News and Events

Here you will find details of recent developments and forthcoming events.

The network hosts a wide range of events from informal discussions over lunch to visiting speaker seminars.  Please see the listing below for individual event details.

Supporting content and language learning through collaborative drawing (exploratory research)…
Dr Gabriela Meier and Dr Emese Hall
November 2016

In this seminar, we oiutlined some key theories and research covering two main areas: (collaborative) drawing as a learning tool; and bilingual children’s learning.  Drawing is a form of communication. Collaborative drawing is based on the idea of communication and learning understood multimodally and advanced through social interaction where, in drawing together, understanding is negotiated verbally and non-verbally, enhancing shared meaning-making. Bilingual children often struggle to understand curricular content and simultaneously develop their second language. However, bilingual children also often show cognitive and creative advantages in non-verbal tasks compared to monolinguals. Hence, we suggest that collaborative drawing, as a form of intellectual play, might usefully enhance bilingual learners’ confidence and competence in their second language.


Prof. Dr. Britta Viebrock (University of Frankfurt)
Video-based Classroom Research and the Development of Professional Vision in Language Teacher Education
November 2016 

In this talk Britta Viebrock presented examples of video-based classroom research as part of a large teacher education project – Linking Pedagogic Expertise through Video Enhanced Learning Scenarios (LEVEL) – carried out at the university of Frankfurt between 2015 and 2018 (and possibly beyond). The project is concerned with the development of future teachers’ professional vision, i.e. their ability to observe and interpret events and situations specific to classroom interaction on the basis of pedagogical knowledge about teaching and learning. Professional vision is understood to be an important element of a more general professional development and an indicator of teaching expertise.  During the presentation Britta examined the concept of professional vision in greater detail and explained how it is put into effect in the LEVEL-project. In addition, she gave a more general look at classroom videography in foreign language education, which forms the foundation of the video enhanced learning scenarios to be developed in the Level-project.


Talk by Shahrzad Ardavani (University of Aberdeen)
Issues impacting the motivation of Iranian university students to learn English and more generally, English language teaching in Iran from the perspective of socio-economic and political developments
June 2016 

In this talk Shahrzad Ardavani talked about the issues impacting the motivation of Iranian university students to learn English, and more generally, the teaching of English in Iran from the perspective of socio-economic and political development. In addition the talk expanded on Shahrzad’s current research about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) as an answer to a critical need for global access to higher education and professional development, specifically for marginalized people in advanced economies and also in the less privileged countries.

Professor Angela Creese (University of Birmingham) 
Using linguistic ethnography to investigate the multilingual classroom
May 2016
Graduate School of Education 2015/16 Research Seminar Series
 - a recording of this seminar is now available for staff and students.


Talk by Dr Simone Smala (University of Queensland)
CLIL/Immersion in multilingual Australia – an overview and new research directions
January 2016

In this talk Simone presented an overview of these Australian CLIL/Immersion programs, and offered some insights into self-regulated learning strategies as part of a CLIL pedagogical framework for the diverse Australian context. The classroom hybridity necessitates strategies for differentiation, and CLIL students are encouraged and supported in developing self-regulated learning strategies to bridge the different language proficiency levels and learning needs present in many CLIL classrooms. The talk concluded with a vision for additive bilingual education in English-speaking countries.  A recording of this seminar is now available.


Seminar with Salah Troudi (University of Exeter)
Critical research in TESOL and language education
November 2015

Critical research in language education, TESOL and applied linguistics in general has been appropriately associated with the wider philosophical framework of critical theory. The works of the ‘Frankfurt School’ with scholars such as Habermas, Horkenheimer, Adorno and Marcuse were influential in the twentieth century in setting up the main agenda of critical theory and its research which was to help establish an equitable society. This is done through a research approach that is emancipatory, seeking action and change in order to alleviate pain in society and redress forms of alienation, discrimination, injustice, exploitation and marginalisation. This research agenda is based on a general view of society and social realities as shaped by the hegemony of powerful economic and political structures, social and educational institutions and discursive practices.

Critical theory has been influential in the general area of education and more recently in language studies and teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) and as second language (TESL). The purpose of this session is to introduce the main tenets of critical research in TESOL and language education and the main methodologies and methods associated with this approach.

A recording of this seminar is now available (please note sound quality not good during audience participation section at start of seminar)


Workshop with Yi-Mei Chen (University of Exeter)
Understanding and designing communicative activities
November 2015

A workshop about understanding, using and designing communicative approaches.  Yi Mei Chen presentation


Steven Kurowski (University of Exeter)
Professionalism by Whose Model? Professionalism and Professionalisation of TESOL and TESOL Teachers Through Autonomy or Accountability
October 2015

Professionalism is as well-defined colloquially—as “how-to”—as it is sociologically though a public (i.e.: field) discourse which seems to have moved on from the sociological dialog existentializing professionalism to recognizing the term as a political construct. Advantages are accrued to those considered to be on the certified end of the spectrum of professionalism based upon a professional ethos. While many consider TESOL to be a professional field and the TESOL literature exploits the language of professionalism to shift through the spectrum, assuming professionalism by virtue of the emic perception of the work may be, ethically speaking, inexpedient, leading to a generalized assumption of status, autonomy, and ethics, but more specifically to a managerialized form of these determined by individual employment contexts. This small-scale interpretive study explores how eight TESOL teachers originating from multiple contexts substantiate a managerialized form of professionalism as they did not provide examples of how they employ authentic autonomy in their practice, though other important elements such as rigorous training and qualifications were evidenced. Participant autonomy is prescripted and controlled from management and government intervention showing instead a de-professionalisation of teaching in general and TESOL teaching in particular. While TESOL can safely be said to be professionalizing, moving through a sense of itself as a non-profession, it is important for the profession to develop not only the stomach but also the teeth of professionalism if TESOL “professionals” are to lose their quotation marks to become professionals in the authentic sense. Steven Kurowski - powerpoint presentation 


Dr Carolyn Walker (INTO, Univeristy of Exeter)
Self-concept in second or foreign language reading in a higher education context 
April 2015

In the field of education, the self-concept has been associated with study success and with motivation, and has also recently become of significant interest in second or foreign language (L2) learning. In this talk, Carolyn reported on a mixed-methods, longitudinal study of the L2 reading self-concepts of international students taking a nine-month business pre-masters pathway programme. Carolyn Walker powerpoint presentation April 2015

Jianmei Xie (Modern Languages, Univeristy of Exeter)
Learning to use the focus group method in language/education research
February 2015

What is it like to use a research method that is new to us and unfamiliar in the cultural context in which we plan to research? What challenges would we encounter and how could we resolve them? This talk introduces how I learnt about, and then used, the focus group method in a language-related and educational project about language teachers’ perception of research quality. Jianmei talked about her experience from three angles: methodological, ethical and cultural. Methodologically, the focus group was embedded in a phenomenological framework and this entailed some technical difficulties, including how to run a pilot study to test the design. Ethically, there was a range of macro and micro aspects that I needed to handle carefully, for example, how to encourage the participants to talk openly about a topic that was potentially sensitive for them, and how to gain consent in a relatively comfortable manner. Concerning the Chinese tradition, the cultural aspects I needed to consider as a researcher and a colleague, included in what identity I should present myself in order to balance the power between myself as researcher and my research participants. 

Network Inaugural Lecture by Dr Gabriela Meier (Lecturer in Language Education, University of Exeter)
The multilingual turn and multilingual integrated curricula
November 2014

In this talk Gaby Meier talked about the 'multilingual turn' in languages education, which is the focus of her recently published co-edited book.   Gaby provided a short overview of its contents and presented one of her chapters on 'multilingual integrated curricula'.  A recording of this seminar is now available. 


Dr Esmaell Abdolloahzadeh (University of Exeter)
Text types, signals, and reading comprehension
October 2014 
Graduate School of Education 2014/15 Research Seminar Series - a recording of this seminar is now available.

P. Durrant. Growth in Grammar: A multi-dimensional analysis of student writing between 5 and 16. The 37th ICAME Conference. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China, May 2016.

P. Durrant. Invited speaker. Growth in Grammar: A multi-dimensional analysis of student writing between 5 and 16. Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, May 2016.

P. Durrant. Invited speaker. Revisiting Collocational PrimingCorpus data and psycholinguistics seminar. ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Sciences, Lancaster University, UK, May 2016.

P. Durrant. Invited speaker. Learner Corpus Research and Psycholinguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, February 2016.

P Durrant.  Keynote speaker. Phraseology and variation in student writingTechnology for Second Language Learning Conference: Data-driven approaches to learning phraseology and formulaic language. Iowa State University, USA, September 2015.

P. Durrant. Lexical Bundles and Disciplinary Variation in University Students’ Writing: Mapping the Territories. Biennial BALEAP Conference. University of Leicester, UK, April 2015.

P. Durrant. Invited speaker. Formulaicity within Turkish Words. Corpus-based Word Frequency: Methods and Applications. Mersin University, Turkey, February 2015.

P. Durrant. Keynote speaker. Mapping student writing across the disciplinesBALEAP Professional Issues Meeting on EAP and Corpora. Coventry University, UK, June 2014.

There are no current events to display, but please come back soon for updates.