Languages for Specific Purposes in HE 2015 – it’s happening!

So, happy days! I can now confirm that we are going ahead with the organisation of an event called Languages for Specific Purposes in Higher Education 2015. This will take place here in Manchester on 11th September. This is the event I talked about in my previous post (which goes back a while, yes).

As I explained previously, the idea of this event is to bring together colleagues from UK HEIs to discuss provisions and practices in LSP across the country. Think French for medics, German for engineers, and so on. It’s a very small scale event (20 attendees, for now anyway), and for this reason I won’t reproduce the call for registrations on this blog – the email was circulated earlier this week on the AULC mailing list. You can DM me if you are interested but missed the email.

I’m really excited about the idea that our event could make a very small contribution to the development of LSP provisions in this country. It’s been very interesting hearing about so many institutions who came back to us explaining what LSP courses they used to offer, and at the moment it certainly seems like the context is right for this type of courses to thrive again.

At some stage we’ll probably set a page, perhaps on this blog, to aggregate all slides from the event. More on this soon.

Languages for Specific Purposes – A talk to kick things off

Last week at the 2015 AULC Conference in Cambridge, Martin Kantus, David Tual (@AngloFLE) and I gave a talk entitled “What’s so special about LSP? (Languages for Specific Purposes)”. Martin and David teach languages to engineers in the language unit of the University of Cambridge, whilst I teach medical French here in Manchester.

The idea of this talk was to try and provide an overview of the literature in LSP, discuss the state of LSP provisions within UK language centres, share some of our experiences as tutors and course leaders, and generally speaking raise interest in LSP.

2015 AULC Conference

In a nutshell, it seems to us that the current upwards trends in so-called ‘non-specialist’ language teaching are creating a very fertile terrain for the development (in some cases, the re-development) of LSP provisions. We were very pleased to see the interest generated by our talk and were surprised to discover how many universities had, or had had, some form of LSP provision.

The next step is to gather in one room teachers, course leaders and policy-makers in order to get the ball rolling in our language centres. The demand for specialist language teaching is there, there is a surprising amount of expertise around, and the national HE context seems particularly favourable to the  development of LSP provisions. Now it’s up to us to get together, establish a road map and set the pace for this promising field in language teaching.

Interested in getting in touch and participating in a future LSP event? Get in touch. Lots more details as soon as I have them.

“You should blog about that”

That’s what someone said to me yesterday, and I think it’s very good advice.

As you might have guessed from the small number of blog posts I’ve put out in the last couple of years, I can’t always think of things to blog about. Or more accurately, I rarely think that the things I do or talk about over lunch are worth blogging about. And so yesterday, over lunch, I was describing to someone (if you need to know, it was @eljeejavier) a clever little app I’ve been using this semester to save myself a few precious minutes with handling audio recordings. “You should blog about that” was the answer. I think that’s a good answer. I like it. I am going to blog about that.

Things to blog about

In fact, when I think about it, there are a number of small things, tech tips for the most part, which I think I could blog about. I’ve made a quick list off the top of my head and that makes three potential blog posts to write already. Sounds like a good start, doesn’t it?

I might give a name to this series of blog posts. I think I’m going to call it “Teacher Tech Tip”. It’s hard to pronounce but it has three Ts in it, which makes it a bit catchy.

You can expect the first post soonish.