Brownbag Conversation Series: Digitalization in schools


Join us for a Brownbag Conversation with Meike Hethey (University of Bremen), who will present her research on the challenge of digitalization in the context of German schools.

Date: February 26, 2018
Time: 2:00 – 3:30p
Room: 418 Zankel (Teachers College)


Digitalization – a difficult process in German schools: a discourse analysis


Digitalization is a global phenomenon which causes changes in nearly every part of our social and cultural life, in economic production processes as well as in our ways of communication. The term digital revolution (cf. Garton Ash 2016) emphasizes the upheaval modern societies experience since more than a decade. And it puts the current changes on equal footage with the Industrial Revolution or the Enlightenment.

As a logical consequence, digitalization also became a key area in School Education. In 2016, the German Ministry of Education started its Educational Initiative for a Digital Knowledge Society, a program to promote digitalization in School Education (cf. BMBF 2016). The fact, that digitalization became a key topic of the federal government in a country like Germany, where the federal states traditionally are responsible for the public school system, emphasizes its overriding importance.

But what are the expectations for digital teaching and learning at school? By analyzing the public discourse (newspaper articles, educational blogs etc.) on the one hand and the scientific discourse on the other hand, the presentation aims at pointing out the key questions and arguments of the German discussion on digital education in public schools. Taking the debate in Foreign Language Education as an example, the presentation will argue that the discussion on digitalization currently swings between two supposedly contradictory positions: the true belief in technological innovation and all its life-changing possibilities on the one hand and the fear of possible negative consequences (i.e. particular risks of ways of digital communication etc.) for the personal development of students on the other hand. From a historical point of view the current discourse on digitalization therefore joins the pedagogical discussion on the educationalization of different phenomena of modernization since the 18th century (cf. Tröhler 2016, Smeyers & Depaepe 2008). The presentation will contextualize the discussion in its historical context before it concludes with some thoughts on the desideratum of a more subject-specific approach to digitalization (in Foreign Language Education).


Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (2016). Bildungsoffensive für die digitale Wissensgesellschaft. Online: Wissensgesellschaft.pdf [02/05/2018]

Garton Ash, Timothy (2016). Free Speech. Ten Principles for a Connected World. London: Atlantic Books.

Tröhler, Daniel (2016). Educationalization ofSocial Problems and the Educationalization ofthe Modern World. In: Peters, Michael

A. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Singapore: Springer: 1-9.
Depaepe, M. & Smeyers, P. (ed.) (2008). Symposium on the Educationalization of Social Problems. Educational Theory, 58(4): 379-474.


About Meike:

Meike Hethey studied French, History and Educational Studies at the Universities of Bremen and Reims (France). She graduated with the First Civil Service Examination (2002) and did her teacher training in Hannover (Second Civil Service Examination in 2004). From 2004 -2011, she worked as a High School teacher of French and History. Since 2011, she is a University lecturer at the department of Foreign Language Education at the University of Bremen (key area: Romance languages).

In her Ph.D project, she explores how to teach aesthetic reading of literature in the foreign language classroom on an advanced beginners level (expected submission in 2018). Beyond that she is head of an interdisciplinary research project on transmitting literature and literary knowledge in (Foreign) Language Education at schools, in teacher education and in the non-academic literary field (Literaturvermittlung hoch3; in cooperation with Dr. Karen Struve).

Further research interests:

  • digital teaching and learning / digitalization as a challenge for the (German) school system
  • history of foreign language education
  • film education in the (foreign) language classroom


New Semester, & Happy New Year!

Greetings, everyone!

First, some belated good news: Prof. Nicholas Limerick assumed the role of Associate Director for CMLL this past fall, and brings to the Center his considerable expertise in linguistics and language studies in national and international contexts. He has been a friend of the Center since he joined Teachers College a few years ago, and his work has been deeply appreciated by the CMLL community. With this change, the Center’s historical roots in sociolinguistics and international focus are renewed and ready for a new chapter!

Next, CMLL has some speakers and discussions planned for the spring, so check back in soon for details about dates and times.

Finally, from our friends at the International Linguistics Association, we bring the important announcement that Call for Papers for the 63rd Annual Conference of the ILA has been extended to February 15, 2018. Click here for more complete details.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and inspired 2018!


ILA Conference (2018): CFP, Deadline Extended!

From our friends at the International Linguistic Association:

63rd Annual Conference of the International Linguistic Association
FINAL CALL: Extended Proposal Deadline: February 15, 2018

 When: April 20-22, 2018
Where: St. John’s University, New York City
Theme: Language and Religion

The theme of this conference, “Language and Religion,” draws on the universal notion of a bond between speech and worship. This bond fosters group identity and determines social roles. To the degree that language and religion shapes self-identification as the basis for determining one’s membership in the social group, it likewise establishes perspectives on those considered as outsiders. One of the most significant indicators of this emic-etic distinction involves the use of language appropriate to insiders that reveals who is a member and who is not, such as in the classic example of the shibboleth.  While we invite submissions from all areas of linguistics, topics of interest to the conference theme include, but are not limited to, scholarly studies of liturgical language and speech acts, religious diglossia, calques and traductology in sacred texts, religion as political language, etc.

Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • hieratic language
  • the speech registers of different religious practices
  • ritual speech and performance
  • languages used in religious practices and texts (e.g., Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.)
  • translation of sacred texts
  • use of the vernacular in the liturgy
  • language in missionary activity
  • language of spiritual experience
  • intelligibility of religious texts
  • religion and language variation
  • religion and cognition
  • religion and the internet
  • language learning for religious purposes
  • language and religion under different political circumstances (e.g., colonialism, capitalism, autocracy)

In keeping with the ILA tradition, we also invite individual papers or posters on other areas of linguistics.

Invited Plenaries: Asma Barlas, George Jochnowitz, Charlotte Linde, Nicholas Ostler, Peter Unseth

Guidelines for Proposals

A paper or poster title and anonymous abstract of between 300 and 400 words, excluding references, is required along with a summary abstract for the conference booklet of no more than 150 words. On a separate page, the primary author’s name, institutional affiliation, email address, and phone number, along with any additional authors’ names/affiliations, must be included. Proposals will be blind-reviewed for quality and originality.

Submissions should contain mainly new material and must not have been published previously in order to be considered. All proposals should be emailed in a MSWord (.doc, .docx) file and using “ILA2018” in the subject line, to Ms. Annika Wendt, ILA Secretary at by Thursday, February 15, 2018. Proposal acceptances will be sent by Saturday, February 24, 2018. The author(s) whose proposals have been accepted for the ILA Annual Conference must register before the registration deadline (Monday, March 12, 2018) in order to be included in the Conference Program.

Send inquiries to Michael Maiale, Coordinator, at

Co-Chairs: Walter Petrovitz,; Kathleen O’Connor-Bater,

Brownbag Conversation Series – Digital Literacies and Multimodality

We aflyer cmll 03.23.17 with description v4re excited to welcome back to the Teachers College Community two TC alumni, Dr. Stephanie Schmier (C&T) and Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes (MST), as presenters for the next convening of the CMLL Brownbag Conversations series!
The CMLL Brownbag Conversations series provides CMLL-affiliated faculty with an opportunity to share data from ongoing projects in an informal context with a community of colleagues engaged in research and related work about languages and literacies.
Drs. Schmier and DeJaynes will share some of their ongoing work with us and engage us in conversation about “Digital Literacies and Multimodality”
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Time: 11:30a – 1:00p
Room: 305 Russell Hall

Call for Papers: ILA 2017



62nd Annual Conference of the International Linguistic Association City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, May 26-28, 2017

Final Call for Papers
Major Theme: Language and the Brain: coding, understanding, and processing

This conference focuses on language and the brain, investigating language coding, understanding, and processing across the human lifespan. The ILA invites submissions which discuss the theoretical, methodological and practical issues facing investigators working in this area.


Please find the attached call for papers in this link:


Book Talk: Professor Lesley Bartlett

Hello! We are excited to announce that Prof. Lesley Bartlett will give the CMLL Spring Lecture later this month.

Date: February 23rd
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Room: 305 Russell Hall


Past lectures have been given by Prof. Kate Pahl, Profs. Brian Street and Maria Lucia Castanheira, Prof. Stanton Wortham, and several others.

Check back here — we will be announcing additional dates for our brownbag series shortly.

Brownbag with Prof. Haeny Yoon: Playing and Pretending…

Our Brownbag Conversation Series continues this year with Prof. Haeny Yoon (Teachers College), who will share some data from her ongoing project about popular culture and young children’s literacies.

Date: Monday, December 5, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 1:30pm
Room: 104B Russell Library (Teachers College)
light refreshments will be served


Brownbag Conversation with Prof. Detra Price-Dennis

CMLLMasclabDetraPriceDennisBrownbagThe Center for Multiple Languages and Literacies invites you to participate in our upcoming Brownbag Conversation with Prof. Detra Price-Dennis, from the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College

Date: April 20, 2016
Time: 12:30 – 2:00p
Room: 46A Horace Mann
Light refreshments will be served

The CMLL Brownbag series provides CMLL-affiliated faculty and students with an opportunity to share data and aspects of their projects in an informal context with a community of colleagues engaged in research and related work about languages and literacies.

You can learn more about Prof. Price-Dennis here.

If you would like to participate in the Brownbag Series, please be in touch with us at

U.Sheffield’s “Language, Literacy and Identity” Conference CFP *deadline extended*

12795012_10207635470759080_8998359405080254774_oThis year’s Call for Papers for the Language, Literacy and Identity Conference, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Literacies, has been extended to April 17, 2016.

The Centre describes the theme of the annual conference, which will take place on July 1st – 2nd, 2016 at the University of Sheffield, this way:

Conceptualising literacy and language is a key task in a world which is on the move, both literally and symbolically. This conference engages with the theme of Language, Literacy and Identity in order to better understand how communities , groups and individuals engage with literacy. It is concerned with exploring how literacy practices and texts affect our sense of who we are, how we relate to each other and our place within the world. We welcome papers considering literacy, language and identity across contexts, and domains of life. We are interested in how multilingual identities shape literacy practices, and in new understandings of the move to visual and digital literacies. This includes work engaging with new paradigms for literacy, including sensory and embodied approaches and the turn to the post-human in literacy research. Our approach is multi disciplinary, with a focus on language and literacy within a wide range of contexts, themes and perspectives.

For additional information about abstract guidelines, session formats, and more, visit the conference website.

This year’s Keynotes are: Urszula ClarkGuy MerchantAlexandra Georgakopoulou, and Susan Jones.

Having attended twice, I am eager to return to the nurturing, generative, and innovative conversations I was fortunate to be a part of each time. If you haven’t attended before, and find yourself on the ‘other side of the pond’ — or are looking for an excuse to go — consider this as enthusiastic encouragement to do just that. Among the lessons learned, in addition to the theoretical insights and methodological challenges and triumphs shared by colleagues from the UK and beyond, is a simple but poignant recognition of the chasm that continues to exist about the knowledge literacies researchers have amply demonstrated about the rich and varied literacies landscapes of the communities where we have located our research…and the reductive  assumptions about literacies embedded in young people’s classroom experiences. Gatherings like the annual conference put on by CSL provide necessary spaces for rejuvenation, recommitment to thoughtful inquiries into literacy within and beyond school walls, and ample opportunities to commune with colleagues who are truly welcoming and generous of spirit.


Brownbag Conversation with Prof. Nicholas Limerick

The Center for Multiple Languages and Literacies invites you to participate in our upcoming Brownbag Conversation with Prof. Nicholas Limerick, from the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College
 flyer cmll march 24th_vs4

Date: March 24, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 2:00p
Room: 432 Horace Mann
Light refreshments will be served

The CMLL Brownbag series provides CMLL-affiliated faculty and students with an opportunity to share data and aspects of their projects in an informal context with a community of colleagues engaged in research and related work about languages and literacies.

If you would like to participate in the Brownbag Series, please be in touch with us at