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International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC)



New deadline for abstract submission for 24th IALIC Conference: 26 May 2024

The International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC) will be celebrating its 24th annual conference in BORDEAUX – 24th IALIC conference – International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC) this November. IALIC is an international organisation that provides support to scholars and promotes the academic field of Languages and Intercultural Communication by bringing together colleagues from a broad range of disciplinary backgrounds to promote greater intercultural understanding, in theory and practice, to address the causes and the consequences of social injustice within languages and cultures. The association’s chair and its address are currently situated at Goldsmiths.

IALIC was founded in Leeds, UK, in 2000 on the theme of Revolutions in Consciousness: Local Identities, Global Concerns in Languages & Intercultural Communication. It was held in late November at Leeds Metropolitan University, with Prof. Alison Phipps as Chair. The second IALIC conference was also organised in Leeds in 2001 on the theme of Living in Translated Worlds: Languages and Intercultural Communication, and took place from December 1-2. The third IALIC Conference was organised in 2002 in Linz, Austria, at Johannes Kepler University by Evelyn Glaser on the theme of The Transcultured Self: Experiencing Languages and Intercultural Communication. This was the first IALIC conference that was held outside the UK and took place in December. Since then, there have been 23 conferences in different cities around the world, such as Bogota, Helsinki, Aveiro, Nicosia, Valencia, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Hong Kong. This year’s conference will be around the theme of Towards a plurilingual language curriculum: fostering pluricultural communication in our digital age – and will be held in Bordeaux, France.

Blog by Cristina Ros i Solé, IALIC, Chairperson.

Multilingualism Research Group



Chronotopic Identity and Translanguaging

The Multilingualism Research Group meets once or twice a term to discuss topics related to multilingualism. Normally, the discussion is taken from some published research that we read and reflect on. This time we selected two different but related topics, chronotopic identity and translanguaging. Here are some reflections from students that participated in the discussions.

“Since beginning my studies on the MA MLE programme, I have engaged in reading, writing, and debate on truly exciting topics, including translanguaging and chronotopic identities, with the Multilingualism Research Group. The decolonial and post-structural turn in applied linguistics is something that resonates with me on a very personal level because of the struggles I’ve always experienced when it comes to talking about my identities and my languages. Even now, answering common questions such as, “What is your mother tongue?” and “Where are you from?” forces me to trim and simplify so much of my lived experience and material reality for my answers to be comprehensible to others. Blommaert and De Fina draw on the Bakhtinian notion of the chronotope to develop an approach to analysing and articulating identities that takes into consideration the complex interactions between meaning-making practices, specific timespace configurations, wider sociocultural contexts, and personal agency. I am inspired by their assertion that viewing “identities as chronotopic offers invaluable insights into the complexities of identity issues in superdiverse social environments” and look forward to applying this to my upcoming papers on the indexicality of translingual practices in indie music from Hong Kong and the role of social media in literacy learning and maintenance of cultural connections for young, diasporic Hong Kongers.” Melitta von Pflug, MA MLE.

“The idea of chronotopic identities was completely new to me, but I really enjoyed because it was something very much applicable to my own identity construction in my life stages. We show our identities by different ways of using languages such as young people’s language, dialects, and the way we speak among particular groups. Through the reading, it reminded me of my own school days wearing school uniform, building a sense of camaraderie with my peers as ‘schoolgirls’. I no longer have an identity as a young student, and I don’t speak the same way I did then. Perhaps in the future, when we get together with old classmates for the first time in decades, we will start speaking our common language as we used to do. However, it will be a retrospective and nostalgic experience as we have gone through different stages of life and developed complex identities. In the discussion with MA and PhD students, it was very interesting to share ideas about our common or personal perceptions of strategic language use and identities with all of us coming from different backgrounds.” Sumire Kishida, MA MLE.

“In the Multilingualism Research Group discussion, I enjoyed exploring identity and language through chronotopic identity and translanguaging. It was a brand-new approach for me to study identity and language from the chronotopical perspective, that is, the configuration of time and space. I had thought about conventional research analysed from the standpoint of teacher and student, but I am glad that this discussion has given me a new idea of analysing from time and space. It was also exciting to participate in the discussion with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In particular, I enjoyed learning about the translingual practices from the stories of students who come from multilingual and multicultural backgrounds. I loved the opportunity to hear the real voices of multilingual speakers and their language practices, which is unique to the Multilingualism Research Group. I was able to have a very meaningful learning opportunity.” Hibiki Jin, MA MLE.

Blog by Students on MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education

Find out more or join the Multilingualism Research Group:

Find details of upcoming seminars, events and meetings:

IBBY Children’s Literature Silent Book Exhibition

Centre for Language, Culture and Learning Event – Goldsmiths, University of London

11 March 2022 – 10.00 am – 6.00 pm

Poster print design for the book exhibition by Ningjing Yuan, MA Children’s Book Illustration student, Goldsmiths, University of London

This was a wonderful opportunity to see an Exhibition of Silent Books from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Honour List 2017.

74 Silent Books from 20 countries

(Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA)

What is a silent book? This seems an odd term for a book that always seems so polyphonic – full of voices and sounds. Silent books are picturebooks, comics and graphic novels with no words to tell the narrative. Words may appear on signs and in the illustrations but do not guide or tell the story.

Many of the books are very experimental. I feel like as we grow older, we tend to oversee and overcomplicate everything so some of the books are a bit hard to read and understand without words, but once you slow down and try to see things exactly as they are, it starts to make sense (exhibition visitor).

The exhibition was originally shipped from Switzerland, and we transformed the Top Floor of the Educational Studies department into an exhibition space. The PhD and MA Children’s Literature students helped to set up and run the exhibition. Over 50 visitors came to the exhibition and became fascinated about how the illustrators from different cultures and countries had decided to illustrate their stories. Reflections written, scribbled, drawn on post-it notes stuck on a large outline of a book captured some of the varied and fascinating reading experiences of visitors to the exhibition who came to browse and then stayed for hours.

Reflective snippets from exhibition visitors

A very impressive exhibition – very inspiring, which recalls my bygone days, full of fun and imagination, and cultural messages.

Really inspiring exhibition! I particularly loved the different styles and ways to tell a story without words.

A great exhibition! Interesting to see a common theme of children going on an imaginary journey with their toys.

Lovely variety of books. Lots of journeys. I intend to buy some of them for my school.

Really fantastic! It’s a good chance for me to enjoy so many great works!

Fascinating selection – so many different types of narrative.

Very reluctantly had to tear myself away from this very yummy selection! Thank you so much for this treat!

Such a great book will make the reader feel amazing!

Love this book so much! I can’t wait to start drawing now.

I want to repeat the story again and again.

Lovely book, good illustrations, captivating story, bold colours, and the sense of motion.

This book definitely shows how silent books can work on many levels and can be both for adults and children.  

It was a great experience. I love all the books. So amazing!

I realised the charm of silent books! Books in every country have their own styles. Lovely!

Do read more about IBBY Silent Book Exhibitions and how they came into being. You can access resources on reading these books in a community with different languages and a booklet using Silent Books with children.

We look forward to hosting a new exhibition of Silent Books at Goldsmiths in 2023. If you are interested in a PhD or MA Children’s Literature (3 pathways – Issues and Debates, Creative Writing; Children’s Book Illustration) contact me at Goldsmiths:

Blog by Vicky Macleroy

How collaboration can bring Portuguese into mainstream schools

What is a language policy? How are language policies created? How do educators recognise and interpret a language policy when they see one? How does their interpretation open or indeed close opportunities for bilingual and multilingual education?

Drawing on her doctoral research and on her experiences as a mother of a bilingual child, a community school founder, a teacher and an administrator of the overseas language provision offered by the Portuguese Government in the UK, Cátia Verguete reflects upon these matters and argues for closer collaboration between the complementary sector and mainstream education.

The innovative pedagogical activities arising from this collaboration can sustain more than one type of multilingualism, benefitting all pupils, irrespective of their linguistic repertoire.

The broader study demonstrated that when Portuguese teachers were invited to work collaboratively with their mainstream counterparts, there were more language learning and teaching opportunities being created and being implemented more effectively. This could be by offering Portuguese language and culture courses throughout the school day, or by supporting Portuguese-speaking pupils in English and maths by pre-teaching them the content in Portuguese. This type of collaboration requires delving into discussions and negotiations about curriculum, timetabling and other such school structures.

The article in The Linguist, the bimonthly journal of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists, is a reminder that languages policies, whether they are official governmental regulations or implicit behaviours normalised in our sociocultural daily routines, can be powerful mechanisms in facilitating or curtailing opportunities for language use and language learning and teaching.

Blog by Cátia Verguete