Call for papers – Expectations of and on international students in UK HE: investigating mismatching language ontologies and destabilising encounters

This is an event being organised in part by Lou Harvey as part of the BAAL/Routledge Applied Linguistics Workshop Programme 2016, on Friday 16th September 2016 at Manchester Metropolitan University, Business School Building, Room BS 3.28

Keynote Speakers and Discussants
Prof. Adrian Holliday, Canterbury Christ University
Dr. Rachel Wicaksono, York St. John University
Mr. Vincenzo Raimo, University of Reading
Miss. Emma Bentley, Manchester Metropolitan University

This workshop aims to foster discussion between established academics, higher education practitioners, early-career researchers, language tutors and postgraduate students to problematize the mismatch between the expectations of and the expectations on international students in the UK with reference to English language ability. The workshop aims to discuss the difference between being a learner and being a user of English, and the implications thereof on individuals’ self-assessment of their language ability. At the same time, it addresses the institutional discourse surrounding international students in the UK and the increasing expectations and tensions in the international educational marketplace. Against this background, IELTS seems to be the only measure of international students’ language proficiency, in spite of it being a test of only one kind of ‘Englishing’ (Hall, 2014) which is different from the repertoires expected of international students on and off campus.

This workshop addresses the complexities and implications of language and mobility, i.e. what learners say about the value of their English as they move across time and space, and how these implications affect international students’ identities, motivation, and their overall study abroad experience. We are interested in findings ways to support international students by bridging the gap between what they expect of their English in the UK and what we, in UK HE, expect of their language ability in discursive practices. This workshop offers various implications for many parties such as TESOL practitioners and researchers in the UK and abroad, researchers in language testing and assessment, applied and socio-linguists, as well as HE practitioners and policymakers.

There are a limited number of 15-minute presentation slots available for postgraduate students/ECRs to present their research (completed or in progress) on any of the following aspects:

·        International student experience in UK HE
·        Intercultural awareness and global citizenship in the context of UK HE
·        The role of English in student recruitment in UK HE
·        TESOL and the educational market place
·        International student recruitment
·        Problems associated with language testing and assessment

To be considered, please submit an abstract of 150 words to the organisers at the above email addresses. The abstract should detail the aims of the research; the research methodology, if relevant; the findings, if relevant; and the contribution that the research intends to make. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Friday 29th July 2016.

Due to limited funding, this event is not free. Early bird tickets are £25 (until 10 July 2016) and full price tickets are £35. Places are limited. To book a place, please register at our Eventbrite page:

Khawla Badwan
Department of Languages, Information and Communications
Manchester Metropolitan University

Lou Harvey
Centre for Language Education Research
University of Leeds