‘New Directions in Reflective Practice’ conference at Aston University

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CLERA held a one-day conference on 14th May 2014 aimed at bringing together researchers and English language professionals to share current approaches to reflective practice. The event was led by Dr Fiona Copland, Director of CLERA, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston University.

From left to right: Dr. Steve Mann, Dr. Sue Wharton, Professor Thomas S.C. Farrell, Dr. Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton, Dr. Elaine Riordan and Dr. Fiona Farr

From left to right: Dr. Steve Mann, Dr. Sue Wharton, Professor Thomas S.C. Farrell, Dr. Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton, Dr. Elaine Riordan and Dr. Fiona Farr

We were delighted to welcome many well-known researchers as speakers at the event. The opening plenary talk was delivered by Professor Thomas S.C. Farrell (author of Reflective Language Teaching: From Research to Practice).  Other invited speakers included Dr Nur Kurtoglu-Hooton, Aston University; Dr Sue Wharton, Dr Steve Mann and Sarah Banks, University of Warwick; Dr Jane Spiro, Oxford-Brookes University; Dr Fiona Farr & Dr Elaine Riordan, University of Limerick.

During the conference, there was plenty of opportunity for discussion of a range of issues in the field, from practical approaches to reflective practice to researching it effectively and evaluating it critically.

The conference was attended by 60 delegates comprising of Masters and PhD Research students, EAP tutors and lecturers in English Language Teaching from across the country.

Many thanks go to Dr Fiona Copland for organising the conference and to the British Council for sponsoring this event.

British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We call this cultural relations.

Encourage language learning: British Academy Schools Language Awards 2013

Do you have a great idea to encourage students post-16 to take language learning to advanced levels? Have you found an effective way to inspire your A-level students to take up MFL at degree level?

If so, apply now to the British Academy Schools Language Awards 2013! The Academy is looking for schools and colleges which can demonstrate that their plans for sparking enthusiasm for MFL learning are both effective and attainable. The Academy especially welcomes projects “which involve collaboration between sectors (e.g. between schools/colleges/universities, or with business or employers), or which target learners from less advantaged social groups or areas of the country”.

For more information, and to apply, go to the BA website.

Schools language 2013 award eflier

CLERA project: Transitions between Primary and Secondary Schools for Young Learners of English

CLERA researchers Prof Anne Burns, Dr Fiona Copland, Dr Sue Garton and Dr Muna Morris-Adams are currently involved in the ELTRP British Council grant-funded study Transitions between Primary and Secondary Schools for Young Learners of English which examines the issues that arise when learners move up the educational system and how curriculum policy and teaching practice can bridge any potential gaps.

They invite anybody who teaches young learners at the transition levels to share their experiences by completing the Transition in ELT Survey.

The results will be published to inform good practice in ELT teaching. If you wish to receive the results of the study, please indicate at the end of the survey.


Example of good practice at Aston University

On the HEA website, CLERA researcher Dr Claudia Gremler outlines a successful video production task, developed in Aston University’s German section in 2010-11:

‘The increased use of audio-visual materials in the FL class room reflects the extent to which multi-media forms an important feature in students’ every day lives. In addition to more traditional video-based activities, such as listening tasks, video production assignments can provide a valuable and engaging learning experience which helps the students develop confidence in using the TL.’