The Future of Modern Languages Research

Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) discussion about the future of modern languages research, jointly organised with the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

We are joined by Michael Gratzke, Professor of German & Comparative Literature at the University of Hull, Associate Dean for Research and current Chair of the University Council of Modern Languages. Michael will present a number of questions about the future of modern languages research in the UK, focusing on ‘culture’. He will be followed by respondents from modern languages and education and a general discussion. The seminar aims to open up discussion from across modern languages, applied linguistics, area studies and language education and follows from a short paper written by Michael for UCML which included the following questions:  

  • What does research into cultures mean in the context of Modern Languages & Cultures? Where are we imprecise or even sloppy in our assumptions about culture? What constitutes best practice in researching culture as an MLC expert? Do our notions of culture differ from those in – say – Social Anthropology and if so what can we learn from each other?
  • Following from that, what actually are the implied notions of culture with which we operate in research and teaching? Do they converge? Do they need review and updating?
  • How can (new) combinations of Linguistics, Area Studies, Translation Studies and language-based Humanities help to refresh our approaches to teaching of and research into cultures?
  • How can our discipline benefit from collaborating even more with colleagues across faculties? What are the risks for the discipline of extensive engagement with non-MLC research and teaching?
  • How can we best ‘teach culture’ and intercultural skills in and through language classes?
  • What could be the role of English Languages & Cultures in the future of MLC teaching and research?

Respondents: Gary Chambers (Education), Lou Harvey (Education), Thea Pitman (LCS)  

All welcome.

For further information please contact Jessica Bradley (Education/LCS): or Lou Harvey (Education)