Manchester Roundtable on Complexity Theory and ELT

I often circulate conference announcements in this space, but today I am very excited to announce a seminar that I am co-organising, which will focus on Complex Systems Theory and English Language Teaching. This will take place in Manchester just after IATEFL, so if you happen to be around, do join us!

We’ve put together a website for the event, and we’ll be populating it with more information in the coming weeks. In the meanwhile, any feedback or comments will be appreciated. You can download our flier here (in .pdf form). If you could circulate this to anyone who might be interested, we’d be most grateful!

And finally, here’s the call for participation:


 Manchester Roundtable
on Complexity Theory and ELT

Wednesday 15 April 2015
9:00am – 3:00pm
The University of Manchester

Complexity Theory is becoming an established perspective in the field of ELT. To date, Complexity Theory has been used to generate understandings of ELT, and has also served as a framework for empirical studies (most prominently studies of language learning and use in ELT situations). However, Complexity Theory has not yet been used to directly inform actual ELT practice and it will remain of limited value to ELT practitioners unless it can generate practical insights deemed as useful by practitioners.

Through a combination of invited presentations and participant discussion, the Roundtable aims to identify how Complexity Theory may enhance ELT practice. Tentatively, this may include discussion of how Complexity Theory may inform language classroom teaching, teacher development, innovation in curriculum, syllabus and materials design, and the inclusion of learners as fuller participants in language education. There will be opportunities for Roundtable participants to add to this tentative agenda.

There will be presentations offering starting points for discussion by:

  • Lynne Cameron (Professor Emerita, Open University)
  • Susan Dawson (University of Manchester and INTO Manchester)
  • Achilleas Kostoulas (University of Manchester)
  • Sarah Mercer (University of Graz, Austria)
  • Juup Stelma (University of Manchester)

The one-day Roundtable will take place immediately following the annual conference of the International Association for Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL), also in Manchester. If you are an ELT practitioner and/or researcher and have an interest in Complexity Theory (broadly construed), you are warmly invited to this Roundtable and we would welcome your input. This is a free event.

If you wish to participate in the Roundtable, please register before April 8th on Eventbrite. Please note that we need to limit the number of participants. Once the maximum number of participants has been reached, we will no longer be taking any further registrations.

The Roundtable is sponsored by:
Institute for Development, Policy & Management
School of Environment, Education & Development
The University of Manchester

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