Università degli Studi Roma Tre

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SLEdu organisers would like to thank the following sponsors who have contributed to the success of this event

Welcome to SLEdu 2015

Standard and variation in second language education:                        a cross-linguistic perspective

Roma Tre University, 12-13 November 2015

Teaching approaches have been diversely interpreted and implemented in different contexts, while a gap between innovation and actual classroom practice is still widespread. This is particularly true for standards and language variation. If the global diffusion of English has facilitated the spread of innovative teaching approaches while meeting the challenge of World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca, the long-standing traditions of French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish have differently contributed to the development of specific approaches and enhanced several research studies. More recently, because of migration flows within Europe, a further challenge is represented by the growing number of European national languages being now taught as second or additional languages.
Other languages such as Arabic, Chinese or Japanese are now emerging as most requested foreign languages at university level. Some of these ‘new’ languages present quite a composite picture of diglossia, with strong normative tendencies expressed by the local academic circles or/and governmental institutions. The relationship between standard and variation is critical not only in the emerging languages, but also in those with a long-standing teaching tradition. In spite of the claims for the adoption of a more authentic approach, the grammatical, phonological and lexical norms generally adopted in foreign language teaching are still linked to standard linguistic norms. These norms often act as gatekeepers and very rarely do they take into account linguistic and pragmatic variations of both native and non-native speakers.
It is within this scenario that the conference ‘Standard and variation in second language education: a cross-linguistic perspective’ will be held at Roma Tre University where courses of both western, eastern and near eastern languages are offered. The conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners and to provide an opportunity to present, compare and discuss current practices and approaches to second/foreign language education at university and tertiary level. The conference focuses on the relationship between standard and variation in different second-language pedagogical traditions, with a view on the reception and implementation of western second-language education theories in different contexts.