26 October, 2011:
The Centre for Language Education Research at Aston (CLERA) was officially launched on 26 October, 2011, by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Julia King. In her speech marking the event Professor King noted that a centre bringing together educational research on English as a second language as well as modern foreign languages was unusual, but that staff associated with the centre were thus well positioned to work across disciplinary boundaries that are often separated. She also noted the importance of researching the interconnections between English and other languages in an era where English has become a globalised means of communication.
Over 60 visitors and Aston staff attended the launch which was preceded by the CLERA Inaugural Distinguished Lecture, now to be held by the Centre annually. The Lecture, presented by CLERA 2011-12 Distinguished Visitor, Professor Donald Freeman from the University of Michigan, was entitled Rethinking How Language Goes to School and explored the teaching of languages as school subject areas through the lens of social capital. Professor Freeman argued that for language learning to be socially productive, new pedagogical and program designs are needed that mediate between school and the world outside the classroom. He provided examples from recent programs developed by his team at the University of Michigan.
CLERA is directed by Professor Anne Burns, with Co-Directors Dr Sue Garton and Professor Gertrud Reershemius. Enquiries about CLERA and its research and professional development activities are most welcome. Please contact email@example.com to make enquiries or to be placed on the CLERA mailing list.