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The Call for Papers has now closed


XVIII CercleS International Conference 2024

Multilingualism and the Anglosphere

12-14 September 2024, Durham University, UK

hosted by AULC

(the Association of University Language Communities in the UK & Ireland)

CercleS – the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education – is pleased to invite you to the XVIII CercleS International Conference 2024, “Multilingualism & the Anglosphere” between 12-14 September 2024. The event will be hosted by AULC at Durham University.

As our communities have emerged from the pandemic, the previous two CercleS conferences in Brno (2020) and Porto (2022) have each looked towards a future, where language centres explore different pathways in an increasingly digital world.  The 2024 conference in Durham wishes to continue and develop the narratives that have arisen from these past conferences. The 2024 conference will take place in Durham, and our theme of ‘Multilingualism in the Anglosphere’ recognises our collective interest in multilingualism, with the predominance of English as a second language of tuition across Europe, discussed in the United Kingdom.  In the UK, the value placed on the learning of languages other than English is reduced by the fact that English is so widely studied as a second language. Nevertheless, from a UK perspective we recognise that language and inter-cultural skills remain critical for our international endeavours, and that in a globally connected world, English will never be enough.  Furthermore, the UK is itself a multilingual country, with a small but significant proportion of our fellow citizens speaking other first languages. Whilst the value of the study of English is recognised for its value, it is equally important to maintain a breadth of language competence across all languages to address the challenges and opportunities of the future.  As such, the XVIII CercleS conference in Durham intends to be a celebration of multilingualism, and to explore how we, as a community of international scholars, will continue to support multilingual approaches that include global English and all other languages.

For this conference, we would like to attract abstracts that respond to the core interests of our community and will allow us to collectively engage in sharing best practices for teaching and learning to inspire our students, support our colleagues, and identify areas for development and improvement.

We now call for contributions including, but not necessarily limited to, the thematic areas below by 16:00 Friday 01 March 2024.  Some further suggestions for topics of interest within these themes can be found on the conference website: CercleS 2024 - Durham University.

Any questions, email the conference organising team

Conference Themes

The list below details principal themes, and examples of topics that may be of interest.  This list is not exhaustive, and does not imply any hierarchy of importance of any one theme compared to any other.

  1. Language policy and politics
    1. European University Alliances
    2. National and institutional language policies
    3. Status of national languages
    4. Development of student and staff plurilingual identities of the future
    5. Languages and democracy
  2. The Future University Language Centre
    1. Flexible modes of delivery
    2. Diversifying the curriculum
    3. Supporting lifelong learning
    4. Future leadership strategies for languages education
  3. Professional development of language centre teachers and staff
    1. Forms of scholarship and research within language centres
    2. Developing inclusive education
    3. Leadership competences
    4. Mentoring, co-training, peer review, etc.
    5. Teachers’ wellbeing
    6. Recruitment, retention and progression
  4. Multilingualism and plurilingualism
    1. Teaching languages in a multilingual and plurilingual context
    2. Multilingualism and plurilingualism in the classroom and curriculum
    3. Teaching the multilingual classroom
    4. Teachers’ plurilingualism in language teaching
  5. Less-commonly taught languages
    1. Regional, heritage and home languages
    2. Status of national languages
    3. Development of student and staff plurilingual identity
    4. Sustainability of courses and creating capacity for learning
  6. Inter-cultural communication and competence in language education
    1. Inter-cultural competence in curriculum design
    2. Cultures in contact
    3. International collaboration and interaction
    4. Internationalisation at home
  7. The role of technology and artificial intelligence in language learning and teaching
    1. The digital classroom
    2. The benefits and challenges of AI
    3. Apps and language teaching/learning
    4. Virtual exchange and virtual mobility
  8. Global English
    1. EMI
    2. English as a lingua franca in the language classroom
    3. Different varieties of English
    4. Addressing Native speaker bias
  9. Assessment and testing
    1. Assessment and academic context
    2. Learning-oriented assessment vs competence based assessment
    3. Fairness, quality and validity of assessment
    4. Language assessment in the digital age
  10. Learning with others
    1. Developing learner autonomy
    2. Native speakers in the classroom
    3. International exchange and mobility
    4. Language in the community
  11. Learning & teaching resources
    1. Authenticity in design of and content
    2. Differentiation
    3. Designing digital resources
    4. Resources for specific purposes
  12. Critical pedagogies
    1. Decolonising language teaching
    2. Argumentation, controversy and propaganda
    3. Fostering critical literacy through CLIL
    4. Multi-modal communication


Abstracts should be submitted in two of the working languages of the conference: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. We will accept abstracts only in English from colleagues who do not speak one of the other languages.

Abstracts should be up to 300 words in length, including:

  • Presenter(s) name, including identified lead presenter for contact purposes.
  • Institution and email address
  • Biographical note (80-100 words)
  • Submission format (see below)
  • Title
  • Conference theme (1-12 as above)
  • Abstract in primary language (250-300 words)
  • Abstract in second language
  • 3-5 keywords

We invite the following formats:

  • Oral presentation, by individuals or small groups of individuals, of 20 minutes duration (plus time for questions)
  • Interactive workshops, of up to 60 minutes duration
  • Poster presentations, especially from postgraduate students and early career academic colleagues. Prizes for the 3 best posters will be awarded. Formats for posters will be communicated after the call has closed.

Presentations and workshops may be delivered in one of the languages of the conference.

Time will be made available in the programme for teacher meet-ups and Focus Group activities, and Focus Group convenors do not need to submit abstracts for review.

Abstracts should be submitted via EasyChair using this link. If you do not already have one, you will be asked to set up an EasyChair account when you first try to log in.

Contact Us

Please get in touch if you have any questions about the conference.

The Centre for Foreign Language Study

The Centre for Foreign Language Study
School of Modern Languages & Cultures
Durham University
Elvet Riverside
New Elvet