Call for Submissions

The 10th annual Conference in the Innovative Language Teaching and Learning at University series 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.

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.

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

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?

Session formats available

Before submitting a proposal, please consider carefully whether your contribution and plans will be compatible with the use of Zoom. If you are not sure, please contact:

If you already have submitted a proposal but would prefer to resubmit one, please feel free to do so using the following new guidelines.

Presentations (18 minutes maximum)

Individual and collaborative papers should be submitted for 18-minute presentations. There will be time for questions after each session.  Collaborative papers involving students will be most welcome.

Please note that with the free version of Zoom, meetings are limited to 40 minutes each, so we will have to be very strict with the time allocated to each contributor.

Participants will be able to ask their questions in a separate Zoom meeting after each presentation session.

Workshops (40 minutes maximum)

Hands-on sessions to solve a problem, practice something new or showcase a method.

Please note that with the free version of Zoom, meetings are limited to 40 minutes each, so you will have to be very strict with timing. If your workshop involves activities in small groups, make sure that these activities can be performed within Zoom breakout rooms.

The proposal should include the main purpose of the workshop, the minimum-maximum number of participants and groups, and a brief outline of topics / activities.

Lightning Talks (5 minutes)

A speedy way to introduce a new idea, share an approach, or ask a thought-provoking question.  These will be grouped in themes if possible and there will be time for questions at the end.

Abstract submission guidelines

Please email your abstract submission as a single-spaced Word document to: by 20th July 2020. Please only use InnoConf20 Abstract Submission in the subject line. All session formats require the submission of an abstract.

Your submission should provide the following information in the following order:

  • Title:
  • Name(s):
  • Affiliation (s):
  • Preferred format:
  • Preferred time for the delivery of your contribution on 18th September 2020 [only complete this if you cannot be flexible that day. Please provide UK time and a two-three hour slot if possible]:
  • Conference sub-theme(s) / topic(s):
  • 3-4 keywords:
  • Abstract:

Abstracts for presentations and workshops should not exceed 300 words. Abstracts for lightning talks should not exceed 100 words. The filename should be in the following format: Preferred format (Presentation/Workshop/Talk) and your name (e.g. Presentation_JaneSmith). Notification of acceptance will be sent by 7th August 2020.