Friday, February 25, 2005

Language teaching conference cfp--last call

Got this call for papers in my e-mail box the other day. It sounds interesting, despite its use of the dreaded "interrogating". Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to submit anything. But you can!




27-28 JUNE 2005

This conference, hosted in the multicultural and multilingual city of Leicester in the centre of England, marks the establishment of CELTEAL (Centre for English Language Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics) within the School of Education in the University of Leicester. The theme of the conference, 'Interrogating Third Spaces in Language Teaching, Learning and Use', derives from the interests of the group who have all been involved in working across multilingual and multicultural contexts.
We would like to interrogate the concept of third space which has been in use for several years in cultural studies and applied linguistics. We believe it is time now to explore the validity of this concept, both theoretically and practically in terms of its applicability to a wide range of applied linguistic topics. We would like to take the opportunity to invite those with an interest in the idea of third spaces to engage with us in discussion of its potentials and problematic.

Plenary Speakers
  • Adrian Holliday
  • Bonny Norton
  • Ben Rampton
  • Helen Spencer-Oatey

The intermediate spaces - linguistic, discursive and cultural spaces - between established norms have habitually been seen as problematic, because they constitute neither one thing nor another but are, by definition, in-between. A result of contact, they are heterogeneous spaces, but they can also reach autonomy, transcending their component sources through a dialectical process to make a new, expanded space which had not been dreamt of before. On the other hand, the very concept of 'Third Spaces' presupposes, and thereby reinforces, relatively stable and homogeneous norms in the 'first' and 'second' spaces, and this presupposition needs to be examined.

Postmodern theory, particularly in anthropology and cultural studies, has taught us to celebrate these intermediate zones, which have been named 'Third Spaces', because through the struggles of those who create them they present the possibility for stimulation and renewal, as well as threat. But we do not need to adopt postmodernist theory to begin to value these third spaces, whether they become stable or are always in transition.

This Conference will examine what there is to celebrate in the existence of third spaces, and will interrogate the usefulness of the concept itself, in the following areas:

  • How language learners construct (or are constrained from constructing) learning experiences that are meaningful for themselves out of what teachers and others intend for them.
  • How inter-language (phonology, syntax, pragmatic strategies, discourse strategies, genres...) thrives as an independent system in the spaces between the norms of L1 and L2, as fossilised forms, pidgins, idiolects, emergent systems and 'errors'.
  • How language varieties emerge against established standards, in regional and sub-cultural pockets.
  • How particular teachers and learners in particular classrooms adopt, adapt, co-opt and corrupt teaching methodologies, course materials, syllabi, curricula and examination systems, and make them work for themselves.
  • How participants in multi-language interactions mix, switch, translate, and otherwise manage to communicate in one language or another.
  • How identities are lost, reduced, confounded, re-shaped, and re-made in the move from one language to another.
  • How learning to write in academic and other genres means finding a way between the established conventions and how you want to express who you are.
  • How readers extract and impose their own meanings from and on texts, moving themselves towards the text, and the text towards themselves.

Submitting abstracts:

Abstracts of 250-300 words, in English, should demonstrate a clear relationship to the conference theme. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 7 March 2005.

Papers will last for 30 minutes, including at least 10 minutes for discussion. PowerPoint and OHPs will be available as standard.

Abstracts should contain:

  • Title of presentation
  • Name(s) of the author(s)
  • Affiliation of the author(s)
  • Both email and postal addresses
  • Telephone and Fax numbers
  • Any special audio-visual/IT requirements

Abstracts should be submitted as email attachments by 7 March 2005 to the following address:

Details about registration, accommodation, etc. can be found on the conference website:

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