Call for papers: Recognizing complexity in language learning and teaching

2014 (10th) Annual Conference of the BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG
Hosted by the School of Education, University of Leeds
3rd & 4th July 2014

The Language Learning and Teaching Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics are holding their 10th Annual Conference at the University of Leeds. The topic of the conference is “Recognising Complexity”, and taps into the rich potential Complex Systems Theory has to offer in theorising the interrelations between language, society and the individual. As stated in the conference announcement:

Everywhere we look in language education, things seem to be getting more complex. Once it seemed we had a manageable set of individual differences to distinguish learners; now, recognizing them as whole persons, we see an almost infinite array of attributes, identities and trajectories.  Regarding learning activities, we long ago abandoned the search for a one-size-fits-all methodology for language teaching but the pedagogic options continue to multiply and the potential subject matter of the syllabus keeps expanding. We know teaching must fit the context, but on close inspection the classroom is found to be irreducibly complex too, and is often just one node in a network of communities relevant for learning. And in the broader context of language development and use, communities which were once largely monolingual are now ‘superdiverse’.

What are teachers to do? Will continued research in language education inevitably complexify matters further? Or is it producing insights that can genuinely help teachers and learners? Are there theories, new or old, which offer hope of greater clarity in our understanding of learning and teaching processes?

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

  • Professor Adrian Holliday, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Dr Sarah Mercer, Karl-Franzen University Graz, Austria
  • Professor Pauline Foster, St Mary’s University College Twickenham

Call for papers

Contributions are invited for 20-minute presentations (+10 minutes discussion) and posters broadly addressing the conference theme. Interested participants are asked to send a 250-word abstract by Sunday 23rd March 2014 to baalsig2014[at]leeds.ac.uk

Registration

Conference registration will open in the spring of 2014, at which time conference fees will be confirmed. Fees are likely to be as follows:

  • BAAL members: £135.00
  • Non-BAAL members:  £155.00
  • Student/unwaged: £110.00
  • Conference dinner: £35.00

Bed & breakfast accommodation at less than £40/night will be available on campus.

Additional information

Additional information about the conference venue, accommodation and other events can be found at the conference website. Inquiries may be addressed to:

  • Martin Lamb (m.v.lamb[at]education.leeds.ac.uk)
  • Richard Badger (r.g.badger[at]education.leeds.ac.uk) or
  • James Simpson (j.e.b.simpson[at]education.leeds.ac.uk)

Featured Image: Fractal flame (Wikipedia), CC BY-SA

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