Inter-Imm, Italian for the Workplace and Prison

The university of Siena (Università per Stranieri di Siena) launches a new course entitled Inter-Imm, aiming to train teachers of Italian in the workplace, in immigration situations and also prison contexts. Intercomprehension techniques are central in the course, and language trainers will be trained in using them.

The course is supported by the Comenius-Grundtvig programme and will be taught in November 2012 and February 2013.

The ins and outs of the course are explained on the University website. Scroll down till you find Inter-Imm, and the relevant webpages might open!

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Languages in a Thinking Approach

The Thinking Approach Teachers community organizes its 2012 conference in Riga, Latvia on 14-15 September. The theme is “Bringing Creativity and Thinking Skills into the Educational Process“.

The aim of the conference is to discuss the latest achievements in bringing creativity and thinking skills into the educational process. There will be a practical focus and the applicants are strongly encouraged to highlight practical classroom implications when submitting their proposals. Conference tracks include “Creativity & thinking skills in language education“. More at the conference website.

The conference welcomes researchers, teachers, teacher educators and administrators involved in various levels of the system of education: from pre-school to tertiary and adult learning. Students, parents and practitioners are also welcome.

Abstracts for submission are invited until 30 April.

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Multilingual Theory and Practice in Applied Linguistics

The British Association for Applied Linguistics will hold its 2012 conference at Highfield Campus of the University of Southampton, 6-8 September.  The conference theme is Multilingual Theory and Practice in Applied Linguistics.

Plenary speakers include Kingsley Bolton, City University of Hong Kong;  Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; Rosemarie Tracy, University of Mannheim, Germany.  Invited colloquia will feature Virgina Gathercole of Bangor University on  Language development of bilingual/heritage speakers and  Li Wei of Birkbeck University on Multilingualism in the community.

All individuals (not only BAAL members) can submit abstracts before 30 March through the conference website .

Submissions are invited for Individual presentations at the conference or Individual presentations for a Special Interest Group (SIG) (all individuals, whether or not officially SIG members, are eligible). BAAL has ten Special Interest Groups. They are (1) UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum, (2) Corpus Linguistics, (3) Psycholinguistics, (4) Multimodality, (5) Language Learning and Teaching, (6) Language in Africa, (7) Gender and Language, (8) Vocabulary Studies, (9) Testing, Evaluation and Assessment, and (10) Intercultural Communication

The submission of abstracts for posters is also encouraged, which tend to receive more feedback than individual papers. All posters will be listed in the book of abstracts, and there will be a dedicated area and time slot for discussion of poster presentations. There will also be a prize for best poster displayed at the conference. The winner will receive £50 and a book.

Colloquium introduction and individual papers within the colloquium (see conference website).

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Languages, Culture and Globalisation

The 6th international conference on Languages, Culture and Globalisation will be held in Vilnius 4-5 June 2012 by The Lithuanian Association of Language Teachers (LKPA), Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuanian Language Institute,The Public Service Language Centre, Vilnius College, Kaunas College and Klaipeda University. The aims and objectives of the conference are to present a new multicultural project, Language Rich Europe .

The aims of the previous five LKPA conferences will be continued – to rally around language teachers working in different educational institutions in Lithuania and abroad, professionals, stakeholders and language policy makers to discuss important issues in language learning, teaching and research to exchange ideas and view points.

Topics for discussions include Impact of Globalisation on Languages and Culture,  Language Policy in Lithuania and Abroad, Languages and Intercultural Communication,
and ICT and Language Teaching/Learning, Teaching Mother Tongue and Challenges for Teaching/Learning LSP.

More information and deadlines at the Conference website .

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Unique languages, universal patterns

Case, Argument Structure and Word Order (Routledge) is a new book by MIT linguist Shigeru Miyagawa, showing that there are quite a few similarities between far-flung languages such as English and Japanese. This underscores a larger point about human language, in Miyagawa’s view: all its varieties seem to exist within a relatively structured framework. Languages are different, but not radically different. Although their evolution may have gone in  opposite directions in certain respects — as is the case for Japanese and English — they cannot just change into anything.

This may be yet another reason why learning one or two more distant languages should immediately give us a headstart for more general intercomprehension: besides sharing general cultural practices and international vocabularies, we partially also share general linguistic structures, to some degree facilitating interpretation of  any human language.


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CINCO – Training Intercomprehension for Cooperation

Today various European organizations of social and educational volunteers are gathered in international cooperation networks. Communication between partners is often faced with problems of linguistic diversity so that English is often used as a lingua franca.  However, this might make it difficult for partners to speak with precision, depth and clarity, and misunderstandings might easily result. Associations of Romance language partners face similar challenges and are looking for new solutions.

CINCO aims to integrate IC in the vocational training of workers in these organizations. It brings together a network of IC specialists and a network of educational associations and will adapt existing IC materials to their specific professional needs. This will be done through creating training modules for blended learning.

The products will be available online, and consist of structured sets of materials organized in different scripts of activities, and a collaborative platform. These scripts, including both face-to-face sessions and online individual tutorials, will be tested in the context of a training course for people employed by the associations.  Scripts that will have proved their worth will be made freely accessible to a wider audience !

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Early language learning and learner autonomy

Early education in more than one language is not only beneficial for the child’s development and its educational advantage, but also prepares better for later language awareness and additional learning, for instance through intercomprehension: a strategy of learning languages progressively and autonomously, on the basis of the languages that one already knows.

In the course of 2010 and 2011 several new books appeared by Peter Doyé, the pioneering and prolific teacher, researcher and writer on language education and intercomprehension. Having researched and taught in teacher training for over thirty years at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, he recently studied and academically coached experiments in bilingual preschool education in Wolfsburg and Berlin.

The theoretical underpinnings for these studies can be found in Didaktik der bilingualen Vorschulerziehung Dargestellt am Beispiel der vorschulischen Einrichtungen in Berlin und Wolfsburg (Gunter Narr). Teaching materials for preschoolers  in German/English, German/Italian and German/Spanish are now also available in a series of Praxismaterialien für die bilinguale Vorschulerziehung (OLMS, Perfect Paperback) and through online booksellers.

  • Peter Doyé & Bettina King (2011)  Kindergarten goes bilingual. Partnersprache Englisch. 
  • Peter Doyé &  Angela Manazza (2011) Vivere due lingue: Italienisch im bilingualen Kindergarten.
  • Peter Doyé & Cecilia Hausmann (2011) Educación Bilingüe: Spanish im bilingualen Kindergarten.

With Franz Joseph Meissner he edited a volume of papers  (2010) entitled Lernerautonomie durch Interkomprehension: Projekte und Perspektiven. Promoting Learner Autonomy through intercomprehension: projects and perspectives (Gunter Narr).

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IC2012 conference, Grenoble June 2012

The Université Stendhal – Grenoble 3 is hosting an international conference on Intercomprehension, which will take place on 21-23 June 2012. After twenty years of research activity, teaching and publications on Intercomprehension, this third international conference (following those of Lisbon 2007 and Augsburg 2010) aims to contribute to the study and dissemination of the concept of Intercomprehension in language education, research and practice.

The conference will focus on three themes:

  • the development of multiple competences and their evaluation
  • the construction and exploitation of corpora leading up to and including situations of intercomprehension
  • the integration of intercomprehension initiatives, courses and practices.

Abstracts and proposals for presentations (max. 2 pages including bibliographical references) are accepted until 20 December 2011.  Abstracts and proposals will have to state their link to one of the conference themes and will be accepted in any of these languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or Portuguese. Presentations in one of these languages will have to be accompanied by a visual presentation in another language.

More information and submission of abstracts at under “submission”.

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Intercomprehension for seafarers

Work at sea includes frequent contacts with people speaking different languages and coming from diverse cultures, either on-board or ashore. Communication is ensured by the use of both general and specialized English (SMCP, as well as VHF procedures accepted worldwide). Yet, double synergies may be developed between the learning of Maritime English and the construction of IC competences paving the way to learning other languages through IC specific activities and tasks.

The EU project Intermar is creating a European community of maritime and naval institutions that share an IC approach to foreign languages. Starting from existing materials it will build adapted products to create an effective course tool box, available online on a learning platform. On this platform, teachers and learners will find custom-designed modules for IC and Maritime English, containing learning materials, concrete scripts for collaborative tasks and assessment tools.

Intermar will thus promote innovative practices in foreign language acquisition for maritime professionals in Europe, in the context of initial or in-service training activities offered to navy personnel and seafarers.

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IC language training for professionals

The PREFIC project, funded by the European Grundtvig scheme and coordinated by Mondes Parallèles, constitutes a network of intercomprehension specialists who work on language training for adults in professional multinational contexts, in order to encourage mobility and exchange. The languages involved are French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. More information at .


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