Report on ‘Intersubjectivity in Interaction’ conference (University of Helsinki)

2One of our PhD students, Yoonjoo Cho, recently presented at the ‘Intersubjectivity in Interaction’ conference, held at the University of Helsinki. Here’s what she had to say about it:

The conferences was held to celebrate the last year of the Centre for Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction, and its contribution to the EMCA field, by inviting interactionalists from a range of disciplines to present and discuss their research on intersubjectivity.

Continue reading Report on ‘Intersubjectivity in Interaction’ conference (University of Helsinki)

Media Literacy in Foreign Language Education


This week I attended an international conference in Munich organised by University of Munich: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, titled “Media Literacy in Foreign Language Education: Digital and Multimodal Perspectives (12-15 March 2017). The conference brought together academics from around the world investigating the implications of media literacy on language education focusing on literature and storytelling, materials and resources, innovations in pop cultural approaches, literacies in film and media studies, as well as CALL/TELL in higher education and teacher education. The conference started with an inspiring plenary by Bill Cope in which he challenged existing online teaching practices and explored how an e-learning platform has the potential to transform instruction and assessment. In another plenary talk, Gunther Kress presented an overview of the principles of social semiotics. There were two other plenaries by Catherine Beavis and Mary Kalantzis. Catherine Beavis explored digital gaming as a venue for multimodal expression, while Mary Kalantzis offered a comprehensive overview of the work carried out by the New London Group since 1994 focusing on the development of a grammar of multimodality and future directions in the field.

My talk was on the first day of the conference and was titled “Learning and teaching languages in technology-mediated contexts: the relevance of social presence, participatory literacy and multimodal competence”. It was very well received with a good number of listeners and a fruitful discussion at the end. Overall, all went well, except the fact that my co-presenter, Mirjam Hauck of the Open University, UK was unable to attend due to a last minute health emergency.

I attended several thought-provoking presentations: Judith Buendgens-Kosten described a plurilingual language learning game being developed as part of an Erasmus+ project; Erhan Aslan (Reading University), presented his findings from a qualitative meta analysis on learner perceptions of the implementations of blogs, wikis and chat tools in EFL/ESL writing practices; Hsin-I Chen explored how Taiwanese EFL learners established multimodal identities in an intercultural exchange via Skype drawing on the many multimodal/semiotic resources present in the platform.

I had many networking opportunities as part of the socials organised by the conference committee. It was wonderful to meet Regina Brautlacht, Maria Martins, Maria Bortoluzzi, Francesca Bianchi and Niki Canham, some of which I had online and/or offline encounters before. It was a great pleasure to be part of the media/digital literacies community for a few days, which certainly left me with great ideas to work on. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of ECLS in funding my participation to this conference via the School Conference Fund.

Blog by Dr. H. Müge Satar, Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the School of Education, Communication and language Sciences.

Interactional Competence and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2) International Conference – Nur Nabilah Binti Abdullah

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Interactional Competence and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2) international conference which was held at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland from 19-20 January 2017. This event started with the pre-conference workshops (18 January 2107) in which I participated with my other PhD colleagues from Newcastle University- Somporn Maneechote, Suparee Impithuksa and Ufuk Girgin. The workshop was interesting, and we gained new insights with regards to our research field.


Most of all, as a PhD student, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to present a paper entitled “Word Search Sequence: Exploring the Embodiment in L2 Interaction” at this conference. I must say that the audience that attended my session were motivating. What encouraged me the most was to have a group of the audience who were scholars in this research field such as Professor Johannes Wagner, Professor Salla Kurhila, Professor Tim Greer, Professor John Hellerman, Associate Professor Kristian Mortensen, Associate Professor Eric Hauser and of course my supportive supervisor Dr Christopher Leyland. My presentation went well and I also received constructive feedback and ideas.


As a new researcher, attending this conference has given me the chance to meet well-known scholars and opportunity to become connected to people in the same field of interest. Last but not least, I would like to thank the ECLS for their financial support in providing the “Conference Fund for Postgraduate”.

Written by Nur Nabilah Binti Abdullah, 4th Year Research PhD Candidate in Applied Linguistics, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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.