CfP: The direct method in language teaching

Joint conference of PHELLE, CIRSIL, Henry Sweet Society and SIHFLES.

Granada (Spain), 16–17 May 2019

Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 January 2019

Notification of accepted proposals: 15 February 2019

What exactly is the ‘Direct Method’? In France, the chief inspector of modern languages Firmery answered this question in a very simple way in his 10 October 1902 article in the Revue politique et parlementaire: ‘It is the method by which one teaches a language directly, that is, without the intermediary of the mother tongue’ (in Rochelle 1906: 4; our translation)

In the 1880s a strong movement for reform of modern language teaching arose, principally in Germany and Scandinavia, with the addition of France at the beginning of the 20th century. The starting point for this renewal can be seen to have been the call made by Wilhelm Viëtor in 1882, under the pseudonym Quousque Tandem, in his manifesto Der Sprachunterricht muss umkehren (‘Language Teaching Must Change Direction!’). In 1886 the German Association of Modern Language Teachers was founded; in 1886, also, a group of Scandinavian teachers created a society to promote reform ideas. Similar associations were created across Europe: in France, the Association des Professeurs de Langues vivantes (APLV) and the Société des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes de l’Enseignement Public; in Britain, the Société Nationale des Professeurs de français; in Belgium the Union des professeurs de langues modernes, and so on. Read more ›

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“Studienkreis ‘Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft’” (SGdS)

XXIX. Internationales Kolloquium

4. – 7. Juli 2018

Campus am Neuen Palais
Universität Potsdam
Haus 8, Raum 060/61

Organisation: Gerda Haßler & Angelika Rüter

Capture d’écran 2018-06-02 à 22.08.40.png

The program is available here :’18_Prog.pdf

Information :

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New OA book series: history and philosophy of the language sciences

The open access publisher Language Science Press has just started a new book series on the history and philosophy of the language sciences. Proposals are welcome for books that fall within the aims and scope of the series: Read more ›

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Recent publications in the history and philosophy of linguistics, May 2018

Below is a list of some monographs and collected volumes in the history and philosophy of linguistics that have appeared recently. Read more ›

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New Issue: Acta Structuralica – Open Access

Special issue on Phenomenology and Structuralism.

Articles: Read more ›

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Vivien Law Prize 2018

Vivien Law

The Vivien Law Prize is offered annually by the Henry Sweet Society for the best essay in the history of linguistic ideas. The competition is open to all currently registered students, and to scholars who have received their PhD or equivalent qualification within the last five years. Essays can be in English, French or German and up to 8000 words in length. Closing date is 30 September 2018.

Further information is available here:

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Martin Burr Grant 2019

[Post updated 14 May 2018]

Application deadline 30 September 2018

The Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas invites applications for the Martin Burr Grant, which awards small amounts of funding (usually up to a maximum of £500) to support any form of activity which brings together language and history and allows them to be enjoyed by a non-academic audience. This money is made available thanks to the generosity of the late Martin Burr who was himself a non-academic with a passion for the study of language and history and the connection between them. Read more ›

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Call for Papers : SHESL-HTL CONFERENCE 2019. Linguistics and its historical forms of organization and production. Paris, 24-26 January 2019

This conference is an occasion for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the SHESL (Société d’histoire et d’épistémologie des sciences du langage) and the associated journal HEL (Histoire Epistémologie Langage), as well as the 35 years of existence of the HTL research group (Histoire des théories linguistiques). It is open to all scholars who have an interest in the history, sociology and philosophy of the language sciences.


Scientific inquiry may justifiably be seen as a practice ruled by specific epistemic criteria (hypothesis-testing and empirical adequacy). It may also be viewed as involving forms of organization which reflect institutional and didactic traditions, theoretical affinities, paths of transmission, and various social, political or even religious concerns. From this point of view, we are confronted with the multifarious forms of organization of linguistic research, description and prescription, and with the attendant diversity in scientific production.

Forms of organization and forms of production may deviate more or less from the beaten tracks of what academic research today regards as bona fide structures and theoretical work. Apart from the universities, one may think for instance of learned societies (international, national or more local), religious congregations, more or less enduring and organized intellectual circles, networks, schools of various guises, linguistic institutes, academies, etc.; and of their productions, in the form of descriptive and more or less theoretical studies, translations and glosses, manifestos, instructions (for collecting “data” or for the purpose of setting a descriptive framework), memoirs, bulletins, missionary grammars, terminological prescriptions, pedagogical textbooks and dictionaries. Beyond structures laid out by academic institutions, forms of organization may involve more or less stabilized theory groups and networks, and schools of various guises; at stake here is the description of these “invisible colleges”, of their historical motivations and goals, of factors inducing in actors a sense of belonging and of the strategies employed in securing a place in academia. The very broad understanding of “forms of organization” proposed in this call leaves considerable latitude in the ways forms of linguistic organization and production can be considered; in particular, it does not restrict the purview to sociological approaches, although proposals in this direction are of course welcome.

In brief, the conference committee invites proposals which will bear on the ways in which linguistic inquiry has organized itself, or, in other words, the various modes in which individuals involved in linguistic research, description and prescription have coalesced into groups, schools, “paradigms” (if this Kuhnian notion is applicable in linguistics or not), research programs, and institutions of various sorts.

The following more specific topics may be broached (the list is not intended to be exhaustive):
-The constitution of intellectual circles and networks (including from a sociological standpoint)
-The role of religious congregations and their history
-The constitution of modern university disciplines (e.g. the institutionalization of linguistic research in 19th century Germany)
-The role of learned societies and their history
-The notion of “school” (e.g. the Geneva or Prague school of structuralism)
-The constitution of linguistics as a self-standing discipline in the academic world
-The notions of paradigm and research program in linguistics
-The characterization of products related to linguistic activity (e.g. grammars), insofar as they are representative of a school, institution, etc.

Place and date:
Paris, 24-26 January 2019.


Please send your abstracts (around 500 words, + bibliography and keywords) to:

Deadline for submission: 30 June 2018
Notification of acceptance: beginning of September 2018

Registration fees: 50 € (35 € for the students, and )
Free for the members of the SHESL

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CfP: Sprache und Globalisierung

Die Gesellschaft für Interlinguistik e.V. (GIL) lädt herzlich ein zu ihrer Jahrestagung 2018 mit dem Schwerpunkthema

Sprache und Globalisierung Read more ›

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Call for Papers: “A host of tongues” – Multilingualism, lingua franca and translation in the Early Modern period

FCSH-UNL, Lisbon, 13th to 15th December 2018

In the 15th and 16th centuries, the linguistic situation in Europe was one of remarkable fluidity. Latin, the great scholarly lingua franca of the medieval period, was beginning to crack as the tectonic plates shifted beneath it, but the vernaculars had not yet crystallized into the national languages that they would become a century later, and bi- or multilingualism was still rife. Through the influence of print capitalism, the dialects that occupied the informal space were starting to organise into broad fields of communication and exchange (Anderson 2006: 37-46), though the boundaries between them were not yet clearly defined nor the links to territory fully established. Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, languages were coming into contact with an intensity that they had never had before (Burke 2004: 111-140), influencing each other and throwing up all manner of hybrids and pidgins as peoples tried to communicate using the semiotic resources they had available. New lingua francas emerged to serve particular purposes in different geographic regions or were imposed through conquest and settlement (Ostler 2005: 323-516). And translation proliferated at the seams of such cultural encounters, undertaken for different reasons by a diverse demographic that included missionaries, scientists, traders, aristocrats, emigrés, refugees and renegades (Burke 2007: 11-16). Read more ›

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