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‘Who Is The Language Learner’

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Date of Event
10th March 2017
Last Booking Date for this Event
9th March 2017
Places Available

Globally, migrant flows, international business development, cultural products which reach far and wide, educational policy and family pressure are all strong influences on an individual’s decision to learn another language.  World-wide the language of choice is often English; however, in the UK, other languages are popular, with French being widely taught from primary school age and heritage languages, such as Chinese, in less formal conditions such as Saturday schools.  More locally, Scottish independence has led to a revival in Scottish Gaelic, endorsed by the Scottish Parliament’s wish to secure Gaelic as the official language of Scotland. At the same time, there has been a growing recognition that the Scots language is spoken by large numbers of Scottish nationals (up to 2.7 million).   Language learning, therefore, is widespread but little discussed.  Furthermore, research in language learning is disparate and mono-disciplinary, tending to pursue particular strands such as English language teaching, bi- and multi-lingualism, and ‘modern’ language teaching.

This one-day conference will bring together scholars from these different strands to explore language learning nationally and globally. In responding to the question, ‘Who is the language learner’, speakers will examine the contexts of and motivations for learning other languages.  The final round table will provide an opportunity for interdisciplinary sharing and discussion and consider the research agenda as we go forward.


Professor Claire Kramsch, University of California; Professor Fiona Copland, University of Stirling; Dr Sue Garton, Aston University; Joanna McPake, University of Strathclyde; Professor Bernadette O’Rourke, Dublin City University; Professor Alison Phipps, University of Glasgow and Professor Angela Creese, University of Birmingham.

Please note that lunch will be provided.