Message from Johann Fischer
The Olympic Games are over, the Paralympics are coming to an end, but for us “London 2012” also stands for the 12th CercleS Conference that is about to start: “University Language Centres: Going for Gold – Overcoming Hurdles”. We have kept the idea of sports competitions for our conference as language centres also have to overcome hurdles in their striving for gold.
As with the Olympic Games, the CercleS Conference will bring together people from many different countries not in a competition but, hopefully, in collaboration. It will bring together people with different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, from countries and institutions with very different legal and financial structures and varied roles and duties. The conference offers them a platform for an exchange of ideas, which will tighten the links between our institutions and strengthen the successful network of CercleS member institutions.
We have prepared a programme with a variety of themes: methodology and testing, innovation and quality assurance, competence of the learner, the teacher and language centre staff, and the management of language centres; furthermore, our new CercleS Focus Group on ‘Translation, Mediation and Interpreting’ will be present with its own section, and finally, the conference will discuss the issue of plurilingualism. The eight sections are unlikely to cover every single specialisation but should allow everyone in our network to find some relevant interests for their work.
The conference takes place in an English speaking environment, and we as an association use mainly English in our communications, however, I do hope that all presenters will follow the conference rules and offer their presentations in more than one language, which will allow more participants to attend and take full advantage of this event, and make it a truly multilingual one.
I would like to close with a big thank you to Nick Byrne and his team for organising this conference! They do deserve a gold medal for this!
I am looking forward to a fruitful conference, to high quality papers and to interesting discussions and exchanges of ideas.
Welcome to London 2012 – the 12th CercleS Conference!
President of CercleS
Message from Gillian Mansfield
I can only think of continuing the Olympic metaphor in offering my warmest greetings to all present and thanks for joining us on this our own Olympic occasion, the 12th CercleS biannual conference that also marks 20 years of CercleS activity.
This conference is confirmation that CercleS is, as always, staying on form and setting itself new goals. We are “Going for the Gold” in the language profession by sharing here our best practices in many fields of language education. The themes and subthemes focus on hurdles, obstacles, marathon activities, maximizing potential and achieving (the medals awarded!) in the field of language learning. And we are very proud to line up at the starting grid our new journal Language Learning in Higher Education, which is set to make its mark in the academic world. Please come to its official launch on Saturday before the General Meeting.
The key word in CercleS is multilingualism. Let me say that wherever we come from in Europe, we are part of a big team, not sporting against each other, but rather running together with an integrative spirit to strengthen multilingualism and multiculturalism in the field of education, and to promote the sharing of such experiences in our activities. If we work together, we’ll race ahead to achieve personal medals and awards!! This is what this conference is all about.
I hope you will all enjoy the Conference just as much as I will enjoy meeting you.