LKALE SIG 2021  

Knowledge About Language and Linguistics in Different Educational Contexts

Reflecting the diverse range of educational contexts, this year’s LKALE SIG meeting will look at what Knowledge About Language means for teachers in different working environments. Teachers can find themselves teaching a subject specialism they are not familiar with or teach an age group they have not taught before. As our students move between contexts (e.g. home-school, across disciplines, primary-secondary-tertiary, across countries), they need to adjust to the different demands of each new discourse.  We encourage participants to explore together what Knowledge About Language means for the diverse range of contexts that students and teachers find themselves in.

As we construct, represent and communicate our ideas in and through language, this SIG is committed to the idea that every teacher ideally needs some understanding of how language is structured through its grammar, lexis and phonology, and some knowledge of how to describe and explain this structure through a metalanguage. The way language is defined depends on the theoretical approach, therefore we encourage a range of theoretical perspectives to reflect the many theoretical frameworks teachers may be exposed to (sociocultural, systemic functional linguistics, cognitive linguistics, multimodal, reader-response theories, for example).

The language can be any language not only English. The language can be the learner’s L1 or L2.

The event aims to explore the following themes and questions:

  • What could/should Knowledge About Language look like for a language/ literature/ history/ science etc lesson?
  • Are there any core features that are common to all subject areas or do different subject areas afford different ways of thinking and knowing about language?
  • How does Knowledge About Language differ in terms of level (early years, primary, secondary, tertiary)?
  • What Knowledge About Language is needed for multilingual contexts?
  • Should we include, for example, knowledge about languaging to address the translingual practices that many of our learners encounter?
  • How can a multimodal approach to thinking about language be included in KAL?
  • And how should the diverse levels of experience of teachers be acknowledged in professional development settings?
  • What type of Knowledge About Language would benefit teachers at each stage of their professional development?
  • How should these themes be reflected in policy?
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