTQ-phobia. It does not, however, have much to say about more economic and class-based injustices – redistribution issues – and it does not draw on the political economy literature essential to any attempt to explore such issues. The paper develops these arguments and then applies them to a specific area of language education research which has become popular in recent years, translanguaging. It concludes that while translanguaging research may deal with recognition issues, in particular ethnolinguistic racism, it is not likely to alter in any way the underlying the current capitalist order which is causing deep and profound damage to the social fabric of societies worldwide and surely is the most likely cause of the poverty in which many translanguagers live. Language education research thus needs to work at the level of recognition, as it already does, while also taking on redistribution issues.

CGE Research Seminar on Wednesday 5th December: From English language learners to Intercultural Citizens: Chinese student sojourners development of intercultural citizenship in ELT and EMI programmes

CGEThe next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 5th December 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Will Baker from the Centre for Global Englishes at the University of Southampton and is entitled “From English language learners to Intercultural Citizens: Chinese student sojourners development of intercultural citizenship in ELT and EMI programmes”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
The notion of global or intercultural citizenship has become prominent in international higher education and EMI (English medium instruction). The goal is to educate students for successful interaction in intercultural situations across multiple communities from the local to the global. However, most discussions are at the theoretical level and there is insufficient empirical evidence documenting the extent to which experiences of students in international universities actually leads to the development of intercultural citizenship. To address this gap this research explored Chinese students’ (the largest group of international students in the UK and a major group of ELT learners) experiences before, during and after study-abroad (SA). Data was collected from students (n = 253) via questionnaires, interviews and a focus group in the UK and China. Findings demonstrated generally positive attitudes towards intercultural citizenship and intercultural citizenship education. Furthermore, many participants reported developing an increased sense of identification with intercultural citizenship as a result of SA. However, understanding of intercultural citizenship was often superficial and no students reported any formal intercultural citizenship education either in preparation for SA or during their time in the UK. Moreover, a number of students either rejected or withdrew from the idea of developing an intercultural identity due to negative impressions of intercultural experiences. We argue that these mixed findings are unsurprising given the lack of opportunities to prepare for or reflect on intercultural experiences. Furthermore, the absence of intercultural citizenship education is a missed opportunity in ELT and EAP provision.