Communicating with Other Worlds: Formal Linguistic Second Language Acquisition and Language Teaching


Berrick Saul Building, University of York, 4–6pm, 8 September 2016

MiLL presented this event for language teachers and those interested in language teaching, at the Education Session of the 2016 Linguistics Association of Great Britain meeting.


Formal linguistic second language acquisition research and the practice of language teaching share the same focus, namely the development of non-native language knowledge. Yet interactions between these two endeavours are rare. One practical reason for this is the absence of forums for such interaction. For example, conferences tend to be either research-focussed or profession-focussed. Another reason is that formal linguistic SLA research has not been widely communicated in non-technical language. We take the view that there are a lot of findings from this body of research that would be useful and informative for language teachers, and that the research community should take up the challenge to disseminate findings in an accessible way for a teacher audience. In this session, we showcase some examples of attempts to do this, at both the practical level, by holding events that specifically target both teachers and researchers; and at the level of research design, where research grounded in linguistic theory has been conducted with the involvement of teachers or with the practicalities of the classroom in mind. Finally, we present some bitesize talks in pecha kucha style, as examples of a different and potentially more accessible mode of communication about second language acquisition research.


Introduction and overview: Kook-Hee Gil (Sheffield), Melinda Whong (Leeds), Heather Marsden (York)

Invited talk: Florence Myles (Essex), The role of ‘chunks’ in second language learning and teaching
Invited talk: Tom Rankin  (Vienna), Linguistics, education and how to do things with syntax

Invited pecha kucha talks:

  • Elaine Lopez (Leeds), Teaching the unteachable: articles in the L2 English classroom
  • [CANCELLED] Vivienne Rogers (Swansea), Is there a link between learning words and learning grammar?
  • Sophie Hentschel (Harrogate Grammar School), Teaching L1 and L2 grammar in the modern language classroom