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.

Paul Seedhouse gives plenary talk on the IELTS speaking test

Last month, Paul Seedhouse gave an invited plenary talk at British Council organised conference, ‘New Directions in English Language Assessment Conference‘, held in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Paul’s talk, entitled “The IELTS Speaking Test: Interactional Design and Practice in a Global Context“, covered some of his research from recent years on interaction in IELTS speaking tests around the world. His research has led to some proposals for how IELTS speaking tests may be improved.

A video recording of the full talk is available to watch on YouTube.

Peter Sercombe presents at Hunting-Gathering conference in Vienna

Peter Sercombe recently attended the ‘Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies’ (CHAGS), in Vienna, giving two presentations related to his interests in language and communication in hunting-gathering communities.


He presented in two panels: In the first – ‘Is hunter-Gatherer Kinship Special and (how) Does It Change? Perspectives from Anthropology, Linguistics, History and Beyond‘ – Peter’s paper (‘The Changing Face of Penan Nomenclature’), described and attempted to explain decline in the use of Penan teknonymy and necronymy.

Continue reading Peter Sercombe presents at Hunting-Gathering conference in Vienna

Alan Firth and Adam Brandt to present at first talk in Applied Linguistics Seminar Series

The first talk in the Applied Linguistics Seminar Series will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 13 October, at 4-5pm.

Alan Firth and Adam Brandt will be presenting their research on haggling in Bangkok. Click on the poster below for further details.

ALC seminar series - Firth and Brandt talk (photo)

The full schedule for this academic year’s Seminar Series can be seen here.


Applied Linguistics Seminar Series starts again next week!

Every year, the Applied Linguistics & Communication team organise a series of lectures from leading researchers in the field of Applied Linguistics. The series for this academic year was organised by Rachelle Vessey, and the programme can be seen below (click for larger image).

Applied Linguistics Seminar Series 2015-16 schedule

Continue reading Applied Linguistics Seminar Series starts again next week!

Adam Brandt and ALC students attend HUMAN workshop and conference in Ankara, Turkey


Last month, Adam Brandt and ALC research students, Nur Binti Abdullah and Kazuki Hata, attended the ‘Social Interaction and Applied Linguistics PGR Conference and Workshop 2015 at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey. The events were organised by members of HUMAN (Hacettepe University Micro-Analysis Network), including former ALC students Olcay Sert and Hatice Ergul, and involved leading researchers and research students interested in language and social interaction.

Organisers Ufuk Balaman and Olcay Sert, alongside Evelyne Berger

On day one, three PGR workshops were held, including one led by Adam Brandt and Hatice Ergul on Membership Categorisation Analysis. Day two saw a large number of research student presentations, including two by current ALC students on their PhD research (as well as two presentations by former MA students, Yusuke Arano and Mike Grez).

Johannes Wagner begins his morning plenary

Day two was also marked by three plenary presentations by leading L2 social interaction researchers Johannes Wagner (University of Southern Denmark), Simona Pekarek-Doehler (University of Neuchatel) and Numa Markee (University of Illnois, Urbana-Champagne). Both the plenaries and the student presentations involved high quality, cutting-edge research at the intersection of social interaction and applied linguistics, and led to many lively discussions and debates.

HUMAN director Olcay Sert introduces Simona Pekarek-Doehler ahead of her plenary talk
HUMAN director Olcay Sert introduces Simona Pekarek-Doehler ahead of her plenary talk

The HUMAN team deserve great credit and thanks for putting together such an interesting and exciting event (both academically and socially), and the ALC team look forward to working with them all further in the future!

Rachelle Vessey conference presentation on ‘hashtag politics’

UntitledIn early September, Rachelle Vessey travelled to Hamburg to present as part of a session on “Hashtag politics” at the Language in the Media conference.

Her paper, entitled “The language politics of Twitter in Canada”, followed papers focusing on Hong Kong and France for a truly international approach to the communicative functions of hashtags in political contexts. Continue reading Rachelle Vessey conference presentation on ‘hashtag politics’

ALC staff and students present at BAAL Annual Meeting 2015


Earlier this month, the ALC team made a big impact at the BAAL Annual Meeting 2015 in Aston University. Three staff members and eight research students presented, with even more of our students in attendance.

Continue reading ALC staff and students present at BAAL Annual Meeting 2015

Rachelle Vessey presents at Corpus Linguistics 2015 conference

Vessey profile picLast month, Rachelle Vessey presented a paper on ‘Corpus Linguistics and Superdiversity’ at Lancaster University’s Corpus Linguistics 2015 Conference. Rachelle’s paper was part of a workshop on ‘Corpus Linguistics and Social Media’, which included many esteemed CL researchers, including former AL staff member, Dr Dawn Knight.

Continue reading Rachelle Vessey presents at Corpus Linguistics 2015 conference

ALC staff present at IIEMCA 2015 conference in Denmark

IIEMCA International Conference 2015

Three members of our ALC team recently attended the IIEMCA International Conference 2015, which was held at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding.

The theme of the conference – ‘Living the Material World’ – brought together leading researchers from the field of ethnomethdology (EM), conversation analysis (CA), and interaction analysis more broadly, to examine and discuss the role that objects play in face-to-face interaction in a wide variety of settings. Continue reading ALC staff present at IIEMCA 2015 conference in Denmark