News and Forthcoming Events

Action in the Superdiverse City: A Network Assembly 

7th December 2017

Venue: Pierhead Building, Cardiff 


Sponsored by Jenny Rathbone AM

Follow this event on Twitter with #TLANG2017 


Globalisation and changing patterns of migration mean ‘superdiverse’ cities are increasingly populated by speakers of multiple languages.  The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project, Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities, TLANG, will hold a Network Assembly on Thursday 7th December 2017 to focus on communication in changing urban communities. 

Speakers will present evidence of changing communication practices in city meeting places including sports clubs, community hubs and legal advice centres. 

The focus of the day is interdisciplinary, and will promote exchange between a range of stakeholders including academics, professionals, and practitioners in the areas of business, heritage, libraries, museums, arts, community support and advocacy, and national and city level policy stakeholders. Presentation of research outcomes will be accessible, evidence-based, and tangible.  The social, political and economic consequences of research findings will be foregrounded through engagement with participants. The day will consist of presentations, film, and panel and audience discussion and debate. 

The day is organised around two themes: 

(1) Movement in the city

Sports are deeply rooted in history and culture and rich with conventions and specific ways of communication. This theme examines how culture is translated, people are transformed and communication is done through movement in the city.  It explores multilingual and cultural diversity amongst participants and the way sports bring together people ‘on the move’ who learn from, interact with, and bond with each other. The presentations highlight sports-specific pedagogy and language and communication issues and their impact on relationship and cultural translation. 

(2) Advocating and involving in the city

Just, fair societies rely on law. Law, if it is to be understood, relies on legal advice. Legal advice helps people to relate to one another and to the institutions and organisations they encounter. This theme examines the significance of legal advice to those who seek it, those who give it and, by implication to society as a whole. Law operates in a context of increasing superdiversity where fewer participants share assumptions about the content, form and function of law than ever before and where differences of language and expectations are influential. Additionally, at this time, individuals are more likely to face the law without representation than ever before. These factors make investigation of law in contexts of migration in England and Wales particularly important now. Presentations will explore what law and legal advice are in contemporary cities and how they are woven into the fabric of people’s lives. Analysis of data will illustrate how legal advice operates and what it accomplishes. Discussion will focus on the future of legal advice and the place of language study in informing this future. 

Please disseminate this information to your networks. 

Attendance is free but online registration is required. The closing date for registration is 22nd November 2017.

For further information please contact the TLANG project administrator, Sarah Martin (

Academics writing within contradictory systems of value: the Research Excellence Framework as genre regime with speaker Dr Karin Tusting

12 December 2017

Venue: Room 139, School of Education, University of Birmingham from 16:00 - 18:00

This talk addresses how academics navigate different kinds of prestige and different systems of value around what 'counts' in academic writing.  It draws on data from an ESRC-funded project working with academics across different disciplines and different institutions in England ( 

We interviewed people about their writing practices several times, exploring their practices, life histories, institutional contexts, and the tools and resources they draw on as they write.   The talk focuses particularly on the effects of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), and how academics experience institutions’ strategic responses to the REF. 

Attendance is free but for further information and to register, please visit

Download a flier for the seminar (PDF)

Language, social media and migration: the role of mobile communication technologies in migrants’ everyday lives

2 February 2018

Venue: Room 139, School of Education, University of Birmingham from 10:00 - 16:00

This seminar explores the use of social media, particularly as conducted via mobile technology, by individuals in contexts of mobility and migration. It takes into account the fact that digital interactions are usually intertwined with ‘offline’ activities and that social media platforms are generally embedded into physical contexts, with the result that people move fluidly between online and offline environments in performing identity, building relationships and carrying out everyday tasks and negotiations. The methodological implications include the need for a form of blended linguistic ethnography which explores the situated nature of online communicative practices within individuals’ wider lives.

The role of social media in the process of integration into a new country is of increasing significance to many migrants, as they maintain and exploit links to their countries of origin at the same time as making new connections in a host country, and as they seek to resist and subvert the ways in which they can be positioned in a host country. By focusing on how migrants actively exploit digital technology as they integrate into a host country, we also respond to public concern around migration and social integration following such high profile events as the migration crisis in Europe and the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

The seminar brings together sociolinguistics scholars and ethnographers working in these areas, including the TLANG team, in order to share empirical data and insights and to work towards developing theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches.

Invited speakers (confirmed):

  • Jannis Androutsopoulos, University of Hamburg
  • Maria Sabate i Dalmau, Universitat de Lleida
  • Caroline Tagg, Open University (TLANG)
  • Kristin Vold Lexander, University of Oslo
  • Stefan Vollmer, University of Leeds

Places are limited so please register online 

Download full programme details and abstracts from the speakers (PDF)