How Languages are Learned: A special forum on second language acquisition

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Sir Roland Wilson Building Conference Room 1.02

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601


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Do you teach a language?

Are you trying to learn a language?

Are you interested in the latest research findings about language learning and teaching?

The key to good learning and teaching is to understand what happens to people when they learn languages.

This two-day event features public lectures and masterclasses by some of the world’s leading experts in language learning.

The speakers and the topics being addressed are:

Professor Manfred Pienemann (University of Paderborn, Germany)

  • Why learners don’t learn what teachers teach.

  • What goes on in the learner’s mind when they learn language?

  • How teachers can read the learner’s mind.

Professor Boping Yuan (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)

  • Why do differences between first language (L1) and second language (L2) sometimes lead to problems in L2 learning and sometimes don’t?

  • Is there a principle in learners’ mind which determines possible L1 influence in L2 learning?

  • Can teachers make informed predictions about difficulties caused by L1 influences?

Professor Gisela Håkansson (Lund University, Sweden and Østfold University College, Norway):

Language acquisition: grammar, lexicon and pragmatics

  • Do grammar, lexical and pragmatics develop hand in hand in the learner?

  • How can the teacher help the learners develop these areas?

  • What other factors influence the development of each?

This is a free event but registration is compulsory. Please note that the program times for this event are to be confirmed.

Presented by the School of Culture, History and Language in collaboration with the School of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, the Australian National University, with funding from the Asia-Pacific Innovation Program (APIP) by the College of Asian and the Pacific (CAP).

For more information contact:

Dr Yanyin Zhang:

Ying Zhang:


Day 1 17 September

1.30-1.45 - Opening & Welcome

1.45-3.30 - Prof M. Pienemann

3.30-4.00 - Break (refreshments)

4.00-5.45 - Prof. B. Yuan

Day 2 – 18 September

9.00-10.15 - Masterclass 1 (TBA)*

10.15-10.30 - Break (refreshments)

10.30-11.45 - Masterclass 2 (TBA)*

11.45-12.00 - Break (refreshments)

12.00-1.15 - Masterclass 3 (TBA)*

1.15-2.30 - Lunch

2.30-4.15 - Prof G. Håkansson

4.15-4.45 - Break (refreshments)

4.45-5.45 - General discussion & Closing

*Each scholar will run one masterclass. Details including the content of the masterclasses will be available in September.

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Sir Roland Wilson Building Conference Room 1.02

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601


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