emagazine Student Conference for English Language A Level – 16th October 2019

Bookings open 9th September.


This year’s October emagazine English Language conference provides students and teachers of A Level English Language with another packed programme of material that will stimulate ideas and debate for the rest of the year.

Booking enquiries

General booking enquiries:

Email Maria

Fax: 020 7354 0133

Programme enquiries:

Email Dan


emagazine Student Conference for English language AS & A Level – 16th October 2019



Friends House
173-177 Euston Road

Programme & Speakers

Programme & Speakers

10.20am Dan Clayton

Introduction and welcome

Dan Clayton welcomes you to the Conference.

10.30-11.15am Ian Cushing

Critical Linguistics and Language Ideologies

Much of the A Level course involves studying how language is used and what it means - but this talk takes a critical approach to the way that language itself is represented in discourse. Drawing on a range of examples from different texts, I discuss the different ways in which language comes to be aligned with different ideological viewpoints, and how language indexes and intersects with different social factors such as class and education. For example, I critically examine how ‘prestigious’ forms of language, such as ‘standard’ varieties, and English itself are often seen as particularly ‘valuable’, offering exclusive access to employment, financial and educational opportunities. In doing so, I discuss some practical methods of engaging in critical linguistic analysis and ways of uncovering language ideologies in texts.

Ian Cushing is a Lecturer in Education at Brunel University London. His research interests are in critical language policy, educational linguistics and language ideologies. He has published a number of books, articles and chapters, including Language Change (2018) and Text Analysis and Representation (2018). He decided to become a linguist after studying A Level English Language at college.

11.20-12.05pm Rob Drummond

Researching Youth Language

The language used by young people is endlessly fascinating to linguists for three reasons. 1) Young people are generally at the forefront of linguistic change. 2) Adolescence is a time of life when identities are in a state of rapid development, negotiation and modification (and language plays a significant role in this). 3) Most linguists are ‘outsiders’ when it comes to youth language, so we are intrigued about the way it is used to keep us out. In this talk we’ll consider all of these aspects, and explore ways in which you can carry out your own research to find out more.

Rob Drummond is Head of Youth Language at the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies, and Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, both at Manchester Metropolitan University. He teaches, researches, and writes about issues to do with language and identity, specialising in the language of young people. His current research project, Manchester Voices (with colleague Dr Erin Carrie), explores the accents, dialects and identities of people across Greater Manchester. Prior to that he worked with young people who have been excluded from mainstream school, and investigated the use of Multicultural Urban British English.



12.20-1pm Emma Moore

More Than ‘impoverished language’

How Nonstandard Grammar Helps to Negotiate Social Hierarchies and Manage Relationships

‘Impoverished language’ is one of the most cited explanations for the educational underachievement of working class children. This raises an important question: Does speaking a nonstandard dialect prevent working class children from doing well at school? To explore this, we’ll consider the ways in which individuals use nonstandard grammar in interaction. Does nonstandard grammar function in the ways we might expect, and is it ever the case that speaking in a nonstandard dialect is an advantage?

Emma Moore is Reader in Sociolinguistics at the University of Sheffield. Her research explores how individuals and communities use language to construct social styles and identities. She regularly publishes journal articles about sociolinguistic variation, and has edited four Cambridge University Press volumes: Analysing Older English (2011); Language and A Sense of Place: Studies in Language and Region (2017); Categories, Constructions, and Change in English Syntax (forthcoming); and Social Meaning and Linguistic Variation: Theorizing the Third Wave (forthcoming).



2-2.45pm Oliver Kamm

Grammar Anxiety – The Pointless Search for Correct English

In newspapers, broadcasting and social media, people are constantly complaining about declining standards of spoken and written English. The complaint has in fact been going on for centuries and is always wrong. Language doesn't wear out through inattention, like an old fridge or a car, but is constantly replenished. The talk will give historical perspective to these misguided fears and explain why the prospects for the English language have never been brighter. 

Oliver Kamm is a leader writer and columnist for The Times. He is the author of Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015).

2.50-3.35pm Lynne Murphy

Who Framed American English?

The UK media love to run stories about the “Americanization” of English in Britain. But to what extent are their reports accurate, what details are they leaving out, and what purpose do the reports serve? We’ll look at some of the facts, while considering how to be critical consumers of linguistic ‘news’.

Lynne Murphy is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sussex. As @lynneguist, she writes the blog Separated by Common Language. Her latest book is The Prodigal Tongue: the love-hate relationship between British and American English (OneWorld March 2018). 


Conference ends



Where is the Conference Held?

The emagazine Language Conference is being held at Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ – directly opposite Euston Station.


Getting to the Conference


The closest train stations are Euston and Kings Cross.

Tube (underground)

Tube stations within a 5 to 15-minute walk include: Euston, Euston Square, Kings Cross, Goodge Street, Russell Square, Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street. The closest tubes are Euston and Euston Square.


Numbers 10, 18, 30, 73, 205 and 390 pass the door whilst 59, 68, 91, 168, and 253 stop nearby.

Travelling by Minibus or Car?

Friends House is within a meter parking zone. Charges must be paid Monday to Friday 08:30-18:30 and Saturday 09:00-13:30. Please note that Friends House is within the congestion charge zone. Details of how to pay here.


Coaches may stop outside Friends House to drop students off.


London Euston Station Car Park

MSCP Melton Street

Tel: +44 (0)345 222 4224

The Royal National Car Park 

38-51 Bedford Way

Tel: +44 (0)20-7691 2630

Important Info

Important Info

Prices and Booking


The fee is £22 per student, with one free teacher place per 10 students. (For small groups of up to nine students, a single free teacher place will be available.) 
For additional teachers, or teachers attending without students, for their own interest or CPD, the charge is £50 each.


  • When bookings open on 9th September, 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 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.

Arrangements on the Day

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

The cafe at Friends House is open from 8am.

You and your students will be responsible for providing your own lunches. There are sandwich shops in the area immediately behind Friends House and plenty of food outlets across the road at Euston Station.

There are spaces outside for students to eat their packed lunch but no indoor spaces.

Bookings open 9th September


Bookings for the October Language Conference open on Monday 9th September