LINGUIST List 22.4846

Mon Dec 05 2011

Calls: Socioling, Discourse Analysis/Germany

Editor for this issue: Amy Brunett <>

        1.     miriam Morek , Panel: Negotiating Communicative Practices in School: The Case of ‘Academic Language'

Message 1: Panel: Negotiating Communicative Practices in School: The Case of ‘Academic Language'
Date: 05-Dec-2011
From: miriam Morek <>
Subject: Panel: Negotiating Communicative Practices in School: The Case of ‘Academic Language'
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Full Title: Panel: Negotiating Communicative Practices in School: The Case of ‘Academic Language'
Date: 22-Aug-2012 - 24-Aug-2012 Location: Berlin, Germany Contact Person: Miriam Morek
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2012

Meeting Description:

Thematic session at the Sociolinguistics 19 conference, Berlin:

Negotiating communicative practices in school: The case of 'academic language'Organizers: Miriam Morek (TU Dortmund); Vivien Heller (TU Dortmund)


This panel aims at bringing together researchers working on interactive methods and mechanisms of negotiating norms of 'academic language use' in the classroom. Especially in modern multicultural and multilingual cities, classrooms are an institutional context in which divergent discourse practices and different 'languages' meet. Those divergences may result in restricted communicative and educational support for some of the pupils.

In the last 10 years, notions such as 'language of school education' (Council of Europe), 'academic language' (Cummins 2008), 'language of schooling' (Schleppegrell 2010) - and in the German-speaking world 'Bildungssprache' (Gogolin 2009), 'Explizitsprache' (Maas 2008) and 'Schulsprache' (Cathomas 2007) - have increasingly aroused attention in scientific discourse as well as in educational policy. All these terms serve to refer to a specific linguistic 'register' that is assumed to be functional for the purposes of learning and education. Research on sociolinguistic variance in urban areas shows that access to this kind of linguistic style and competence is influenced by social and cultural living conditions.

Initially, the idea of a certain 'academic language' has been discussed in relation to second language acquisition: The findings that L2 learners are often less successful at school has been explained by their lack of 'cognitive academic language proficiency' (Cummins 2008). Today, the crucial role of acquiring sufficient academic language competencies for learning and school success with respect to all pupils is increasingly being acknowledged; for instance, the Council of Europe aims at establishing a European framework of reference for the 'language(s) of school education'. Several descriptions of the functions and linguistic features of academic language have been proposed (e.g. Schleppegrell 2010; Cathomas 2007). Generally, the register is assumed to comprise certain lexical, syntactic and structural features that enable and contextualize academic, decontextualized, formal discourse, and is oriented towards conceptual literacy. In spite of this, we currently still know little about the teachers' and pupils' actual practices to deal with these linguistic requirements in educational contexts.

Therefore, the panel addresses the issue of how teachers' expectations for pupils' spoken or written discourse in school-based tasks are brought about, i.e. interactionally achieved and negotiated in actual teaching situations. Empirically, the goal is to discuss the properties and the efficacy of communicative practices that are related to a specific linguistic register and can be understood as part of 'doing schooling'. From a methodological perspective, the panel aims at broadening the focus on academic discourse by highlighting the actors' actual - and diverse - communicative practices, i.e. analysing the interactive structures through which linguistic norms are interpreted and accomplished.

Call for Papers:

We invite presentations which address one or more of the following questions:

- What are communicative practices and linguistic styles teachers expect their pupils to learn and command? How are these expectations brought about in classroom interaction? (e.g. corrections, instructions, modelling)

- What linguistic choices are (made) available to pupils, what are the communicative norms they orient to, and how can pupils' discourse be analysed from a sociolinguistic perspective? (e.g. social identities, concepts of adequateness)

- How do pupils and teachers negotiate different communicative practices in classroom interaction? How do they deal with conflicting linguistic norms and styles that may be based on the pupils' different linguistic and social backgrounds?

- What are specific requirements for learning and communicating within specific subject-domains ? Is there a core of academic discourse practices across domains?

Abstract length: max. 500 words.Deadline for abstract submission: 31-Jan-2012Submission via the conference website:

For further information concerning the thematic session please contact the organizers of the session:

Page Updated: 05-Dec-2011