We are very happy to announce this year’s A Level (Year 12) English Language Day, which will take place at our City Campus on 5 July 2023.

The event is free and has limited spaces (we hope to accommodate all of you but bookings will have to be first come first served).

The day provides an opportunity for Year 12 English Language students to explore key topics which are focused on in A Level work and which might be the focus of investigative project work.

We’ll share more information and booking details soon. In the meantime, please contact Billy Clark to register interest: billy.clark@northumbria.ac.uk

There are sessions on language and gender, focusing on implications for career development, on pragmatics in speaking and writing, and on language and the mind. These sessions present key ideas from previous studies and consider ways of finding out more.

There will be a session on careers for linguists, which will include information on projects our students have worked on during and after their studies with us at Northumbria.

At the end of the day, a panel of experts will respond to questions from students.

There will also be a chance to meet current students during the day.

Here is the schedule for the day:

09.45-10.00: Arrivals

10.00-10.15: Welcome

10.15-11.15: Language and gender: exploring implications for career development Dr. Bill Guariento

11.15-11.30: Break 

11.30-12.30: Mindreading in speaking and writing: investigating and applying pragmatics Professor Billy Clark

12.30-13.00: Careers for Linguists Dr. Sarah Duffy and Professor Billy Clark

13.00-14.00: Lunch break and campus tours

(Lunch is not provided but campus shops and cafés will be open and there is space for eating packed lunches)

14.00-15.00: Language and the Mind: I think therefore I speak Dr. Sarah Duffy

15.00-15.30: Ask Our Linguists (a panel of linguists will answer your questions)

15.30-15.45: Evaluation and Close

If you have questions about the event, please contact Professor Billy Clark at billy.clark@northumbria.ac.uk 

Here’s some more information on each of the sessions:

Language and gender: exploring implications for career development

Dr. Bill Guariento

In this session, we’ll explore how the interplay of language and gender can affect the careers of women in specific contexts.  We’ll look at interactions between female engineers working at UK universities whose first language is not English and their counterparts in Palestine (where teaching also takes place in English).  We’ll see how gender, age, nationality, religious identity, and negative perceptions towards ‘not -native’ speakers of English interplay in interesting and often challenging ways.

Mindreading in speaking and writing and gender: investigating and applying pragmatics

Professor Billy Clark

In this interactive session, we will explore recent developments in pragmatics, ways of investigating them, and ways of applying them. We will consider fairly informal observations of everyday interactions and more formal Investigations, including corpus and experimental research. We will consider how to apply these ideas in classroom activities, research, critical thinking, and writing of various types, including creative writing.

Careers for Linguists

Dr. Sarah Duffy

This session will discuss possible career paths for linguists, point to some resources on this (some prepared by our students at Northumbria), and tell you about some of the things our students have worked on during and after their time studying with us.

Language and the Mind: I Think Therefore I Speak

Dr. Sarah Duffy

  • How do we understand abstract concepts like joy or sadness if we can’t see or touch them?   
  • Is positive always associated with the right (“my right-hand man”) and negative with the left (“two left feet”)?   
  • If love is a journey, then why is it also blind?   

In this session, we’ll be examining research from a range of disciplines, including linguistics, psychology, and anthropology to answer questions like these. We will explore language as a social construct, and meaning as a product of the human body and mind. As a result, we will develop a fuller understanding of how we use our embodied experiences to think about the words we speak. 

Ask Our Linguists

A panel of linguists will be there to answer your questions!

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