Language education researcher to give Oxford Department of Education Public Seminar

Dr Jim King from the School of Education will be giving a talk about his research into language learner silence at the Oxford University Department of Education Public Seminar at Norham Gardens, Oxford from 16.30 to 18.00 on Monday 15 February.

Silence is an area of study that receives relatively little attention from education researchers, who in the past have tended to concentrate more on the spoken aspects of discourse within classrooms. Far from being merely communicative voids in which nothing of interest happen, moments of silence during educational encounters are actually rich in form, function and meaning.

In the talk King will draw upon ideas from his two latest books, Silence in the Second Language Classroom (2013) and The Dynamic Interplay between Context and the Language Learner (2015), to argue for a complexity perspective which suggests we should move away from traditional, reductionist, single-cause explanations for learner reticence because silence is a context-dependent, highly ambiguous phenomenon which actually emerges through multiple, concurrent routes in classrooms.