CLER Creative Conversation Series: Language in the Academy

The Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) welcomes you to the first event in the new Creative Conversations series.

The series brings together interested stakeholders to better understand one another's agendas and perspectives and to explore the potential for mutually beneficial engagement.

Language in the academy is a complex site of tension. Language is now a terrain for market competition, whereby English-medium universities can enjoy improved standing in university rankings. Language is also a gatekeeping mechanism for university entry, which insists that a certain type of academic English is the ‘natural and neutral medium of academic excellence’ (Piller and Cho 2013: 24).

As a result, students not conversant in the discourses and practices of this English may be positioned as linguistically deficient, a position which fails to account for their complex intersectional experiences, reinforces structural disadvantage and cultural essentialism, and limits students’ learning.

Our first Creative Conversation will ask: What is the role of language in the academy, and what would we like it to be? How might language education researchers address the complex issues surrounding language in the academy, and how might addressing these lead to greater educational and social justice?


  • Prof Joan Turner, Dept. of English and Comparative Literature, Goldsmiths University of London
  • Dr Alex Ding, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Language Teaching, University of Leeds
  • Steven Gleadall, Educational Engagement, University of Leeds


  • Dr Lou Harvey, CLER
  • Dr Simon Green, CLER


This event is open to all, and free to attend, but please register your attendance by emailing