Communication in the Multilingual City

28th - 29th March 2018


The final two day international Tlang conference will be held in Birmingham, UK. The conference fee is £150.

This international cross disciplinary conference focuses on the theme of communication in the city. We will create conversations which transcend disciplinary boundaries, and assist in thinking creatively about communication in metropolitan settings. We aim to promote discussion of research findings and methodologies between a range of stakeholders including academics, professionals, policy-makers, and practitioners.  British Sign Language and International Sign interpretation will be organised for all main sessions and at least one of the parallel sessions. Names will be announced shortly. 

Registration and Payment

You can register at the University of Birmingham Online Shop


Alan Walters Building, University of Birmingham.

University of Birmingham campus maps and directions


Keynote Speakers

 Jan Blommaert

Jan Blommaert
(Tilburg University)

 Ana Deumert

Ana Deumert
(University of Cape Town)

 Betsy Rymes

Betsy Rymes 
(University of Pennsylvania)

Annelies Kusters

Annelies Kusters
(Heriot-Watt University)

Tong-King Lee

Tong-King Lee
(University of Hong Kong)



Invited Colloquim

‘Translanguaging for learning in Higher Education?’: Co-convened by Mbulungeni Madiba (University of Cape Town) and Carolyn McKinney (University of Cape Town)

Papers are broadly grouped around the following themes:

1. Mobility

Presentations in this theme will consider the dynamics and complexity of communication in superdiverse societies where people from an increased number of territories come into contact, and where people have access to an increased range of resources for communication. Presentations considering implications for communication of movement from and to cities are welcome.

2. Change

In this theme presentations will explore communication in changing cities. Presentations will engage with changing city landscapes, changing demographics, and changing modes of communication. Presentations may refer to the implications of change for communication in institutional contexts, including education, law, and business, and in non-institutional, informal contexts.

3. Interpretation

This theme addresses communicative exchanges which include, or refer to, any aspect of interpretation and translation, broadly conceived. Examples of such exchanges may include asylum interviews, sign language interpretation, and text translation. We also welcome presentations which consider miscommunication, and presentations which refer to cultural translation.

4. Encounters

This theme explores communication in encounters between people in the city. These may include, for example, service encounters in markets, interactions in welfare benefits settings, and exchanges in contexts of teaching and learning. We welcome presentations which refer to encounters which include translanguaging, multilingualism, multimodality and complex semiotic repertoires.

5. Creativity

This theme contemplates creativity across a broad range of formal and non-formal communicative arenas. We welcome presentations which take creativity as a starting point to explore communicative competence in everyday contexts of linguistic and social diversity. 

6. Networks 

This theme takes networks as its focus. Presentations may consider notions of community, place, and neighbourhood, in discussions of communication in local, national, and global networks. We are interested in studies of digital communication, and welcome presentations which refer to social media and other online networks. 

International Sign Language and British Sign Language interpreters will interpret during the conference.  They will cover keynote talks and all of the sessions in one parallel strand.  International Sign Language interpreters are: 

  • Andrew Carmichael
  • Christopher Stone
  • Lissa Zeviar