Workshops on Language Policy and Language Education

Dr. Miguel Pérez-Milans, associate professor from University College London (UK), upon the invitation of the School of Foreign Languages, held two workshops to present his two studies, entitled “Building an Argument in Language Policy Research: Language, Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Pedagogy” and “Doing Language Policy Research through the Lens of Reflexive Discourse”.

Dr. Miguel Pérez-Milans is an associate professor in Applied Linguistics at the Centre for Applied Linguistics in UCL Institute of Education (Department of Culture, Communication and Media; University College London, UK). He received his PhD. in Socio- and Applied Linguistics from the Autonomous University of Madrid (Spain) with distinction by the European Union, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at King’s College London (2010-2011) and The University of Hong Kong (2011-2012). He has worked as assistant professor at The University of Hong Kong (2012-2015) where he has also been appointed as honorary associate professor in the Faculty of Education (2016-2017).  He is author of the book Urban Schools and English Language Education in Late Modern China: A Critical Sociolinguistic Ethnography (Routledge Critical Series in Multilingualism, 2013). 

In his lecture “Building an Argument in Language Policy Research: Language, Neoliberalism and the Commodification of Pedagogy”, Dr. Miguel provided an example of how to engage with wider theoretical discussions taking place in the social sciences through the lens of ethnographic and discourse-based research in the language disciplines. He introduced his latest research project in Hong Kong. He showed how to engage with contemporary work on neoliberalism and language commodification by bringing a what could be argued “novel perspective”.

In his lecture “Doing Language Policy Research through the Lens of Reflexive Discourse”, he engaged with contemporary calls in the social sciences to further research on reflexivity and social change from the perspective of existing work on reflexive discourse in the language disciplines. In particular, he analyzed the trajectory of a young female with Nepali background, with the aim of shedding light on how ethnic minority-based activism emerged as cultural model of action that involved a set of social actors across different domains including secondary school students, social workers, teachers, researchers and community leaders. He also shared the analysis of interview transcripts, online chats and multimodal artifacts that were used with a strong epistemological focus on how to document situated communicative practices vis-à-vis wider policies and their socio-institutional consequences.

These two lectures have given faculty and graduate students a new perspective in studying language education and language policy.

Reported by Guo Fengping

Photographed by Guo Fengping