UCL Hebrew & Jewish Studies


Call for Papers: Foundation for Endangered Languages Annual Conference ONLINE

23-25 September 2020, hosted online by University College London (UCL), UK


Deadline for submission: 11 May 2020
Notification of acceptance: 25 May 2020
Theme: Teaching and Learning Resources for Endangered Languages

UPDATE: Due to the global coronavirus situation, this year’s FEL conference will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. We aim to cater for three different time-zone clusters: 1) the Americas, 2) Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, and 3) Asia and the Pacific. Thus, participants should be able to present and attend talks at a convenient timeregardless of their location. Information about the conferencing tool, registration and other practicalities will be added to the conference website in due course. We will not be charging a conference fee but encourage participants to make a donation to FEL instead.

Foundation for Endangered Languages hand logo with text

The theme of this year’s FEL conference is teaching and learning materials (including primers, grammars, dictionaries, textbooks, websites, language documentation and other audiovisual material, apps, etc.) for, in, and about endangered languages. We would like to invite presentations that focus on the types of pedagogical resources that are appropriate for endangered language situations (including the teaching and learning of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as relevant), and the roles they can play in the support for and revitalization of endangered languages. Presentations could also explore how such resources can contribute to the status and profile of a language, and what practical and pedagogical solutions and resources work best for first, heritage, and second language speakers and learners.

Possible issues to address include, but are not limited to:

  • What ideologies can be detected in language learning materials?
  • What do people of different ages or societal groups expect from pedagogical materials?
  • What are the differences between teaching and learning materials aimed at first language speakers, heritage speakers, and second-language learners?
  • What kinds of exercises and texts should a textbook contain for it to serve the needs of an endangered language community?
  • What innovative and successful solutions can the internet and digital applications offer for the study of endangered languages?
  • What is the role of standardization and orthography in the creation of teaching and learning materials, grammars, and textbooks?
  • How can audio, images, and video complement more traditional learning resources?
  • What learning materials can be used in immersive learning, such as language nests or content courses in the medium of an endangered language?
  • How have the grammars and textbooks for a particular language changed over time?
  • What issues and challenges arise when developing monolingual (in any language) pedagogical materials for endangered languages?
  • How can the development of teaching and learning materials help to support endangered-language curricula and specialist courses (e.g. translation, teacher training, language courses for health professionals and local government officials)?
  • What is the role of curriculum design in the context of endangered languages and language revitalization?
  • What is the role of games in the teaching and learning of endangered languages?
  • How can multicultural traditions be used in the teaching and learning of endangered languages?
  • How can oral tradition serve as a pedagogical paradigm?
  • What are the features of an accessible and user-friendly grammar for speakers of an endangered language?
  • How does such a grammar differ from a grammar that an outsider linguist might be expected to write by the scientific community?

Keynote speakers

To be confirmed. 

Abstract submission

Submit your abstract via EasyChair by 11 May 2020. 

The length of abstracts is 500 words including tables and examples, but excluding references. Conference presentations will be 20 minutes in length, so please prepare your abstract accordingly.

Additional information

The conference email address is fel.london2020@gmail.com. Do get in touch if you have any questions. We aim to publish a selection of papers based on conference presentations as a peer-reviewed online volume with EL Publishing at a later stage.

graphic of hand and text

Conference organizers

  • Lily Kahn, UCL
  • Riitta-Liisa Valijärvi, UCL and Uppsala University

Scientific committee

  • Peter Austin, SOAS, University of London, and FEL
  • Zoë Belk, UCL
  • Rogier Blokland, Uppsala University
  • Christopher Moseley, UCL and FEL
  • Aaron Rubin, Penn State University
  • Cassie Smith-Christmas, National University of Ireland, Galway and FEL
  • Kriszta Eszter Szendrői, UCL
  • Sonya Yampolskaya, UCL