Multilingualism in healthcare: Exploring the lived experience of maternity professionals

Dr Emma Brooks investigates the everyday experiences of multilingual NHS maternity professionals.

Discussions surrounding migration and health in the UK often focus on language as a barrier to care, failing to recognise the linguistic diversity of NHS staff. This research impact project aims to achieve a better understanding of how and when health workers use additional languages to English, the benefits of doing so and the potential for them to receive institutional recognition and support for this work. More details about the project here


BAAL Multilingualism SIG online annual event

We are pleased to invite you to BAAL’s Multilingualism SIG online annual event

“Heritage Language Maintenance: identifying challenges across educational settings” 

            Thursday 8th December 2022, 4pm-6pm (GMT)

To attend the event please register here and you will receive a Zoom link.

There will be opportunities for the audience to share their experiences and views and participate in the open discussion afterwards.  

The BAAL Multilingualism SIG Committee

Froso Argyri, Sara Ganassin, Alexandra Georgiou, Alexandra Shaitan

“Racially minoritised pre-service teachers’ experiences of language oppression”

This is a reminder of the next talk on the 7th of December (4-5.30pm) by Dr. Ian Cushing (Edge Hill University) at the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics, “Racially minoritised pre-service teachers’ experiences of language oppression”. 

This is a face-to-face event but we will stream it via Zoom for those who cannot make it to London and want to attend it.

This is the zoom link:

Meeting ID: 945 6957 1242; Passcode: 811890

Everyone welcome! 

Racially minoritised pre-service teachers’ experiences of language oppression  

Dr Ian Cushing 

Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University, UK 

Wednesday 7th December, 4:00-5:30 pm

Malet Place Engineering Building, Room 1.02

All welcome!


Racism is pervasive and normalised within the lives of racially minoritised pre-service teachers, but very little work has sought to highlight the role that perceptions and ideologies about language play here. In this talk, I discuss how racially minoritised pre-service teachers experienced language oppression, in terms of being asked to modify, flatten, and in some cases, completely abandon their inherently heterogenous language practices if they were to be perceived as a legitimate teacher. Based on interview data with 26 pre-service teachers who identified as racially minoritised, many of whom were also from low-income families, I show the different ways in which enactments of language oppression materialised whilst on school experience placements. Using an approach informed by Critical Race Theory and raciolinguistics, I discuss how language oppression is an intersectional phenomenon, intricately tied to other axes of discrimination including social class and religion. I show the various ways in which language oppression gets justified, such as where mentors referred to state-produced policy documents and their fears surrounding Ofsted. I show how perceptions about the quality of language are ideologically linked to perceptions about the quality of teaching, and document the pressures that minoritised pre-service teachers are under to adapt their language so that it appropriates idealised whiteness. Finally, I argue that future, anti-racist efforts in educational linguistics must focus on connecting language struggles to broader struggles concerning coloniality and white supremacy, rather than the modification of individual attitudes. 

UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics Seminar



Dr. Marco Espinoza

Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of Chile

Wed 9 Nov, 4:00-5:30 pm

Malet Place Engineering Building, Room 1.02

In this talk I will discuss the relation between language(s), speakerhood, and the recent failed constitution-making process in Chile. I will approach this discussion from a critical sociolinguistic perspective that pays attention to a) the discursive processes of language-making -and the language ideologies therein- and b) languaging -the practice of using languages, or the practiced language policy- in two moments of the Chilean Constitutional Convention: the election of members of the Convention and the creation of the Rules of Procedure of the Convention. My purpose is to map the discursive and communicative ways in which the nation and the state were linguistically enacted and (re)imagined, by different relevant actors, during the constitutional moment in Chile. Historical contextualization reveals a continuity of colonial language and speaker hierarchies in Chile that the constitutional moment, despite briefly opening ideological and implementational spaces that promoted multilingualism, was unable to overcome. This talk also aims to contribute to more general discussions about the role of language(s) in nation and state making, the political dimensions of language diversity, as well as the challenges presented to critical sociolinguistics in moments of political crisis. 


Registrations here 

European Day of Languages 26/09/2022

For those wishing to celebrate the European Day of Languages in London, we would like to bring to your attention this event  at  astunning London rooftop location for a live discussion with our expert panel of leading academics and practitioners. Our staff member: Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith will be one of the panelists. 

During this lively conversation with Q&A, Rowan Hooper, podcast editor at New Scientist, host of the New Scientist Weekly podcast and author of Superhuman – Life at the Extremes of Mental and Physical Ability, will lead a discussion with our team of linguists to reveal the cognitive benefits of bi- and multilingualism, including:

• How language learning can improve our memory 

• The impact of learning languages through music 

• How language learning can improve overall brain health

• How our emotions are influenced by language learning 

• Suggestions for teaching and teachers, policy, advocacy and more

Rowan will be joined by Dr Thomas Bak from The University of Edinburgh, Desta Haile of Languages through Music, Dr Dina Mehmedbegovic-Smith of University College London and Christine Schallmoser of King’s College, London.

More information and tickets on this link. 

UCL ALT masters research selected for IATEFL Quick Fire Presentation Event 2022

This year’s IATEFL MA ELT Quick Fire Presentation Event was hosted by the University of Warwick on 16 August. We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all the MA TESOL and MA Applied Linguistics students who took the initiative and applied for this opportunity, and particularly to those students who were ultimately included in the event programme. They were: 

Mari Ito – The effect of argumentative task on complexity, accuracy & fluency of L2 speech production & its relevancy with aptitude

Seido Iga – Masked or Not: The Impact of Face Mask Wearing on Second Language Learners’ Emotions and Comprehensibility in Japan (online) 

Qiqi Zhou – Exploring how mobile-assisted language learning can promote speaking ability and influence foreign language enjoyment and foreign language anxiety for Chinese EFL learners using the English Fun Dubbing APP 

Zhiying (Zoe) Li – Proficiency pairing in collaborative writing task: A study of Chinese EFL college students’ performance and perception of language learning and collective scaffolding (online)

Congratulations, all!

The Coloniality of Linguistic Entrepreneurship

Ruanni Tupas joins some of the Philippines’ reknown scholars in the humanities and social sciences in the Centennial Issue of the UNITAS: An International Online Journal of Advanced Research in Literature and Society. Ruanni’s invited paper is entitled, “The Coloniality of Linguistic Entrepreneurship“. UNITAS is one of the longest running extant journals in the Philippines and Asia. 


9th Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication 

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, University College London (UK).

3rd -4th April 2023 

‘Language, inequality and the everyday (un)making of alliances’ 

The ninth EELC conference follows a series of global crises epitomised by moments of spectacular disruption, such as the so-called ‘2008 economic crisis’ or the ‘COVID-19 pandemic’. But far from representing isolated events, these build on long-standing processes, practices and experiences of inequality which are increasingly at the centre of more and more people’s daily lives. The conference aims to provide a platform to reflect on the types of alliances that ethnographic and language scholarship might be able to generate in the (un)making of such inequalities.

The confirmed keynote speakers and featured workshop organisers are:

  • Dr Julia Snell, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Dr Daniel Silva, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil)
  • Dr Beatriz Lorente, University of Bern (Switzerland)
  • Dr Lian Malai Madsen, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • Dr Jackie Jia Lou, Birkbeck University of London (UK)

Forms of participation

We welcome participants to submit proposals of  papersposters and colloquia: 

  • Individual papers will be allocated 30 minutes, 20 for presentation and a further 10 minutes for discussion. Participants should submit abstracts of max. 300 words.
  • Poster presenters will be assigned a special session for brief presentations and discussions. Participants should submit abstracts of max. 300 words.
  • Colloquia will be allocated 5 slots of 30-minute each, including discussion. Panel organisers should submit an outline of the suggested topic and aims (max. 500 words), together with the titles and short abstracts (max. 300 words) of all included papers.  

Deadline: all abstracts should be submitted via this platform by 1/10/2022. Please also find attached the instructions to submit abstracts via EasyChair.

Notification of acceptance: December 2022

In order to make it as affordable as possible, the organisation of this conference will be fully arranged by the local committee with no outsourcing to third parties other than catering and interpretation services. Expect participation fees to be around £130 (non-BAAL members), £120 (BAAL members), £100 (students) and £80 (unemployed and participants from low, lower-middle or upper-middle income economy countries according to the WB classification). We are, however, waiting for budget confirmation so these are subject to change. More information on registration and fees will be announced shortly.

The Local Organising Committee,  

Emma Brooks, Miguel Pérez-Milans & Andrea Sunyol 

UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics, University College London

9th Explorations in Ethnography, Language and Communication

Oral or written essay? IOE blog post featuring doctoral research by Katia Dowdle

In a recent IOE blog post, doctoral candidate Katia Dowdle (supervisors: Talia Isaacs & Lesley Gourlay) challenged the ubiquitous written essay format in UK higher education assessment. Based on her own doctoral research, Katia raises a number of issues related to the written format, presenting the ‘oral essay’ as an alternative.

Katia invites responses to the blog post – please leave your response and share widely!