World’s first comprehensibility scale

Dr Talia Isaacs, together with Canadian collaborators, has launched the world’s first English comprehensibility scale. The data-driven scale will help teachers more effectively target the most important linguistic factors for understanding second language English speakers.

The scale is a product of an ongoing collaboration on what it takes to be understandable in a second language. It aims to reduce language barriers and promote skill-appropriate language learning behaviours.

For more information, read the press release here and the journal article here.

The scale, together with instructions for using it, is freely downloadable here.

Talia’s IRIS page includes further examples of her research.

Good news before the Easter break

Warmest congratulations are due to Andrea Revesz, for winning this year’sprestigious Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) Best Research Article Award for her paper ‘The effects of complexity, accuracy and fluency on communicative adequacy in oral task performance’ in the world-leading journal Applied Linguistics.


The award is given by the International Association for Task-based Language Teaching (IATBLT), in its annual competition for the best research article judged by ‘significance and originality of the topic addressed; strength or originality of research design, quality of data collection and analysis procedures, and appropriate interpretation of results; the persuasiveness and clarity of the argument; and potential impact of research on TBLT-related practice, theory and future research’.

The paper was co-authored with Monika Ekiert (CUNY, New York) and Eivend Torgersen (University of Trondheim, Norway) and you can read the article here.


Research event rescheduled

Please note: the talk by Anthony J. Liddicoat, University of Warwick on ‘Interpretation and critical reflection in intercultural language learning: Consequences of a critical perspective for the teaching and learning of pragmatics’ is being rescheduled.

More details to follow.

Language, Education and Neoliberalism


A new edited collection called ‘Language, Education and Neoliberalism: Critical Studies in Sociolinguistics’ edited by Mi-Cha Flubacher and Alfonso Del Percio has just been released for pre-order.

Published by Multilingual Matters, the volume presents an empirical account of how neoliberal ideas are adopted on the ground by different actors in different educational settings, from bilingual education in the US, to migrant work programmes in Italy, to minority language teaching in Mexico. It examines language and education as objects of neoliberalization and as powerful tools and sites through which neoliberal societies and economies are (re)produced and maintained (and with that, inequality and exclusion). This book aims to produce a complex understanding of how neoliberal rationalities are articulated within locally anchored and historical regimes of knowledge on language, education and society.

While at pre-order stage, it is also available on 50% discount!