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EMC CPD Online: Language Attitudes – A Conference for Teachers

Places available
£45 per place
2 hours

An online teacher conference featuring three talks that look at ways in which A Level English Language teachers can explore attitudes to language: what they are, where they come from and how they are expressed through language. From contemporary research to practical activities, this conference will provide you with new thinking, up-to-date references and classroom-ready resources, along with the chance to quiz the linguists in a Q&A session.

Christian Ilbury - Fearing the Inevitable: Ideologies of language change in media

Language changes. Clearly, the English we use today is very different from that used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. So why are people so afraid of language change? Whether it’s young people saying ‘rizz’ or calling something the ‘ultimate slay’, many people perceive language change as a threat to ‘Proper English’.

In my talk, I explore popular discussions of language change in media by unravelling the ideologies that inform them. I focus specifically on two popular sources that are linked to language change: young people and technology. Concluding, I argue that resisting language change is futile: language has always change and will continue to change whether we like it or not.

Paul Kerswill – Objectifying Jafaican: media coverage of MLE

My talk will focus on the way in which the British print media have talked about Multicultural London English over the 18 years since its first mention in 2006. I will identify metaphors and tropes used to refer to it, including displacement and threat, but also of newness and coolness, highlighting MLE’s use in popular music. I will argue that the media see speakers of MLE as ‘the other’, neglecting its positive value as expressions of ethnic and youth identities. 

Dan Clayton – Teaching Language Discourses: Practical classroom approaches to language attitudes

This part of the course will offer a chance to address the issues raised by Paul and Christian’s talks with a practical classroom focus. In this session, I will offer activities and ideas that focus on developing a wider understanding of language discourses, that help students to see how they are expressed in texts about language and that encourage students to engage with them. 


Online, via Zoom. Details of how to join will be sent before the session.

Download Zoom

  • If relevant, course materials will be sent the day before the course in the email with your joining instructions. Please either print these out or have them available on screen during the session.
  • After the session you will receive the PowerPoint presentation, any resources used on the course and a £10 voucher to use against any purchase on
    • Vouchers can only be redeemed online.
    • Only one voucher can be used per purchase.
    • Vouchers expire after 6 weeks. 
  • A recording of the session will be available for 7 days after the event.

  • This course will be recorded but participants will not be audible or visible.
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 Professor Paul  Kerswill

Professor Paul Kerswill

Emeritus Professor, Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York.

Photo of Christian Ilbury

Christian Ilbury

Christian Ilbury is a lecturer in the department of Linguistics and English Language at The University of Edinburgh. His main recent work has been in the interrelation of digital culture and language variation and change, focussing on the digital and linguistic practices of young people. He is also interested in language, politics, and globalisation.

  • Bookings for this course will close at 8am on Monday 11th March, or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner.
  • This course is part of our 2 for 1 offer
    • Book a place on this course and you’ll be sent a voucher code entitling you to book a further place on the same course for a colleague at your school. Your code will be emailed to you as soon as we have received your booking.
    • Please note: bookings for this course close at 8am on Monday 11th March. The 2nd free place must be booked before the closing date, so please make sure you give yourself enough time!
    • Your voucher can only be redeemed online and is only eligible against this course.
      (Any issues please email Lucy.)
  • This course must be booked and paid for online. Payment by invoice is not available for this session. Please note: your fee is non-refundable.
  • To book this course 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 account you will not be able to book the course. Sign in to your account and add it to your Wishlist. See the list of people able to book courses at your organisation by clicking ‘My Account’, then ‘Our Admin Users’.
  1. Click 'Book now’ (right-hand column).
  2. Add the number of places you need. 
  3. Fill in the names and email addresses of the people attending. To secure your place, 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.
  4. Click submit and then Go to basket.
  5. Checkout. (Payment by invoice is not available for this session.)
  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 the attendee will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  8. Your email with all the information you need to join the session will be sent out on Yuesday 12th March You will be sent a reminder on the day of the course. Please check your junk or promotions folder. Still no luck? Email us.
Course Date:
13 Mar 2024
Start Time:
Bookings Close:
8.00AM on 11 Mar 2024