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 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

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.

CGE Research Seminar on 9th May: Tutor-student interaction in one-to-one academic writing tutorials


The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th May 2018 from 5:00pm in Lecture Theatre C (room 1175), Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar will be presented by Professor Jane Setter from the University of Reading and is entitled “Suprasegmentals in South-East Asian Englishes”. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
Intonation is one of the earliest acquired aspects of human speech, and is now thought to be acquired pre-birth in a child’s first language (L1). L1-specific patterns of speech rhythm emerge shortly before a child is school-age. This presentation looks at some suprasegmental aspects of speakers who have English as a second (L2) or additional language, focusing on research on the emergent variety, Hong Kong English (HKE), and L2 English learners from Malaysia, China and Vietnam. We will consider patterns in the different speaker varieties, and also issues of teaching and learning.

Next CLLEAR seminar: Theoretical linguistics and the scientific method in the language classroom

CLLEARThe next Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research (CLLEAR) seminar will take place on Wednesday 2nd May 2018 at 4pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The talk is entitled “Theoretical linguistics and the scientific method in the language classroom” and will be delivered by Julio Villa-García from the University of Manchester. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:
In this talk, I pursue the view defended in recent work (Bosque 2018, i.a.) that the way we teach language has traditionally been based on labelling (“this is a noun”; “this is a predicate…”), rather than on actual analysis. This contrasts starkly with what happens in scientific disciplines, where students look at evidence, glean generalisations, formulate hypotheses/theories and then make predictions about what will happen. I contend that such a pattern-enchanted approach can be beneficial in the language classroom when it comes to the teaching of grammar, as in addition to finding generalisations about how the grammatical system works, students also develop a number of lifelong transferable skills.

In the second part of the talk, I argue that the findings of theoretical research can aid language teaching, since the quality of the input that we expose our learners to can improve significantly. This is because research on theoretical linguistics has come up with more precise generalisations than those typically found in pedagogical grammars (Rothman 2010, i.a.). In fact, there is no need for teachers or students to be trained in linguistics (i.e., there is no real need to overload students with metalanguage or with too many technicalities). To this end, I provide a number of practical examples suggesting that the gap between theoretical research and pedagogical practice in the language classroom can actually be bridged.

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.