ETAL seminars

Details of Edinburgh TESOL and Applied Linguistics (ETAL) seminars.

2019 Seminar Series

Date/Speaker/Presentation details /Recordings Venue/Time

11 December 2019

Intercultural Training for Educators: Challenges of an EU project

Dr Katerina Strani, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

The talk will focus on the challenges faced in developing a intercultural training course for educators of adult migrants, which is funded by the EU. The project (InterTrainE) started in October 2018 and it is planned to finish in November 2020, with the course freely available in the summer 2020. The project is led by HWU, with partners in the UK, Greece, Italy and Finland.

The background and aims of the project are as follows: There is a need, acknowledged by both educators and learners, for intercultural training for educators of adult migrants, to ensure their skills development​ for a smoother integration into society and the job market that does not disadvantage them. These intercultural education programmes need to recognise and effectively support diversity, promote mutual acceptance and respect, while combating racism and xenophobia. ​They also need to foster interculturalism and reject archaic educational practices that cultivate monoculture, othering and stigmatization. ​The InterTrainE project is developing a modularized training curriculum with qualification standards specialized for Adult Education (EQF Level 5)​. It will also produce a handbook for trainers, which will include learning outcomes, a theoretical framework of basic concepts and the training package itself, with practical exercises and case studies. We have so far encountered the following challenges: a) a clear definition of ‘adult migrant’, which has consequences on the pedagogical approaches needed and a large part of the content of the course; b) moving away from didactic approached, which has been easier for certain partners than others purely for cultural/educational reasons; c) moving away from superficial and tokenistic references to culture and difference and adopting anti-racism education approaches that really make a difference; d) adopting a self-reflective attitude to teaching. The talk will discuss these challenges and how the partnership is dealing with them in developing the course, with references to relevant academic literature and practices.

PL 1.18 / 5:30pm

13 November 2019

The importance of developing a cross-field language policy to help unlock the potential of bilingual migrant children

Dr Yongcan Liu, University of Cambridge

In this talk, I argue for the importance of developing a cross-field language policy to help unlock the potential of bilingual migrant children in schools and communities. I start with a theoretical argument for the need to redefine the concept of ‘communicative competence’ to include a heritage dimension, in wake of the context of ‘super-diversity’ and ‘super-uncertainty’. I then illustrate this argument based on several distinct yet interlocking strands of work that I have been involved in the past few years: English as an additional language, MFL in schools, heritage language maintenance, and languages in EiE. A common thread that runs through all four strands of work seems to point to the importance of valuing language heritage in learning. The talk concludes by suggesting some preliminary ideas for a cross-field language strategy to support the education of bilingual children on the move based on a broadened notion of ‘communicative competence’.


PL G1 / 5:30pm

16 October 2019

Multi-competence, translanguaging and mobile self-directed learning

Professor Wei Li, University College London (UCL) Institute of Education

This is a conceptual paper that aims to extend the concept of Linguistic Multi-Competence and advance Translanguaging as a research perspective. It focuses on the theoretical foundations of Translanguaging and explores the implications for language teaching and learning in particular and for bilingualism and multilingualism research generally. Empirical examples from self-directed mobile language learning will be used to demonstrate the added value of the Translanguaging approach.


PL 1.18 / 5:30pm

2 October 2019

Authentic children’s literature as a source of language for primary EFL learners and trainee teachers

Licia Masoni, University of Bologna

Authentic picturebooks constitute a motivating and emotionally conducive means to acquire natural English in context and develop intercultural competence for (very) young learners (Masoni 2018, 2019). The highly formulaic language of picturebooks promotes mechanisms of implicit learning which children rely on to a great extent in the process of acquiring a second or foreign language (Snow 1983, Muñoz 2006, Wray 2008). Books use language in ways that are both linguistically enriching for learners and pedagogically informed: they accompany and sustain children in their learning process.

Primary EFL teachers worldwide are making growing use of picturebooks in the classroom.Yet, children’s literature represents much more than a valid teaching tool: it is first and foremost a powerful source of learning for teachers themselves (Ding 2007). Indeed, research has proved that exposure to children’s literature has positive effects in the adult EFL classroom, and various scholars have been advocating for the need to boost formulaic learning among adults (Wray 2008). Exposure to children’s literature grants prospective teachers access to formulaic language and most of all English as used by, with and around children, as well as a knowledge of the culture and imagination of childhood embedded in the target language.

I argue that these and other factors can have important effects on trainee teachers’ ability to experience a sense of authenticity when learning and teaching the FL, as well as on their future ability to communicate with children in meaningful ways.


PL 1.19 / 5:30pm

24 April 2019

Discussing Multilingualism and Politics

Dr Katerina Strani, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Multilingualism constitutes an integral part of post-national citizenship, in which political argumentation may defy linguistic barriers. Together with the profusion of new publics, the rise of new media and ‘third spaces’ of communication (Wright, 2014; Bhabha, 1994), multilingual communication has altered the normative make-up of the public sphere both in terms of structure and communicative nature. 

‘Emergent publics’ (Angus, 2001; Koller & Wodak, 2008), ‘counter-publics’ (Fraser, 1993; 1997) and diasporic public spheres are no longer defined solely by their agonistic nature but also by the way this is expressed through their (choice of) language. Multiple languages representing multiple cultures signify multiple competing rationalities in essentially agonistic public spheres. Power differentials in these multilingual - physical and virtual - public spheres are not rooted in status, education, or access, for instance, but instead on the language (chosen) for communication. In cases where a lingua franca is chosen, the power differentials are clearer between native and non-native speakers of the lingua franca. In diasporic public spheres, power differentials may also derive from different stages of integration. And yet at a political level, the interplay between language and citizenship practices needs to be emphatically thematised and investigated. Important work has been done in the fields of translation and politics, the politics of multilingualism, and multilingual publics that needs to be considered before revisiting the nexus between multilingualism and politics (Wodak, Nanz, Doerr, Baker, to name but a few). 

There have also been studies on migrant publics in diasporic public spheres (Volkmer, 2014; Hill, 2016 and many others). We need to recognise and thematise the liminality of such publics, who, partly because of their heterolinguality, shift between counterpublic and ‘mainstream’ publics, or are often part of culturally enriched hybrid publics. It is without doubt that multilingualism affects both the social construction of cosmopolitan civic identities as well as the actual conduct of democratic politics, such as new concepts of citizenship and new forms of deliberation. This seminar will discuss ways of revisiting the relationship between multilingualism and citizenship practices. 


CH 2.03 /5:30pm

10 April 2019

Recording of talk:  Translanguaging as pedagogy in and beyond the classroom

Professor Adrian Blackledge and Professor Angela Creese, University of Stirling


PL 1.26 /5:30pm

13 March 2019

Reflections on a PhD story so far

Andrew Drybrough, PhD Student here at MHSE, University of Edinburgh

Writing a PhD has often been compared to writing a story. In this presentation I will talk about the PhD as a story, or rather I will present it in the form of a number of stories which include reflections based on my own experience on ideas such as: ‘serendipitous moments and plot turns’, ‘stories behind stories’, ‘stories within stories’ and the ‘story climax’.


PL 1.26 /6pm

27 February 2019

Recording of talk:  Children's Perceptions of Cross-cultural Encounters

Dr Samaneh Zandian, from here at MHSE, University of Edinburgh

Holyrood Campus

Examples of earlier past events

EELC Conference 2018 - Edinburgh | Linguistic Ethnography in a Changing World | 20-21 Sept 2018

EELC Conference 2018 will bring together researchers from around the world, to share research around ethnography, language and communication. The conference title is ‘Linguistic Ethnography in a Changing World’ – asking how LE might contribute to public and scholarly debate.

Keynote Speakers: Plenary: Dr Deborah Swinglehurst and Jürgen Jaspers

Workshops: Digital Ethnography Workshop: Professor Rodney Jones, Multimodal Interaction Workshop: Dr Jeff Bezemer

Date: Thursday 20 - Friday 21 September 2018

Venue: Holyrood Campus

SATEAL Conference 2018 | 17 March 2018

The annual conference of the Scottish Association for Teachers of EAL (SATEAL) 

Speakers/Workshops:  Opening remarks from Dr Andy Hancock followed by a series of workshops

Date/Time:  Sat 17 March 2018

Venue: Outreach Centre, Holyrood Road

Edinburgh TESOL and Applied Language (ETAL) Seminar Series | Jan - Mar 2018

Dates / Speakers / Titles

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