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Modern Linguistics and Language Didactics 2020 - Feldkirch (Austria)
26. März 2020 - 27. März 2020
(Mis-)matches between linguistic content knowledge and beliefs about language and linguistics
Among other things, language teachers are expected to possess sophisticated knowledge about the language they teach (cf. Bigelow et al. 2010, Fang 1996). Naturally, knowledge about language includes knowledge about linguistics (e.g., grammar), but several studies conducted in Dutch, English, and German education contexts have highlighted a lack of adequate knowledge of grammar of prospective and practicing language teachers (cf. Borg 2003). Teacher trainees and teachers possessing robust grammatical content knowledge appears to be a “scarce phenomenon” (Myhill et al. 2013:79), and for everyone involved (i.e., for both university teachers and teacher trainees as well as practicing teachers and school children), this is a non-satisfying situation.

The aim of LiDi 2020 is to discuss possible explanations for and solutions to this often-mentioned problem in the domain of professional teacher competencies. To tackle this issue, LiDi 2020 will focus on the (mis-)matches between linguistic content knowledge and beliefs about language and linguistics.
Beliefs can be understood as implicit or explicit subjective conceptualizations that affect one’s actions (Op’t Eynde et al. 2002) and in the context of teacher education, beliefs are seen to be a key element in teacher learning (Borg 2011). Since beliefs and knowledge are intertwined, it might well be the case that teacher trainees studying linguistics have certain beliefs that prevent a significant learning progress. However, there is not much research examining the relations between beliefs and grammatical content knowledge (cf. Ilosvay 2012).

Likewise, the question of how to model beliefs and professional content knowledge within linguistics also remains unclear up to now. In the long term, research in this field might provide teacher educators with important information to help develop curricula and improve the outcome of teacher education. The LiDi 2020 conference therefore invites contributions that discuss:
(i) the domain-specific beliefs teacher trainees have about linguistics,
(ii) the domain-specific modelling of professional content knowledge, and
(iii) possible relations between these two aspects of professional teacher competencies.

Invited speakers
Simon Borg (Leeds)
Kimberly Ilosvay (Portland)
Anja Müller (Mainz)
Annabel Watson (Exeter)

Call for Papers
We invite abstracts for oral presentations (30 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of discussion). Abstracts should not exceed 300 words (excluding references) and should be sent by e-mail as a PDF file (daniela.elsner@ph-vorarlberg.ac.at). Please include your name, affiliation, and the title of your presentation. Presentations should be in English.

Contributions can address (but are not limited to) the following questions:

•    How can linguistic content knowledge be modelled?
•    What role can knowledge about formal linguistics play in teacher education?
•    What should prospective teachers know about linguistics? In what way do different frameworks and/or traditions of linguistics differ with regard to this aspect?
•    What do prospective teachers know about linguistics?
•    How can beliefs about linguistics be modelled?
•    What do prospective teachers believe about linguistics?
•    What is the relation between linguistic content knowledge and beliefs about linguistics?

Submission deadline: November 30, 2019
Notification of acceptance: December 23, 2019

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