The Institute for Multilingualism holds its fifth annual research seminar

07/06/19
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Forty researchers took part in UIC Barcelona's Institute for Multilingualism's annual seminar that took place on Friday 31 May at the university's Barcelona Campus.

The Institute for Multilingualism holds its fifth annual research seminar

The first keynote, given by Juan Carlos Mora of the University of Barcelona, was "Phonetic training in and beyond the lab: L2 pronunciation learning through multimodal input-based tasks". 

Mora outlined some key points coming out of his research on pronunciation. He said: "We should practice English pronunciation even if we don't have a high level of grammar, by, for example, imitating how English speakers speak Spanish". With regard to ways of learning second languages, Mora said, "psycholinguistic studies on eye movement reveal that not everyone reads the subtitles when watching series and movies. Reading the subtitles can help us recognise sounds and pronunciation". 

The second keynote, "A form-focused approach to CLIL and its effects on young learners' EFL oral production", was given by Isabel Pladevall from the Autonomous University of Barcelona on her research on CLIL and young learners. 

Pladevall said that while most schools have some subjects in CLIL mode, and parents believe these subjects will improve their children's English, "the results are not always there. The children expect to learn the content of the subject. They don't know the aim is to improve their English". She said that "studies show that when teaching interventions are controlled via explicit exercises on English (and not only the content of the subject),  significantly better improvements in English are achieved". 

The goal of the seminar, the institute's fifth in a row, is to disseminate the work of institute researchers and promote the exchange of experiences among university English teachers.