Corpus Linguistics MOOC starts on Sept 17, now with Portuguese subtitles

Exciting news: The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) – which is part of the Heritage Language Consortium – will be running its renowned MOOC on “Corpus Linguistics: Method, Analysis, Interpretation” for the sixth time, and we are thrilled to announce that, for the first time, the MOOC will have Portuguese language subtitles.

The MOOC has been extremely successful – over 35,000 participants have completed this free course, which has been updated with new content every year. (In fact, some participants have taken the course more than once and are happy to return to see what’s new.) The MOOC represents a unique opportunity to get a quick overview of Corpus Linguistics. This understanding can then be deepened later in the academic year when Lancaster University organizes its annual (and free) Summer School in Corpus Linguistics.

For more information on the MOOC, including how to register, please see the bottom of this message. The MOOC starts this Monday, September 17, so register soon!

Corpus Linguistics: Method, Analysis, Interpretation– now with new content

Prof. Tony McEneryand Dr. Vaclav Brezina, Lancaster University, UK

Would you like to learn how to analyse large amounts of language data using computer tools? Would you like to learn about the technology which is used in the production of all major dictionaries and grammar books of English? Are you interested in discourse analysis? If so, register for freeat

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/corpus-linguistics

The language of the course is English; subtitles and transcripts for main lectures and practical exercises available in Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese.

The free online course starts on 17 September 2018and runs for 8 weeks. There is no commitment: you can do as much or as little as you like.

The course offers a practical introduction to corpus linguistics, an extremely versatile methodology of language analysis using computers. Over eight weeks, course participants will be equipped with skills necessary for collecting and analysing large digital collections of text (corpora) and introduced to a number of topics demonstrating the use of corpora in areas as diverse as discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and language learning and teaching.

The course covers the following areas and corpus techniques:

Week 1: Introduction to corpus linguistics and basic techniques: concordancing

Week 2: Further corpus techniques: collocation and keywords

Week 3: Corpus-based discourse analysis

Week 4: Building a corpus: tagging and processing data

Week 5: Sociolinguistics: analysing BNC1994 and BNC2014

Week 6: Textbook and dictionary construction

Week 7: Language learning and corpus linguistics

Week 8: Swearing extravaganza: looking at language and society

 

Susana Correia (NOVA) visit to Lancaster

We were thrilled to host Prof Susana Correia from NOVA University in Lisbon for a week at Lancaster University. Susana presented a current research project that seeks to develop and validate a new placement test for Portuguese as a Foreign Language. Thanks again to Lancaster’s excellent Language Testing Research Group for hosting the event.

The visit resulted in very productive discussions on current and future initiatives of the Heritage Language Consortium.

Coverage of Native Explorers event in Diário de Notícias

Universidade britânica é palco de combate a estereótipos sobre ciência para jovens portugueses

Follow link to access the article on the Diário de Notícias website.

Uma Organização não-governamental e a universidade britânica de Lancaster juntam-se em maio para ensinar a portugueses que a ciência é também uma oportunidade de carreira combatendo os estereótipos que são mais evidentes entre os imigrantes.

O estereótipo de que os cientistas são sobretudo “homens super inteligentes de classe média-alta” deve ser combatido junto dos adolescentes portugueses para os encorajar a seguir carreiras em ciências, tecnologias, engenharia e matemática (CTEM), defende a investigadora Joana Moscoso.

A bióloga é cofundadora da organização sem fins lucrativos Native Scientist, que se associou-se à Universidade de Lancaster, no noroeste de Inglaterra, para promover uma série de oficinas em língua portuguesa para jovens entre os 12 e 15 anos intitulada “Native Explorers”, no dia 12 de maio.

De acordo com Moscoso, os estudantes migrantes são duas vezes mais propensos a ter um desempenho inferior em ciência e matemática do que o resto dos colegas, acabando por rejeitar uma carreira em CTEM e por não frequentar o ensino superior.

No caso da comunidade tradicional de emigrantes portugueses, a experiência que retirou do trabalho com crianças do ensino primário ao longo de cinco anos é que é frequente a falta de incentivo a carreiras científicas.

“Há um estereótipo de que a ciência é só para um certo tipo de pessoas – homens super inteligentes de classe média-alta. Há também uma grande falta de conhecimento sobre o que é, de facto, ser cientista. Isso faz com que muitas pessoas não considerem uma carreira nessa área”, disse à agência Lusa.

As oficinas vão tentar atrair adolescentes de origem portuguesa e dar-lhes uma experiência na universidade, onde terão oportunidade de contactar com investigadores em áreas como engenharia química, biologia, astrofísica ou empreendedorismo.

“Uma grande proporção de crianças decide que a ciência ‘não é para mim’ até aos 12 anos. Enquanto que a maioria das atividades da Native Scientist são para crianças com menos de 12 anos, trabalhar com adolescentes é importante na medida em que os pode ajudar a reavivar o fascínio pela ciência e promover uma atitude de ‘eu posso ser cientista se eu quiser’, vincou Moscoso.

Na véspera, a 11 de maio, a universidade de Lancaster realiza um evento chamado “Outreach without Borders” [Divulgação sem Fronteiras], direcionado sobretudo a académicos, profissionais ou empreendedores sociais, onde serão discutidos desafios e oportunidades para a comunicação da ciência junto do público em geral.

Joana Moscoso refere como esta actividade tem evoluído nas últimas décadas, e que, para além das visitas de estudo a museus e documentários televisivos sobre a vida animal, existem agora eventos como festivais de ciência ou a deslocação dos próprios cientistas às escolas.

“Neste evento vamos falar das últimas tendências neste campo, que são o desenvolvimento de atividades de comunicação de ciência viradas para um pública-alvo muito específico a fim de promover a inclusão e diversidade. Vamos apresentar projetos como a Native Scientist, para crianças imigrantes ou o Sex & Bugs & Rock N Roll, para apaixonados da música”, revelou.

A Universidade de Lancaster é considerada uma das dez melhores universidades do Reino Unido, onde 35% dos estudantes são internacionais, provenientes de mais de 122 países.

Vários dos seus docentes são também estrangeiros, como os portugueses Nuno Bimbo, Elizabete Carmo-Silva, Ricardo Zózimo, que vão promover as oficinas no segundo dia, e Patrick Rebuschat, responsável pelo projeto de colaboração com a Native Scientist.

Segundo este especialista em linguística, este projeto “proporciona aos académicos de Lancaster uma oportunidade importante para refletir sobre a comunicação da ciência e sobre o seu papel no aumento da participação e [uma oportunidade] para partilhar conhecimentos com uma organização única de divulgação científica que inspira crianças e adolescentes migrantes em toda a Europa a estudar disciplinas CTEM e a desenvolver a proficiência nas suas línguas nativas”.

Native Explorers: English press release

Below follows the official English press release for the Native Explorers event. We are grateful to Anne Rothwell and the Lancaster University Press Office for the support. To access the published release on the Lancaster University website, please click this link.

New project will promote STEM subjects and multilingualism

A new project will promote innovative outreach initiatives among academics as well as encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and careers among migrant communities in the UK.

May 11 will see the launch of Native Explorers at Lancaster University.

The event is a joint initiative by Lancaster University and Native Scientist, an award-winning non-profit organisation that promotes diversity in STEM and tackles educational disadvantage by bringing together scientists and pupils who speak a common heritage language (the language spoken at home).

Dr Patrick Rebuschat, who leads the project at Lancaster University, explained: “The joint initiative with Native Scientist provides Lancaster academics and professional services staff with an important opportunity to reflect on science outreach and on its role in widening participation, and to share expertise with a unique science outreach organisation that inspires immigrant children and young people across Europe to pursue STEM subjects and to develop proficiency in their heritage languages.”

The initiative is part of the new Heritage Language Consortium, a strategic partnership between six European universities, including Lancaster, and the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Native Explorers takes place on two days, and each day has a different purpose.

The first day is mainly aimed at academics, professional services, science communicators and social entrepreneurs. It consists of a symposium on ‘Outreach Without Borders’, during which challenges and opportunities in science outreach and widening participation will be discussed. It will feature presentations on innovative science outreach initiatives for children, young people and adults who are based in the UK or abroad.

The second day is aimed at young people between 12 and 15 years old and consists of a series of four science workshops, delivered by leading Lancaster University researchers.

The workshops are offered in Portuguese, an important heritage language in the UK as it is the second most spoken European language in UK schools. The workshops will provide an opportunity to learn concepts from four different fields: Astrophysics, chemical engineering, plant biology and social entrepreneurship. They will target Portuguese-speaking students who live in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire regions.

As Dr Joana Moscoso, the co-founder of Native Scientist, said: “Migrant students are twice as likely to underperform in science and maths than the rest. They are also more likely to rule out higher education and think that a STEM career is not a real and viable option for them. With this project, we want to do two things. Firstly, we want to raise awareness about the impact that good and innovative science outreach projects can have. Secondly, we want to lead by example and give the opportunity to 40 Portuguese migrant adolescents to experience university for the first time in their lives, following the steps of people alike who succeeded in becoming a scientist and are now leading researchers at Lancaster University.”

Both events, funded and supported by Lancaster University’s Widening Participation programme, are free but registration is required. For more information, please visit our website or contact Dr Patrick Rebuschat and Dr Joana Moscoso via native-explorers@lancaster.ac.uk.

 

 

Consortium joint initiative with Native Scientist

We are pleased to announce that the Heritage Language Consortium and Native Scientist are launching their first joint initiative on March 1, 2018. Named Native Explorers, the project aims at promoting innovative outreach initiatives among academics as well as encouraging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education and careers among immigrant communities in the UK.

The Heritage Language Consortium brings together six leading European universities and the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote research on language learning in multilingual settings. Native Scientist is a non-profit award-winning organisation that promotes diversity in STEM and tackles educational disadvantage by bringing together scientists and pupils who speak a common heritage language.

Dr Patrick Pereira Rebuschat, Director of the Heritage Language Consortium, explained: “The Consortium has an important outreach and community engagement component, and partnering with Native Scientist is a clear reflection of this. This initiative provides members of the Consortium with an important opportunity to reflect on science outreach and on its role in widening participation, and to share expertise with a unique science outreach organzation that inspires immigrant children and adolescents across Europe to pursue STEM subjects and to develop proficiency in their heritage languages. The Consortium is proud to support their important mission.”

Two purposes, two days

Native Explorers takes place on two days, and each day has a different purpose. The first day is mainly aimed at academics, professional services, science communicators and social entrepreneurs. It consists of a sympsium on Outreach Without Borders, during which we will discuss challenges and opportunities in science outreach and widening participation. It will feature presentations on innovative science outreach initiatives for children, adolescents and adults that are based in the UK or abroad. It will be live streamed so people in the field not able to travel to the event will be able to join.

The second day is aimed at adolescents between 12 and 15 years old and consists of a series of four science workshops, delivered by leading Lancaster University researchers. The workshops are offered in Portuguese, an important heritage language in the UK, and provide an opportunity to learn concepts from four different fields: Astrophysics, chemical engineering, plant biology and social entrepreneurship. It targets Portuguese-speaking students who live in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire region and bus transportation from Manchester to Lancaster will be provided.

Please visit the event website www.lancaster.ac.uk/native-scientist for detailed information.

Reaching beyond the already reached

As Dr Joana Moscoso, co-founder of Native Scientist, observed “migrant students are twice as likely to underperform in science and maths than the rest. They are also more likely to rule out higher education and think that a STEM career is not a real and viable option for them. With this project, we want to do two things. Firstly, we want to raise awareness about the impact that good and innovative science outreach projects can have. Secondly, we want to lead by example and give the opportunity to 40 Portuguese migrant adolescents to experience university for the first time in their lives, following the steps of people alike who succeeded in becoming a scientist and are now leading researchers at Lancaster University.”

  • To register for the Symposium (11th May), please follow this link.
  • To register for the Workshops (12th May), please follow this link.
  • Both events are free but registration is required.

For more information, please contact Patrick Rebuschat or Joana Moscoso at native-explorers@lancaster.ac.uk.

New website for Tübingen’s ICALL research group

The ICALL Research Group at the University of Tübingen has just launched their new website: www.icall-research.com

The ICALL Research Group is lead by our colleague Detmar Meurers, member of the Consortium’s Steering Committee. Detmar started the ICALL research group when he was a faculty member at the Ohio State University (2000 to 2008), before moving to the University of Tübingen.

Please visit the new site to find out more about the cutting-edge research done at the intersection of linguistics, natural language processing and second language research. For more information, please email Detmar Meurers (dm@sfs.uni-tuebingen.de).

 

Press release on Lancaster University website

A press release announcing the creation of the new Heritage Language Consortium just went online. Many thanks for Anne Rothwell at Lancaster’s Press Office for putting this together.

Caption: A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a ceremony in Lisbon to officially launch the Consortium. From left to right: Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, President of the Camões Institute; Dr José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities; Professor João Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State for Education; Professor Susana Trovão, NOVA University Lisbon; Dr Patrick Rebuschat, Lancaster University; Professor Maria de Fátima Marinho, University of Porto; Professor Detmar Meurers, Tübingen University; Professor Paulo Farmhouse Alberto, University of Lisbon; Professor Cristina Flores, University of Minho.

Lancaster University at the heart of major European heritage language project

30 January 2018 14:14

The study of heritage languages – the languages spoken by immigrant families at home – will come under the microscope with the advent of a new organisation.

The Heritage Language Consortium, a strategic partnership for the study of heritage languages in Europe, involves six leading universities in the UK, Germany and Portugal, as well as the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed at a ceremony in Lisbon to officially launch the Consortium. The launch event featured statements by the Secretary of State for the Portuguese Communities, Dr José Luís Carneiro, by the Secretary of State for Education, Professor João Costa, by the President of the Camões Institute, Ambassador Luís Faro Ramos, and by the Consortium’s Director, Dr Patrick Rebuschat, from Lancaster University’s Department of Linguistics and English Language.

Portugal maintains a heritage language network across 85 countries for the families of Portuguese citizens, the world over. This enables children to improve their heritage language with qualified teachers who go into schools to run approved language programmes funded by the Portuguese government.

The new Heritage Language Consortium gives researchers from many disciplines – linguistics, education, psychology, and computer science – access to more than  130,000 learners worldwide to investigate language development from many different aspects. At Lancaster, the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) will play a central role.

The Consortium Director, Dr Patrick Rebuschat, said: “This strategic partnership provides us with a unique opportunity – no other country maintains such a significant heritage language network overseas, and we will have privileged access to substantial, yet completely unexplored data.

“The Consortium is a major international initiative which uses Portuguese as a ‘test case’. The insights gained from this project will be applicable to other languages, of course. Our research will help us understand how children and adults learn new languages and identify those factors that make some of us particularly good language learners. We can then use these insights to improve language teaching.

“The Consortium will also organize impact and outreach initiatives to engage with parents, teachers, and policy makers across Europe.”

Professor Steve Bradley, Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), said: “This important initiative demonstrates again Lancaster’s strong international outlook and our commitment to playing a leading role in research that impacts lives, communities, and educational practices across the globe. The Consortium will provide unique opportunities for Lancaster’s staff and students to be involved in a research area that is of particular significance to Europe today.”

The idea for the consortium was born earlier this year when the Portuguese Secretary of State for Education, Professor João Costa, visited Lancaster University to deliver a keynote at a conference organized by Dr Rebuschat.

The event focused on bilingualism and heritage language education across Europe.

It brought together policy makers from the Portuguese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, leading academics, journalists, school teachers and parents to discuss current trends and challenges in heritage language research and education.

Lancaster University is renowned for its research in the language sciences and is currently ranked 19th in the world for linguistics according to the 2017 QS Rankings.

For more information, please visit http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/heritage-language or email Dr Patrick Rebuschat: p.rebuschat@lancaster.ac.uk.

Summer School in Corpus Linguistics

The ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS) – one of the constituent departments of the Heritage Language Consortium – will offer a Summer School in Corpus Linguistics in the summer of 2018. The Summer School is free of charge and covers the techniques of corpus linguistics and their application in three different areas.

The event includes both lectures and practical sessions that introduce the latest developments in the field and practical applications of cutting-edge analytical techniques. Sessions are taught by leading experts in the field from Lancaster University.

The event is intended primarily for postgraduate research students but applications from Masters-level students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers, and others will also be considered.

Dates: 25 – 28 June 2018 (four days)

Venue: Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Website: http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/corpussummerschools/


Application: To apply for a place in one of the Lancaster summer schools in corpus linguistics, please fill in the registration form. Since the places in the summer schools are limited, we recommend applying early. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.


The summer schools are free to attend; the participants will need to arrange their own travel and accommodation. During all four days, we will offer free refreshments during the tea & coffee breaks and participants will have time during the lunch break to buy their lunch on campus.

Organising committee: Dr. Dana Gablasova (Chair), Rachael McCarthy

For further details, click through to each Summer School’s full description. Queries about the summer schools can be directed to the Summer School administrator, Rachael McCarthy (r.mccarthy2@lancaster.ac.uk).

To tweet about the event, please use: #LancsSS18

Conference on Portuguese as a Foreign Language at the University of Minho

V Jornadas de PLE Didática e Aquisição

Instituto de Letras e Ciências Humanas, University of Minho, January 19-20, 2018

The Centro de Estudos Humanísticos at the University of Minho (CEHUM) recently hosted the fifth edition of the Jornadas de PLE Didática e Aquisição, an annual conference dedicated to the acquisition and teaching of Portuguese as a Foreign Language. This interdisciplinary event took place on January 19-20 and was organized by Cristina Flores and Micaela Ramon.

The objective of this important conference series is to promote research on Portuguese as Foreign Language by bringing together researchers working on second language acquisition and researchers working on language teaching. Several Consortium members attended the event to present their work.

You can download the program by clicking on this link. For more information, please email the organizers, Cristina Flores (cflores@ilch.uminho.pt) and Micaela Ramon (micaelar@ilch.uminho.pt).

Summer School in Second Language Acquisition

We are pleased to announce that the website of our Summer School in Second Language Acquisition is now online. The Summer School takes place at the University of Tübingen in July 2018 and brings together leading researchers and students from a variety of disciplines (theoretical and applied linguistics, psychology, education, language testing) in order to discuss current trends and future directions in second language research.

The event free is offered free of charge but prior registration is required. To facilitate discussion, space at the summer school is limited to 40 registered participants. Registration includes coffee breaks, a welcome reception (Monday), light lunch during Wednesday’s poster session, and a Stocherkahn trip up the Neckar river. However, delegates have to pay for travel/accommodation expenses and make their own arrangements for lunch (except Wednesday).

Registration will open on February 1, 2018, and close by April 30, 2018 (or as soon as all places have been allocated).

For more information on the Summer School, please consult the Summer School website or email the organizers, Patrick Rebuschat, Detmar Meurers, Simon Ruiz, and Katharina Wendebourg.