Part of the wider British Council Future of English programme, we are proud to announce the Future of English Research Forum to be held in Stratford, London, on Friday 3rd March 2023. 

This one-day event brings together researchers from four international UK-led projects, awarded a Future of English Research Grant, to exchange ideas, share findings and, for the first time, showcase the projects to a wider audience. In this event, we focus on exploring why and how the future of the world’s most spoken language should be investigated.   

The British Council is also excited to welcome Prof Suresh Canagarajah (Pennsylvania State University) and Prof Angela Creese (University of Stirling) to the Forum to address these key questions.

The conversations and discussions of the day, both in-person and online, will be captured by Fran O'Hara from Scarlet Design as visual minutes.

This is a hybrid event, and registration is free of charge. In-person attendance is limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis. Register now! We look forward to welcoming you in Stratford or online.

Date and venue

The Research Forum will be held on Friday 3rd March 2023, from 09.00, at the British Council office in Stratford, London.

Address: British Council, 1 Redman Place, Stratford, London E20 1JQ

Online attendance and participation will be through Microsoft Teams. A link to the event will be sent in joining instructions one week prior to the conference.

Programme

09.00 - 09.30 Registration
09.30 - 09.40 Welcome and opening by Michael Connolly, British Council 
09.40 - 10.40

The Future of English: why?

Invited speaker Prof Suresh Canagarajah

10.40 - 11.10

Presentation: Research into digitally-mediated EMI communication in Higher Education classrooms: Why & How?

Dr Fumiyo Nakatsuhara and Dr Chihiro Inoue, CRELLA, University of Bedfordshire

11.10 - 11.30

Coffee break

11.30 - 12.00

Interview: The future of English in Basic Education: Global views

Prof Fiona Copland, University of Warwick, and Prof Sue Garton, Aston University

Interviewed by Dr Philip Seargeant, Open University

12.00 - 12.15

Future of English: global perspectives

Mina Patel, Steve Copeland and Mike Solly, British Council

12.15 – 13.00

Lunch break. A sandwich lunch will be provided for all attendees.

13.00 - 13.30

Presentation: How can corpus linguistics tell us about the future of English?

Dr Raffaella Bottini and Haoshan Ren, Lancaster University

13.30 - 14.00

Interview: Researching equality in access to English and technology in East and South Asia 

Prof Agnes Kukulska-Hulme and Dr Saraswati Dawadi, Open University

Interviewed by Prof Sue Garton, Aston University

14.00 - 15.00

The Future of English: how?

Invited speaker Prof Angela Creese, Professor of Linguistic Ethnography, University of Stirling

15.00 - 15.15

Coffee break

15.15 - 16.30

Discussion session with speakers and attendees (face-to-face or online)

Including Prof Suresh Canagarajah and Prof Angela Creese, as well as representatives from the Future of English Research Grants project teams

Hosted by Dr Jamie Dunlea, British Council

16.30 - 16.40

Closing by Prof Barry O’Sullivan, British Council

Registration

Registration is free of charge, though in-person attendance is limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

To register your attendance, in-person or online, please click on the REGISTER button above.

Accommodation in Stratford, London

The British Council office is located in Stratford, London. Please find a list of accommodations in and around Stratford for download at the bottom of this page.

Research context: What’s the future of the world’s most spoken language?

Several decades into the era of being the main language of international communication, English retains its status as ‘the’ global language. Global circumstances and our contemporary communicative contexts have shifted dramatically, however: major geopolitical changes, technological advances and socio-cultural factors are reshaping our linguistic landscape, raising questions about the future of language use in general, and the role English will play in future communication and learning. Will English continue to be the pre-eminent global language? How will the myriad forms of English continue to evolve? How and for what purposes will English be used? Who will the users of English be and how will they influence the language in the future?

Sitting within the wider Future of English research programme, which aims to explore the answers to the big questions about the English language through broad engagement with the users, learners and teachers of the language across the world, the Community of Practice brings together four of the major research project streams to exchange ideas and share findings along their research journey as the programme progresses. In anticipation of the launch of the British Council The Future of English: global perspectives publication in April 2023, the first Future of English Research Forum is a one-day event that showcases these research projects to a wider audience and seeks to address two key questions within the broader context of the Future of English research programme:

  • Why attempt to plot the future of the English language? What insights might we achieve by exploring how English is likely to be used, taught and learnt in the coming decades? How might these insights help to promote a more equitable, inclusive world?
  • How can the future of English be investigated? What methodological traditions and interdisciplinary approaches might help to plot future trajectories of the language and how it is used? What fresh perspectives might the theoretical lenses of Global Englishes, plurilingualism, decolonisation, and the digital/AI revolution in communication reveal about the potential future of English? 

The one-day event includes an overview of each of the four research projects, as well as presentations from two eminent scholars in the field of English language, Prof Suresh Canagarajah of Pennsylvania State University and Prof Angela Creese of Stirling University. They will aim to address the key questions of why and how. The day closes with a discussion that seeks to engage the plenary speakers, the project researchers and a wider audience both in-person and online.

The Forum provides an initial introduction to the wider Future of English research programme in advance of the Future of English publication and the launch of the Future of English exhibition, which will be hosted virtually and at key locations around the world. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with project researchers and in the discussion at the event. The Forum will be of interest to English language researchers and educators, as well as to applied linguists, policy makers and socio-cultural researchers more generally.

Contact information

Any questions? Email us at FoEgrants@britishcouncil.org.