emagazine Student Conference for English Language A Level – Tuesday 26th February 2019



Language, Voice and Identity

From the very beginnings of speech in David Crystal’s talk on the ‘Fascinating First Year’ to the ways we use language to express our identities online with Claire Hardaker, how we perform identity with our language in Devyani Sharma’s talk on language variation, through to the poet Luke Wright talking about the ways he constructs identities in his work, the human voice in all its rich variation and potential is the focus of this year’s conference. But the flipside of human language, its ability to hurt and abuse others, and – in Tim Grant’s talk on forensic linguistics – its potential to leave clues for others to track down will also be considered. 

This year’s 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

Click here for a printable version of the programme.


emagazine Student Conference for English language AS & A Level – Tuesday 26th February 2019


Tuesday 26th February 2019


Friends House
173-177 Euston Road

Programme & Speakers

image of Dan Clayton
Dan Clayton


Dan Clayton welcomes you to the Conference.

image of Professor Devyani Sharma
Professor Devyani Sharma

One Person, Many Voices: How Dialect Differences Help us to Communicate With Each Other

Do you have different ways of speaking? Does it seem fake to do that? Useful? Fun? Necessary? Using examples of English accents in London and around the world, this talk will challenge the idea that people have a single accent or dialect. We will see how individuals sometimes shift dramatically between different styles of speaking, but we will also discover that we all do this to some extent. Rather than hindering communication, dialect and accent differences can actually enrich communication and help us express complex identities and attitudes.

Devyani Sharma is Professor of Sociolinguistics at Queen Mary University of London. Her research examines linguistic and social change in postcolonial and other varieties of English. Recent edited works include The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes (2017), English in the Indian Diaspora (2014), and Research Methods in Linguistics (2013). She has created English Language Teaching Resources for A Level English Language teachers and Multilingual Capital for London communities. 

image of Professor Tim Grant
Professor Tim Grant

Forensic Linguistics – An Application of Language Description

In this talk I will exemplify the scope of work in forensic linguistics by talking through a wide range of forensic linguistic research and casework. I will demonstrate how sexual assault suspects use agentless passives to linguistically remove themselves from the scene of the crime. I’ll show how giving evidence on the meaning of slang terms can succeed and fail in improving the delivery of justice. I’ll show how we can provide investigative leads to the police by providing a sociolinguistic profile. And I’ll show how evidence of who wrote a text message can break an alibi to murder. Throughout I’ll show that all of this is based in the detailed linguistic description of texts and contexts – the skills that are acquired through studying English Language at A Level.

Tim Grant is Professor of Forensic Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Forensic Linguistics at Aston University, UK. His main research interests are in forensic authorship analysis. His most recent work has focussed on using linguistics to assist in investigations into the abuse and exploitation of children and adults that occurs on the darkweb. He has extensive experience of providing expert investigative assistance to UK police, NCA and other UK and overseas agencies, and in providing evidence for both prosecution and defence and in civil cases. He has significant experience of working with press, TV and radio and was recently profiled in The Atlantic



image of Dr Claire Hardaker
Dr Claire Hardaker

LOLs, Trolls and Losing Control: Online Language and Interaction

The internet is a paradise of information and entertainment, but as we know only too well, it has a dark side, and sometimes the very things that can seem the most amusing can be extremely abusive. In this talk I investigate how difficult it can be to identify abusive online behaviour - especially in our own conduct, how much data we are dealing with at any given moment, and how even the nicest people can slide into being unpleasant to others online without realising it. 

Note that this talk will contain strong language and will refer to some cases involving online abuse. 

Dr Claire Hardaker is a senior lecturer in forensic corpus linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University. She researches online aggression, deception, and manipulation, or in other words, trolling, phishing, romance scams, and so on. She does a fair bit of media work, including documentaries, news interviews, and writing articles for the press. She is currently writing three books on these subjects and managing a few projects on them. Dr Hardaker also directs FORGE - the forensic linguistics research group, and blogs/tweets (@DrClaireH) about forensic linguistics and breaking news data.



image of Professor David Crystal
Professor David Crystal

The Fascinating First Year

A talk which begins by addressing the question, ‘When does language acquisition start?’, and gives the answer, ‘Much earlier than most people think’. The focus is on early phonetic development, and on the distinctive nature of parent-child interaction. The talk is related to general issues concerning the functions of language encountered during the first year, especially the ludic function.

David Crystal is probably the best-known linguist and language educator in the UK whose decades-spanning range of publications about the English language have become essential reading for anyone with a love of language. Returning to the emagazine conference for the ninth year, David Crystal will inform, enthuse and entertain in his own unique way.

image of Luke Wright
Luke Wright

Celebrated poet Luke Wright performs a selection of pieces from his most recent stage shows. Wright will display a range of voices and styles in poems that are confessional, lyrical, narrative, and polemical. Framing each piece with a short introduction, Wright will explain how the poems came into being and developed over the writing process. He will answer questions at the end of the set.

Flamboyant, political and riotously funny, Luke Wright’s inventive spoken word shows are enjoyed by thousands of people across the world every year. He is the author of two poetry collections and two verse plays; and the winner of a Fringe First, a Stage Award, and a Saboteur Award. His debut play What I Learned From Johnny Bevan is currently being developed into a film.

‘Performance poetry’s key revivalist.’ Metro

‘Cool poems.’ Patti Smith

‘Pulsating poetic story-telling.’ The Guardian


Conference close



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, Booking and Cancellations


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.


  • 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.


Cancellations or amendments can be made without charge until 5pm on Tuesday 22nd January 2019.

All subsequent cancellations will be dealt with in the following way:

  • Cancellations after 5pm on Tuesday 22nd January 2019 and up to 5pm on Friday 8th February 2019: 50% charge
  • Cancellations after 5pm on Friday 8th February 2019:100% charge.

Please note: We will be unable to make refunds in the case of weather, transport difficulties or other circumstances beyond our control.

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.

Full – waiting list


This conference is already fully booked. However, places may become available. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email admin@englishandmedia.co.uk.