Newcastle University School of Modern Languages will be delighted to host the 10th annual Conference in the Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University series. It will be held as a virtual conference that will take place on 18th September 2020 using the video conferencing platform Zoom. This conference, that was due to take place on Friday 19th June 2020 at Newcastle University, had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are still hoping that InnoConf20 will bring together academics, researchers, teachers and all other professionals involved in the teaching and learning of Languages to give them the opportunity to share their expertise and experiences, their innovative practice and creativity. Collaborative papers involving students will be most welcome.

The theme for this year will be Facilitating Transition, with the term transition to be understood in its widest sense, including the transition to online learning and teaching that the current pandemic has imposed on so many of us at very short notice. We welcome research papers as well as presentations of case studies and projects on innovative ways of approaching this broad theme.

In recent years, stronger emphasis has been placed on the importance of facilitating transition from Secondary to Higher Education in order to enhance first-year students’ experience and retention. Faced with the decline of A-Level Language students, more and more HE institutions are also offering languages ab-initio with a variety of flexible combinations to give students the opportunity to further engage or re-engage with language learning. This possible re-engagement with language learning supports the idea that language learning is a lifelong process that does not have to stop at school or university level, which is particularly relevant considering that the need for a language may occur at various stages of our personal or professional lives.

Language students will have to go through several transitional phases during their Degree, from Secondary Education to University, from their UK University to their placement abroad and back, and from University to their post-graduation life, including employment. Each phase will have its own challenges and opportunities for progression, progress and personal development. What are we doing to support students during these stages and to help them make the best of these opportunities? How do we facilitate their passage from pupils to the well-rounded global citizens and lifelong learners universities aim to forge?

More recently, efforts to control the spread of Covid-19 have prompted the widespread temporary closure of educational institutions including universities, which has had a massive impact on the ways we approach learning and teaching, including the sudden increase in the use of distant learning technologies and the need to plan for a future full of uncertainties. How have we and our students adapted to this new situation? What are we planning for the next academic year? To what extent this pandemic has contributed to redefining what constitutes language learning and teaching in Higher Education? What is the post-pandemic new normal likely to look like for us?

We are particularly interested in how universities facilitate:

  • Transition to Higher Education
  • Transition to language learning, including re-engagement with language learning
  • Adult and lifelong language learning
  • Transition from University to placements abroad
  • Transition from placements abroad back to University
  • Transition from University to post-graduation life
  • Transition from being a pupil to being an independent lifelong learner / global citizen
  • Transition from face-to-face to online learning and teaching (for both staff and students)
  • Transition to post-pandemic language learning and teaching

Main contact:

Organising Committee: