On behalf of CLERA and InterLanD (School of Languages & Social Sciences), Dr Urszula Clark hosted the second annual conference on the topic: ‘How Does Language & Literacy Work?’ on 17th May 2014. The conference continues the ground breaking collaboration begun last year between University researchers, providers of continuing development programmes in teaching English as an additional language and teachers across the primary and secondary sectors.
The conference aimed to:
- Make the workings of the language system explicit in order to appreciate the role language plays, in constructing knowledge across all learning areas.
- Build understandings about the patterned ways meanings are made within and across genres so that educators are able to develop students’ language resources to understand and produce those genres.
- Enable participants to understand and use the differences between spoken and written language, both as a teaching and a learning tool.
This year’s keynote speakers were Caroline Coffin, Professor in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the Open University, UK and Claire Acevedo, Freelance Education Consultant and Teacher Educator. There were also a series of workshops run by Dr Garry Plappert and Dr Urszula Clark, Aston University and Lee Donaghy, Park View Academy, Birmingham.
During the conference, there was plenty of opportunity for discussion of a range of issues in the field.
Feedback was positive. One delegate said, ‘This has increased my knowledge about functional linguistics. It has been an excellent opportunity to learn from a wide variety of professionals.’ Another delegate said, ‘Really excellent again, thanks so much for being so welcoming. I would definitely come again in 2015 & beyond!’
Many thanks go to Dr Urszula Clark for organising the conference and to all the speakers and delegates who gave up a warm, sunny Saturday to attend.