The Sixth Cambridge Postgraduate Conference in Language Research. Photograph by Christian Richardt.

'Linguistics Matters!' Workshop

The second day of the conference (8th December) will include a workshop focussing on linguistics and public engagement. There will be two invited talks and two round-table discussion sessions.

We are delighted to welcome the following two invited speakers to the workshop:

Professor Dick Hudson

Emeritus Professor, University College London
Founder of the Committee for Linguistics in Education
Founder of the LAGB Education Committee

Dick HudsonProfessor Hudson actively pursues the introduction of more linguistics in schools by helping to develop a new school-level course in linguistics, and by helping design materials for the linguistically-informed teaching of grammar in UK schools. He has agreed to give a talk on "Linguistics for eductation" which will look at ways in which we can build bridges between the academic linguistic community and the education sector. The discussion following Professor Hudson's talk will be led by graduate students who are involved in the Cambridge Bilingualism Information Network.

Go to Professor Hudson's webpage

Professor Hudson will give a talk entitled "Linguistics for education"
My talk will first outline the main benefits that linguistics can offer to school-level education (and some benefits that this interaction should bring to linguistics). This part will be based on my 2003 article 'Why education needs linguistics - and vice versa' (available at Then I shall discuss the challenges of interacting politically with educational systems - how to build or strengthen bridges between academic linguistics and schools. In both parts of the talk I will illustrate the general principles from my own experience of interacting with schools in England.

Professor Peter Patrick

University of Essex

Peter PatrickProfessor Patrick's talk will be in the general framework of language and human rights, focusing more specifically on the asylum seeking process and how language testing is used in it. This reflects his recent involvement in issues of language rights that have become increasingly prominent in the last decade and can be approached from a number of different viewpoints: language endangerment, forensic linguistics, bilingual education and many others. Student members of the Cambridge Engandered Languages and Cultures Group (CELC) will lead the round table discussion following Professor Patrick's talk.

Go to Professor Patrick's webpage

Professor Patrick will give a talk entitled "Linguistic Rights in the Asylum Context"
The abstract for this talk can be viewed as a PDF file.

The workshop will be an excellent way for postgraduate students to learn more about presenting and making their research accessible to the public; taking part in public events and debates; seeking public input into academic research; applying research skills in a community context; seeking to influence public policy and working with professionals (teachers, solicitors and barristers, judges, doctors), community activists and members of NGOs.

Arts and Humanities Research CouncilThis workshop has been made possible through the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.