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emagazine Language Conference in the North 2024

26 Feb 2024 (UK)
Booking concluded
£20 per student
The King's School, Macclesfield

The conference will begin at 10.30am and finish by 3.30pm. 

Booking enquires

General booking enquires:

Email Maria

Programme enquiries:

Email Dan

Please register from 9.30am.


Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton welcomes you to the 2nd emagazine Language Conference in the North.


Ian Cushing: Language policing, schools, and social (in)justice

Language policing in schools is often deployed and justified under a social justice narrative, where it is claimed that the modification of stigmatised language practices is done to help marginalised children succeed in society. In this talk I reject this narrative, showing how language policing in schools reproduces deficit and colonial framings of marginalised children, relies on flawed theories of language, and perpetuates – not alleviates – social injustice.


Chris Montgomery: Exploring real-time responses to speech

This talk will look at what people pay attention to as they hear someone speaking. We will listen to speakers with different accents to see what stands out to you as they hear them talking. The talk will look at what this means, from how you use what you hear to work out where someone might be from, to what the use of certain accent features makes you think about a speaker.




Jessica Norledge: May the language be ever in your favour

In this talk, we’ll be exploring the relationship between language and gender in dystopian fiction, focusing on the ways in which language is restricted, manipulated and proscribed in dystopian worlds. I’ll be introducing you to a selection of stylistic tools that can help you unpack the representation of gender in literary texts, demonstrating some live stylistic analysis, and presenting some top tips for approaching any text from a stylistic perspective.


Dr Frazer Heritage

In this talk, I will be discussing how we can apply concepts from the language and gender A Level specification to videogame data. I talk a lot of about some of the shortcomings with what is taught at A-level, and look at ways in which students might want to more critically engage with the different approaches to gender. I argue that one of the ways students might want to do this is to look at how gender is represented, as opposed to looking at the language used by people of different genders. I discuss representation in terms of language denoting gendered social actors (e.g., male and female videogame characters) but also how written characters’ use of language becomes a particular normalised representation.


Rob Drummond: Why we are what we speak: what everyone should really know about spoken language

The relationship between spoken language and identity, or how we speak and who we are, is a fundamental one. Our voice provides all sorts of insights into who we are, how we might be perceived, and how we in turn perceive others. In this talk I’ll explore some of the features of this relationship, and discuss some of the reasons why we would all be better off if people had just a little bit more sociolinguistic understanding and awareness.


Conference ends



The Conference is being held at The King's School, Macclesfield.

A site map with key locations referred to below can be downloaded here.

Getting to the Conference

Directions to the school are available here.

Please enter at the west entrance (2) to the school grounds.

Minibuses and cars

Please park in the Infant and Junior car park (3) – the first one you come to.


Coaches can park and stay in the coach layby directly in front of the main school building, at the top of the ‘boulevard’ (5). 

Additional parking for coaches is available on some gravel by the Infant & Junior car park (in between 3 and 5).

There is additional coach parking at Derby Fields (6). Please note that there is a separate road entrance to this area, further east along the main road towards Macclesfield.

Download the programme for the day here.

Arrangements on the Day

The Conference is being held at The King's School, Macclesfield.

A site map with key locations referred to below can be downloaded here.


Registration will open at 9.30am and we ask you to be in your seats for 10.15am so we can begin promptly at 10.30am.

Please enter either at the main reception or through the doors to the refectory (right underneath the number 4 on the map).

Teachers Accompanying Students

We expect all students to be accompanied by a teacher. There should be a minimum of 1 teacher per 20 students.

We request that teachers meet their students in advance, register as a group and sit with their groups of students. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that their own students maintain acceptable standards of behaviour in the auditorium and in the Friends House building.

Lunch and Refreshments

There is space for students to eat lunch in the refectory.


Photo of Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton

Dan Clayton is an education consultant at the EMC and specialises in English Language work at A Level and language education across the secondary curriculum. He has been a teacher of A Level English for over 20 years, senior examiner and moderator for different awarding bodies and is author/editor of many books for A Level English Language, including ones for Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press & Routledge, as well as publications for the EMC and NATE. Dan has worked closely with many universities to help develop links between A level and HE, worked as a research fellow at UCL and runs the EngLangBlog site and @EngLangBlog twitter account, as well as being part of the Lexis Podcast team. He has also taught Media and Film Studies and is Associate Editor of emagazine and MediaMagazine.

Photo of Jess Norledge

Jess Norledge

Jess is Assistant Professor in Stylistics at the University of Nottingham and the author of The Language of Dystopia. Jess’ research sits at the interface between English literature and English language, and she has particular expertise in the cognitive poetics of emotion, and worlds theories in dystopian fiction.

Photo of Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond is Professor of Sociolinguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. His latest book, You’re All Talk: Why we are what we speak, was published in October this year.

Photo of Dr Frazer Heritage

Dr Frazer Heritage

Frazer Heritage is a Lecturer in Linguistics within the Department of Languages, Information and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Photo of Chris Montgomery

Chris Montgomery

Chris Montgomery is a Senior Lecturer in Dialectology at the University of Sheffield. His research looks at the attitudes that people have towards language. He is particularly interested in what listeners pay attention to as they hear people talking, and what this makes them think about the speaker they are listening to.

Photo of Ian  Cushing

Ian Cushing

Dr Ian Cushing is Senior Lecturer in Critical Applied Linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. His work examines how ideologies about language contribute to the stigmatisation of racialised and working-class children and teachers in schools. His book Standards, Stigma, Surveillance: Raciolinguistic Ideologies in England's Schools won the 2023 British Association of Applied Linguistics book prize.

Prices, Booking and Cancellations


  • The fee is £20 per student, with one free teacher place as follows: 1-9 students = 1 free teacher place; 10-19 students = 2 free teacher places and so on.
  • You will be automatically allocated the correct number of teacher places and will need to provide details for each teacher attending. (These details can be amended, if necessary, when you tell us final numbers on 5pm on Monday 22nd January 2024.)
  • For additional teachers, or teachers attending without students, for their own interest or CPD, the charge is £50 each.


Book online and choose to pay by invoice.

  • Conference places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 
  • Please note: we are unable to take provisional bookings.
  • Please see our updated cancellation policy.
  • To book this conference you must be signed into one of the following accounts (registering an account first if you need to):
    • UK Educator Admin (purchasing)
    • UK Teacher – Home Address Only
    • UK Private Individual
    • Overseas
  • If you have a UK Educator Standard (non-purchasing) account you will not be able to book the conference. Sign in to your account and add it to your Wishlist. See the list of people able to book conferences at your organisation by clicking ‘My Account’, then ‘Our Admin Users’.
  1. Click 'Book now’ (right-hand column).
  2. Add the number of student places you need. Free teacher places will be allocated automatically.
  3. You will be asked to add the names and contact details of the teachers attending – if you don't know these details yet, just copy/paste the details of the lead teacher.
  4. Please make sure you add the attendee details immediately and checkout within 24 minutes. Otherwise the booking will expire and you will have to begin the process again. The joining information and post-course email will be emailed to both the person booking the course and the attendee.
  5. Click submit and then Go to basket.
  6. Checkout. 
  7. Once you have booked your place, you will see a screen indicating your order has been successful. You may want to make a note of your order number. The person making the booking and all the teachers attending will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  8. Please do not make final travel arrangements until your final booking has been confirmed and we have contacted you to let you know that you have definitely been allocated places.


    • You can make amendments to your booking until the final numbers deadline – 5pm on Monday 22nd January 2024. After this date you will be charged 100% of the ticket price, regardless of the numbers of students you bring to the conference.
    • We will email on Friday 19th January to remind you to confirm your final numbers by emailing Maria.
    • Please note: We will be unable to make refunds in the case of weather, transport difficulties or circumstances beyond our control. Should EMC need to cancel the conference, a full refund will be on offer. (However, personal arrangements including travel, accommodation or hospitality relating to the conference which have been arranged by you or your institution are at your own risk and not refundable by us.) 

    Booking concluded