Interactional Competencies and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2) International Conference – Dr Chris Leyland


I recently attended a conference entitled ‘Interactional Competencies and Practices in a Second Language’ (ICOP-L2) at the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. Attending this conference were around eighty social interaction researchers from across the globe; experienced researchers, early career researchers and postgraduate students. Fortunately, I was able to attend due to the support of the School Conference Fund. Being able to get to this conference was a hugely beneficial experience in a number of ways.

As an early career researcher, completing my doctorate in 2014, I am still hugely excited to attend talks given by some of the figures who have inspired me over the years. The prospect of presenting in front of such figures really too really pushed me, and my colleague Dr Adam Brandt, to do our very best work. A little pressure goes a long way! Our talk, entitled ‘Students problematizing advice in L2 support tutorials at a British university: opportunities for explicit socialization’, was attended by around twenty people. It went very well and I had some excellent feedback and identified a few issues to develop further as I turn this talk into a paper.

This conference was a great opportunity to connect with the broader community of social interaction researchers. I had the chance to see the huge variety of research projects being undertaken by researchers of varying levels of experience. I attended a talk given by of my own doctoral supervises Nur Binti Abdullah. Nur’s presentation went extremely well, I am sure she will take a lot of encouragement.

I also had the chance to meet with my former ‘boss’ Professor Tim Greer from Kobe University, Japan. Before becoming a full time member of staff at Newcastle University, I did a postdoc in Japan with Professor Greer. Aside from catching up with a good friend it was really useful to meet in person to discuss various ongoing research projects and to plot a few more!”

Written by Dr Chris Leyland, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University.

Recent activity in the Applied Linguistics & Communication section

The last couple of months has been filled with activities in ALC,  here is a little information about just a few of them.

Applied Linguistics Seminar Series:

In December we welcomed Dr Mohammad Ahmadian from the University of Leeds. He presented his research as part of our seminar series, with his talk entitled L2 pragmatics instruction through video-based focused and unfocused tasks: do working memory capacity and language aptitude play a role? His fascinating talk was very well attended by staff and students of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. mohammad-ahmadian-pic

CA Day @ Loughborough University:

The annual Conversation Analysis day, organized by researchers at Loughborough University, was very well attended by ALC members. Fresh from finishing her PhD viva, Qi Chen presented her data and impressive findings to an audience of Conversation Analytic researchers from across the globe.


Research paper published:

ALC lecturer Dr Chris Leyland recently published a paper in Pragmatic (Quarterly) entitled Pre-enactment in team-teacher planning talk: demonstrating a possible future in the here-and-now. This paper looks at multilingual interaction in a Japanese context and considers how words, objects and the body are manipulated to create a vision of a forecasted classroom scene. It can be found here.

Presentation at the University of Edinburgh:

Chris Leyland presented at the Edinburgh TESOL and Applied Language (ETAL) Research Group’s Seminar Series. His talk was entitled The uses of objects in English team teacher lesson planning meetings.





A report on attending the Arabic Linguistic Forum Conference in York 2016

The second Arabic Linguistic Forum Conference which I attended was held at the University of York on the 12-14th December 2016; and sponsored by the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex and the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. The conference presented useful research topics on Arabic linguistics including; for example, phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, dialectology, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, etc.

Since my research is on the area of sociolinguistics, I, as a PhD student, would like to continue professional development in my field of study, as research on linguistics are changing and developing all the time. So, this conference provided me with a good opportunity to discuss and share experiences with other PhD students, researches, and education scientists in my field of study and other different fields in linguistics.

In addition, the conference was an ideal platform for me and other researchers to share our early results of our woks. The abstract which I submitted to the conference was on the area of bilingualism which would hopefully contribute to the knowledge and research on sociolinguistics. It was entitled ‘’ Bilingual Code Switching Patterns in Libyan Arabic-English School-Age Children: A Study of Code Switching Behaviour as an Indication of Linguistic and Communicative Competence’’. My abstract was published in the conference abstract booklet.

During the three days of the conference, there were am and pm sessions, each of which involved presenting different research topics on the above area of Arabic linguistics.  On the first day, I presented an oral presentation in my research for twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes questions and discussion. The discussion was in a friendly atmosphere and was successfully finished. In addition, between every am and pm sessions a cold buffet lunch was offered each day, including hot drinks during all breaks.

The conference included many participants and invited speakers from different universities from all over the world. So, it was a good chance for me to meet and build relationships with other researches and to share knowledge in different areas and get professional advice if I needed to. Moreover, this conference was my first conference to attend. It was really excellent experience, which made me looking forward to attending other organized conferences whenever possible.

Written by Gada I. B. Mahmud, PhD Student, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University.