Keynote and Invited Speakers

We are pleased to inform that the confirmed keynote speakers will be:

Elissavet Amanatidou (Brown University)

Title: From major to minor: reconfigured pedagogies and curricular transformations in ab initio university language classes.

With the number of students accepted or opting to study languages at degree level in decline, it is no longer rare to see universities offering entry level courses as part of a BA in languages, and not just in the so-called less commonly taught ones. As departments mount new programs to revive student interest in other languages and cultures, faculty are faced with the challenge of reconfiguring the curriculum to meet the challenge of teaching a different type of learner: the university student who embarks on a language degree from scratch.

This presentation will focus on the challenges of combining an instrumental approach to language teaching, traditionally thought of as skills-based, with a literacy oriented approach that aims to foster intellectual growth alongside language proficiency. It will propose a curricular transformation that is a departure from the bifurcation of divergent pedagogies, communicative language teaching at introductory level versus an engagement with and analysis of content at advanced level. In doing so, this talk will offer examples of hybrid, integrated pedagogical practices that situate language study within cross-curricular, transcultural and translingual frames to cultivate the interpretative skills and critical multi-literacies associated with the humanities and the missions of universities around the world.

Bionote: Elissavet Amanatidou was educated at Aristotle University (Greece), University of East Anglia and King’s College London in the UK.  After 20 years of working as a language instructor in the UK, she accepted a position at Brown University, where is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Greek and Director of Modern Greek Studies in the Classics Department. Her research interests are Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy; strategies of curriculum delivery and assessment; educational technologies; critical pedagogies and foreign language literacies. Concurrently to her appointment as Senior Lecturer she served as Director of the Centre for Language Studies at Brown University, from 2007-2014.  Elsa has been producing content and developing qualifications in Modern Foreign Languages for examination boards in the UK, since 1989. She is currently serving her second year as President of the Ivy-plus Consortium for Language Teaching and Learning in USA.

Dr Brian Fox (Director of the provision of interpreting for the European Commission)

Title: Students as Global Graduates (provisional)

Why does the EU need 23 languages when the UN with several times the number of member states makes do with a mere 6?  Doesn’t everyone speak English anyway? We Europeans are incredibly attached to our languages, our cultures, in brief: our diversity. That we opted for language diversity is no accident.

Whereas not so long ago the vast majority of graduates tended to stay in their own countries, international mobility has become an increasingly valuable asset, even a pre-requisite. Today’s graduates, and even more so, today’s students should and increasingly do consider themselves as global graduates.

It is probably impossible – and  most certainly  unwise – to think that one can separate a language from its culture. Many international projects drift and founder on management’s unspoken assumption that we all think the same way. Actually, we don’t. Far from it.

Language has always been a powerful and highly sensitive issue. It is arguably more so now than ever before, despite globalisation – or  perhaps because of it?

Bionote: After graduating from Edinburgh University (MA in French and Italian), Brian Fox was selected for the European Commission’s intensive in-house conference interpreting training course. He then joined the EC staff  in the world’s largest and most diversified interpreting service. Continuing his  involvement in training but on the ‘other side’, he subsequently became Head of training and university outreach, then Director of Interpreters and Interpreting.

Fascinated by the interplay between languages, communication and culture, he has chaired or participated in many international projects in these fields, including IAMLADP (the world forum for cooperation between international organisations).

Professor Terry Lamb (Professor of Languages and Interdisciplinary Pedagogies, University of Westminster) 

Title: Opportunity and innovation in language learning and teaching in UK higher education

Following a brief acknowledgement of the challenges facing language learning and teaching in higher education in the UK, this presentation will focus positively on ways in which we can build on current innovations and look to the future. A range of opportunities will be considered, covering curricular, pedagogical and structural aspects as well as engagement at local, national and global levels. The role of professional associations as empowering spaces will also be introduced briefly.

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Dr Liliana Szczuka-Dorna (President of CERCLES)

Title: CERCLES activities and news (provisional)

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