Language, Literature, STEM and beyond

Michelle SheehanMMUe

This session seeks to highlight the connections between the skills acquired in English Language and other subjects which form part of the secondary curriculum. The speakers are all part of the national initiative LASER (Language Analysis in Schools: Education and Research) which seeks to build bridges between academic linguists and UK schools, bringing the latest research in linguistics into the classroom and investigating how this impacts on learning and teaching. LASER also aims to create projects that involve working with teachers to carry out new research, and is supported by two of the main linguistics societies in the UK, the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, and the British Association for Applied Linguistics.

The talks range from a general discussion of the skills involved in linguistic analysis to specific examples of how tools from linguistics can enrich and support the study of literature, literacy, modern foreign languages and STEM subjects. In all of the talks, we consider some of the key skills that are foregrounded in the curricula for public examinations in English Language (at GCSE and A-level) and show how these skills are of central importance in many other disciplines. These key skills relate both to the formal analysis of language structure, and to the understanding of the function of language in its social and communicative context.

The aim of the session is to disseminate work which is already happening in this area and to seek new collaborators in schools and universities keen to contribute to LASER and its developing regional hubs. Discussion will focus on how to take the LASER initiative forward and how to support those keen to demonstrate the importance of English Language to others (such as teachers of other subjects, and senior management teams in schools).

Each talk will last 10 minutes plus five minutes for discussion.

Language analysis as a transferable skill (Graeme Trousdale)

Professor of Cognitive Linguistics, University of Edinburgh

Linguistics and literary analysis (Billy Clark)

Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Northumbria University

Linguistics and literacy (Suzannah Runnacles)

PhD candidate, University of Exeter

Linguistics as a bridge between English Language and Modern Foreign Languages (Michelle Sheehan)

Reader in Linguistics, Anglia Ruskin University

Linguistics as a STEM subject (Maria Arche)

Associate Professor of Linguistics and Spanish, University of Greenwich

Sat 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm