The online training week for the LoCALL project, hosted by the UAB team was completed last week (from the 21st to the 25th February). The training week focus was on interdisciplinary perspective on Linguistic Landscapes, with 42 registered participants from many countries around the world. The first day began with a general presentation of the project, given by the IP of the project, Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer, followed by the overview of the week, presented by Melinda Dooly (UAB host IP). The session ended with a roundtable by two experienced teacher-researchers in LL, Lisa Marie Brinkmann and Julia von Rosen. All in all, a great start to the week.
On day 2, three online working groups came together to begin creating fun LL games. Each meeting was moderated by a LoCALL member: Dolors Masats, Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer and Lisa Marie Brinkmann. Activities for this day also included an impressive presentation by Dr. Gabriel Prego of the Universidad de Santiago at Compostela, on collaborative, interdisciplinary and community work throught the pedagogical use of LL. She focused on how LL can empower students from minority or minoritised linguistic and cultural communities, challenging inequities in education.
The third day of the training week saw the participants continuing work on their game app, supported by the excellent moderators. The participants also got to hear a brilliant talk by Dr. Frank Monaghan, from Open University, UK. about ‘fanslanguaging’ (focused on banners made by football fans from Liverpool). With references from political identities to mentions of Bahktin and Plato, the presentation was highly informative and stimulating. Dr Monaghan’s session left all of the participants with loads of new ideas and food for thought regarding innovative ways to use linguistic landscapes in our teaching.
On the following day, Dr. Osman Solmaz, co-editor of “Linguistic Landscapes In English Language Teaching. A Pedagogical Guidebook”, was the speaker for the fourth day. His engaging and at times humourous talk stimulated much participation and inspired new thoughts on how to extend LL beyond awareness to more active and interactive resources.
The online training week was wrapped on Friday, February 25th, with participants providing feedback and ideas on the plans for the LoCALL game app. Finally, in smaller working groups, the created ‘pop-up’ podcasts for the project website (check podcasts 10 and 11). They proposed extremely insightful observations that underscored the amount of creative thinking and learning that has taken place during these intensive five days. Here are a few of the comments from participants:
“I have spent an extraordinary week in the LoCALL training, thank you for organizing it”.
“I loved hearing about the three groups’ approaches to the game for the app”.
“Thank you so much for this meaningful learning experience! I thoroughly enjoyed the talks and activities”.
by Melinda Dooly, 01.03.2022