Andrea Revesz discusses language memory with Stephen Fry on BBC Radio 4

On Stephen Fry’s BBC Radio 4 show “Fry’s English Delight”, our very own Prof. Andrea Revesz discusses language memory (from around 23’30), as part of an impressive line-up of guests including Prof. Steven Pinker, Prof. Usha Goswami, and Sir Simon Russell Beale!

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Prof Gunther Kress (1940-2019) Our deepest condolences and sympathies

We are very very sorry to report that Prof Gunther Kress, member of @uclappliedlinguistics, died of a heart attack yesterday, 20 June, in Rome. He was at the A-Mode conference: https://a-mode.eumade4ll.eu. We have lost a leading thinker in social semiotics, education, language and communication, literacy, multimodality, and so much more. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunther_Kress

Miguel Pérez- Milans elected Co-President of EDiSo Association for Studies on Discourse and Society

Miguel Pérez- Milans has been elected co-president of EDiSo Association for Studies on Discourse and Society, for the next 4 years. 

EDiSo is an association created more than 8 years ago as a form of academic commons. Gathering scholars interested in studies of discourse, language and society, this platform has aimed to create new spaces for collaboration and to challenge hierarchical forms of academic organisation built on only English language normative structures. It works on an assembly-based system, and hosts international symposia biannually which work with multilingualism as a core principle in its format and organisation. More than hosting conferences, this association arranges a number of regular offline and online activities and group-based committees that all EDiSo members collaborate with. The new elected Executive Board is as follows:

Berdardino Tavares (member, Université du Luxembourg), Viviane Resende (member, Universidade de Brasília), Adriana Patiño-Santos (member, University of Southampton), Yvette Bürki (member, Universität Bern), Susana Martínez Guillem (member, University of New Mexico), Manuel Alcántara (member, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) David Poveda (secretary, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Maite Puigdevall (treasury, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Óscar García Agustín (vice-secretary, Aalborg University), Eva Codó & Miguel Pérez-Milans (co-presidency, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona & University College London).

For the period of 2019-2021 Miguel will act as Vice-president and Eva Codo as President and then they will switch positions for 2021-2023 as they will lead the association in a co-presidency mode throughout the 4 years. 

For more information on EDiSo, please check out its official website (https://www.edisoportal.org), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/edisodiscurso/) or Twitter accounts (https://twitter.com/asoc_ediso?lang=en).

Prof Li Wei and Prof Bencie Woll’s British Academy report “Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning: Broadening our perspectives” now available

A UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and UCL Brain Sciences report published 29 May aims to shape future research and guide public policy by synthesising evidence on the benefits of language learning. The British Academy report also shows evidence for a strong positive correlation between additional language-learning and the development of creativity.

Almost nine in ten adults surveyed agreed that learning a new language gives better employment opportunities and a similar proportion agreed that learning a language helps to develop analytical skills.

The researchers, Professor Bencie Woll (UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences and Fellow of the British Academy) and Professor Li Wei (IOE), also pointed to evidence that younger children who learn sign language in a pre-school setting attain a greater appreciation of cultural diversity and different ways of communicating.

Reported by Institute of Education 29 May 2019.

New Journal launched “Language, Culture and Society” (John Benjamins) with editors Li Wei, Miguel Perez-Milans and Alfonso Del Percio

Edited by our colleagues Professor Li WeiDr Miguel Perez-Milans and Dr Alfonso Del Percio, along with Patricia Baquedano-López (University of California, Berkeley), Cécile Vigouroux (Simon Fraser University) and Katherine Chen (University of Macau), “Language, Culture and Society” is published by John Benjamins and provides an international platform for cutting-edge research that advances thinking and understanding of the intersections of language, culture and society. 

The journal will aim to push traditional disciplinary boundaries through theoretical and methodological innovation. In particular, the journal will explore new communicative contexts and practices and publish research that breaks new ground by making connections with other disciplines.

Themes that will be covered include sociolinguistics, discourse studies, pragmatics and semiotics.

Read the UCL announcement here, and see the journal homepage here.

Claire Hao (MA alumna) short listed for the 2019 British Council Alumni Global Finalist Social Impact Award

Centre for Applied Linguistics MA alumna, Claire Hao, has been short listed for the 2019 British Council Alumni Global Finalist Social Impact Award. Claire was a student member of the ChangeMakers team ‘Making the most of linguistic diversity in HE’ project and is currently collaborating with Sian Preece and Alexandra Georgiou on the ChangeMakers extension project, which is developing a plurilingual teaching and learning UCL Toolkit. Read more about Claire’s work in China at https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/alumni-awards/winners/2019-social-impact

Chi Lai Heskey Tsang (MA Applied Linguistics) has won the 2018 Caroline Clapham IELTS Master’s Award for his dissertation

The award is given to an English Language dissertation that “makes the most significant contribution to the field of language testing”. Read more here: https://bit.ly/2WakNT4

His dissertation, entitled ‘Examining Washback on Learning from a Sociocultural Perspective: The Case of a Graded Approach to English Language Testing in Hong Kong’, was supervised by Dr Talia Isaacs (UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics). The dissertation was also commended for the 2018 ELT Masters Dissertation Award for its potential impact on English language teaching.

PhD Students win ‘HR Organisational Development for a Research-led Initiative Award’

Applied Linguistics PhD students Emma Brooks, Sara Young and Ayse Gur Geden have been awarded the UCL “HR Organisational Development for a Researcher-led Initiative Award”.

The award has been granted for the departmental PhD student-led seminars. The award comes with some funding which will allow our PhD students to have some more autonomy with which to keep innovating and pushing the seminars further, for the benefit of our department’s doctoral culture.

Congratulations to Emma, Sara and Ayse for doing a terrific job in making this happen!