University of Manchester, Harwood Room, Barnes Wallis Building
June 14th 2022, 09:00 – 18:00
Free to register
The conference will explore the ways in which grammar and vocabulary as used in overseas students’ writing differ from what is otherwise expected: standard British English. The implication of the idea of World Englishes is that systematic and predictable uses of English by specific groups of language users, while different from standard English, are not errors. This leads to a potential dilemma for both students and lecturers, seen in the questions below, which also serve as potential themes for conference papers (conference papers are not limited to the themes and topics below):
• How can we distinguish between grammatical errors and innovations?
• If the latter, should such grammatical (and lexical) differences be accepted (however defined), or should they be considered ‘wrong’?
• Is difference a ‘deficit’ in any way considering the requirement for standard English against the reality of thousands of foreign students who may indeed have their own variety of English(es) (e.g. Indian English, Ghanaian English, etc.)?
• Are there ways in which students can “teach the teachers” regarding their varieties of English, notably as part of Education programmes, thus allowing for a linguistic – and cultural – exchange?
• Given the conference title, what are the linguistic features – lexis and grammar – that indeed distinguish a recognised variety of English – from random errors?
• What are the political implications for standard inner-circle Englishes? This could involve relevant theory such as linguistic hegemony, symbolic violence, cultural reproduction, linguistic capital.
• How might we approach linguistic codification given the absence of ‘traditional’ means of such for non-inner circle Englishes, especially expanding circle Englishes? For example, the Oxford English Dictionary doesn’t necessarily have a great deal of lexis for expanding circle Englishes, though this is slowly changing.
• Taking a lexicographic approach, what are the key issues regarding online codification, given the proliferation of World Englishes within web- based dictionaries, part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
We welcome empirical, conceptual, or methodological papers. We would also accept topics for proposed workshops. Please submit your abstracts no later than April 19th 2022. The abstracts should be no more than 250 words, excluding references. Please send abstracts to the following email addresses:
Also, in your email, please confirm if you plan to attend the conference in person or would prefer to present your paper, if accepted, online. Details regarding online presentations will be sent out to individuals whose papers have been accepted.
The conference will involve paper presentations and workshops. Presentations will last for 30 minutes – 20 minutes for the talk with up to ten minutes for Q & A. As for workshops, we anticipate up to one hour being available.
The conference will involve three tea/coffee breaks, and a buffet lunch will be provided. If you have any dietary requirements, please inform us by email when you submit your abstract.