Tuesday, January 13, 2009


November 22, 2008 was d-day for the English Department. Indeed that was the day chosen by the Belgian Association of Anglicists in Higher Education (BAAHE) for its 2008 conference. Starting at 10.30 with the plenary lecture of Barbara Dancygier, the conference awakened the curiosity of all students straightaway. The lecture was indeed highly interesting for us, students, as it brought Linguistics and Literature together. The second half of the morning was more about practical business of the association. After a good lunch we had to choose which of the parallel sessions we wanted to attend (as three sessions were held simultaneously). All seemed equally interesting but I chose to follow the English Language Teaching (ELT) sessions. I did not budge from them and had the "chance" to witness a small technical issue, when the projector decided to stop finding any signal. The problem solved, I learnt about what corpus studies bring to language teaching. I particularly enjoyed the lecture of Sylvie de Cock about contracted forms, which analysed the use of contracted forms in students writing and speech. According to her analyse, students tend to systematically avoid contracted forms, which is very artificial. The other lectures were also pretty interesting, even if I must admit that the more theoretical parts were not always clear to me. All in all I think that it was a very interesting experience and that we (students) did absolutely not loose our time. As far as the organization of the conference is concerned, I think that everything went perfectly well for the English Unit if we set aside some external minor issues (coffee machine brake down, flat tyres). Thanks to the Professors and Assistants of the English Unit for their organisation and for inviting us to such a great conference.

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