What We Did This Summer 2017

It’s been a busy summer with conference attending (see July’s post about the English Association event in Newcastle), clearing, module reviews and preparation for this new academic year. Here’s a round up of some of the events. 


The end of the summer and the beginning of the academic year saw Swansea University host the launch of the Stop TIME Online activity pack which is the culmination of the research done by Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus (supported by Swansea University and funding from cherish-de) and her collaboration with the NSPCC – specifically Ruth Mullineux (project lead). The event was a huge success, receiving media attention from, among others: BBC News Online Wales, ITV.com, BBC Radio Wales’s Good Morning Wales ,  Wales Online, and reaching global audience with comment by Brazil Business News.  The  event was well-attended by colleagues, including Professor Richard B Davies (Vice Chancellor, Swansea University), community stakeholders, as well as the former children’s commissioner for Wales,  Keith Towler and Carl Sargent AM, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children.


In August, Cornelia went to the EuroCALL Conference which took place in Southampton this year. For those who don’t know, EuroCALL is the European conference on Computer-Assisted Language Learning. You can see the highlights from the conference here. This is what Cornelia said about her experience.

“This year, I had submitted a proposal for a workshop on “Intelligent CALL”, which was accepted and so I, together with three colleagues from Belgium, Ireland and Germany, delivered a half-day workshop on this topic on the first day of the conference. We talked about basic NLP (Natural Language Processing) tools, automated corrective feedback and other CALL tools that might interest an audience of language teachers. The workshop was very well attended and ended with a lively discussion on the potential of “Intelligent CALL”. The rest of my time in Southampton was taken up with attending talks on CALL, networking and getting an introductory training session on how to be an associate editor for ReCALL, the journal published by EuroCALL.

What the video on the conference highlights does not show you is the conference dinner, which took place in the football stadium, surely a first for a EuroCALL conference!”

Vivienne presented her own paper, as well as presented work with her undergraduate dissertation students and PhD supervisee at EUROSLA

In July, Alexia attended the English Association’s ‘English: Shared Futures’, held in Newcastle 5-7 July 2017.  It was the first of its kind: a version of the U.S. ‘super-conference’, with over 500 delegates and 150 panels over the three days (and, sadly, no lunch break).  She said: ‘For me, as a tutor in Applied Linguistics, the stand-out event of the conference was the plenary given by Professor Deborah Cameron (Oxford) who spoke about ‘Language and the Problem of Female Authority’. Anyone interested in language and gender, its impact on culture and our everyday lives, Deborah Cameron is a well-known figure. At the Newcastle event, she spoke about the problem of (or more accurately ‘with’) female authority.  Building on her work from her 2007 book The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really speak Different Languages? Cameron discussed examples of the myths that surround the linguistic behaviours of men and women: women apologise too much, women are less confident than men in speech, or women talk more than men. In the category of non-verbal language, it seems women don’t do so well either: women use too many head tilts in conversation, women don’t interrupt enough, smile too often and inappropriately, and women take up less physical space. The  list goes on…. It was a great event and I got to talk to her about teaching language and gender afterwards!’ (for the full-post on the conference see July entries)

Alexia also had a great time talking to those participating in clearing  and generally making peoples’ dreams come true…. ;D