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Welcome Back! 

Welcome to the new academic year! We hope you had the opportunity to recharge over the summer and to prepare for all that lies ahead. This new semester will again be a full one in the LRC! Watch this space for more information on our speaker series, research groups, and special events.

 Speaker Series

The LRC will offer two speaker series again this year.

“Language of Literature” will focus on the ties between language and literature, and “Language Acquisition and Learning” will focus on methodological issues in language acquisition research.

Most lectures will be held on Fridays from 3:00 until 4:00 p.m. in the Language Research Centre (CHD420). Please note any exceptional dates on the schedule. We look forward to seeing you there.

Language of Literature

November 20

Stephen Henighan (University of Guelph): “Writing the Americas”


Language Acquisition and Learning

September 25

 Herbert Colston (University of Alberta): “A deeper look at the ‘psycho-linguistic’ crossroad: Relevance theory and cognitive side effects”

October 23

 Laurent Dekydtspotter (Indiana University): "Second Language Grammar and Processing as Computations Fail to Complete"

October 30     

 Jennifer Vannest (Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital): "Neuroplasticity in the language network in the developing brain"

Mark your calendars!

Workshop on Corpus Linguistics

Monday, October 26, 2015

2:00 - 5:00pm

EDT 450 (University of Calgary)

Please register here:

Corpus Linguistics: An overview of methods, research findings and applications
This session will combine lectures and workshops to provide an introduction to corpus analysis for linguistic research and language teaching. We will begin by introducing corpus linguistics as a research approach, providing case studies that illustrate the unexpected research findings that have emerged from corpus analyses, and discussing how those unexpected findings might directly influence practices in language instruction. We will then discuss case studies that have investigated particular linguistic research questions, showing again how corpus research often leads to unanticipated findings (related, for example, to the kinds of grammatical complexity found in conversation versus academic writing, or the kinds of phraseological chunks found in the professional writing of L1-English versus L2-English academics). Finally, we will provide the opportunity for hands-on practice working with corpora and corpus-analysis tools available for research and classroom applications. The workshop will provide ample opportunity for audience participation and questions.

"I'd like to know more about..." Workshop

Thursday, November 12, 2015 (Reading Day)

9:00am - 2:30pm

CHD 420

Working Group in Translation Studies

For the upcoming academic year, the group will continue to actively organize events and facilitate dialogue with the aim of broadening the interest in translation, especially among undergraduate students. The group’s continued participation in workshops and lectures, such as the upcoming LRC workshop “I’d like to know more about …” in November 2015 will raise awareness about the significance of translation for an understanding of our global cultures and societies. 

For more information about the Working Group Translation Studies, please contact Isabell Woelfel (

Psycholinguistics Lab Group

The goals of the Psycholinguistics Lab Group are to gain a deeper understanding of current psycholinguistic research and to inform future work. We are especially interested in research involving adult native speakers and second language learners. The group, which consists of graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, and other interested researchers, meets every second Thursday at 1:00 pm in the Laboratory for Interactive Psycholinguistics (Craigie Hall D506). Please plan to join us for our first meeting on Thursday, September 24 at 1:00 pm. Contact if you would like to know more.

The Cercle Benveniste (Season 4)

The Cercle Benveniste is back this Fall for its fourth season. For those new to the University of Calgary academic community and do not know what it’s about, the Cercle Benveniste started in 2013 as an informal linguistics club. It’s now a research group that hosts a forum of discussion, open to anyone (colleagues as well as students) interested in linguistics; all can come, brainstorm, debate and exchange ideas about any aspect, subject or topic related to language science.

The Cercle is meant to be, in some ways, a peripatetic school where the participants would, just like Émile Benveniste himself, wander into the nooks and crannies of the discipline, interrogating issues that remain unclear or are overlooked, a priories and impasses… In brief, participants would explore different aspects of language, looking for Problèmes de linguistique générale (Problems in General Linguistics, the title of Benveniste’s most notable collection of texts). To this end, they’ve been invited to bring along questions to answer, books or articles to read, various magazine or newspaper pieces reporting on language, etc. – basically any document, artifact or wonderment that can spark or feed the discussion in a relaxed atmosphere (i.e., people can just come and go – no rsvp needed, sit or stand, chat or listen).

Worth noting: the Cercle will be hosting its first “Colloque Benveniste” this coming Spring (during the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences). Start marking your calendars. To be continued…

2015-15 Schedule

Fall 2015

(Friday, 14:00-15:00)

Winter 2016

(Friday, 14:00-15:00)

September 11, 2015

September 25, 2015

October 09, 2015

October 23, 2015

November 06, 2015

November 20, 2015

December 04, 2015

January 15, 2016

January 29, 2016

February 12, 2016

February 26, 2016

March 11, 2016

March 25, 2016

April 08, 2016


Status of Languages in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary

We are pleased to report that the Faculty of Arts Council approved the Report of the Task Force on the Status of Languages entitled Learning Languages to Embrace, Comprehend and Contribute to Our World on April 8, 2015. We would like to thank the members of the Task Force as well as everyone who contributed to the Report.

[find the report here].

Extending the reach of the Counselling Service for Parents of Bilingual Children

In 2011, Jürgen Meisel (LRC Distinguished Fellow), supported by Rahat Naqvi (Werklund School of Education), established the LRC’s Counselling Service for Parents of Bilingual Children. The goal of the online service is to provide advice to parents who are making choices regarding the languages to which they will expose their children. Because the target audience of the service includes newcomers to Calgary who may not speak English, the LRC determined that it should work to have the site translated into Calgary’s most widely spoken immigrant languages. Thanks to money received from the Office of the Provost in 2013, we were able to have the site translated into the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • Mandarin
  • Punjabi
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Vietnamese

Please visit the site (see link in the left panel) and encourage others to share it with parents who are making decisions about the languages to which they will expose their children.

CEFR Examinations

German CEFR examinations at the A2, B1, and C1 levels are offered by the Language Research Centre. More information and exam dates will be posted here. 

French CEFR (DELF / DALF) examinations are offered by the French Centre. For more information see:

Chinese HSK examinations are offered by the Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures. For dates and other information, please visit:

Spanish CEFR (DELE) exams are offered by the Aula Cervantes. You can find more information here: