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Call for papers

ISLE Summer School

“Variation in World Englishes: advanced issues in theory and methodology”

University of Regensburg

4-7 October 2017

Aim and scope

Since the early 1980s, World Englishes research has been one of the most thriving and most rapidly developing subdisciplines of English linguistics. Plenty of researchers, and among them young scholars working towards their PhDs, have investigated different varieties of English, mostly from a synchronic perspective; in addition, most recently the diachronic development of these varieties have also received increased attention. In addition to that, the World Englishes paradigm has experienced some important changes in theoretical orientation, viz., most recently, a strong call for the inclusion of learner Englishes/non-postcolonial societies in the description of what Mesthrie and Bhatt (2008) aptly call the English Language Complex. In all these aspects, i.e. the synchronic and diachronic study of World Englishes as well as theory formation, the research discipline of World Englishes has been drawing primarily on empirical quantitative methods. Often young scholars have to collect their own data to fill research gaps. Solid methodological skills, i.e. skills for the collection of both synchronic and diachronic data, in corpus compilation and analysis, and further more detailed analytic and methodological abilities (e.g. how to transcribe speech data with the help of adequate computer software, how to conduct phonetic analyses using PRAAT, how to handle data records, e.g. with statistical software) are of crucial importance for the new generation of researchers in the field.

The 2017 ISLE Summer School recognizes these new demands and addresses young researchers (MA-level, PhD-level), who are working in the field of World Englishes research and are encountering the new methodological challenges posed by the discipline. For such researchers, the summer school provides fresh insights and in-depth knowledge of up-to-date methodology. Four different formats are envisaged: 1) Keynote lectures by leading researchers on current topics of World Englishes research as well as methodological aspects and ongoing changes in the discipline, 2) workshops (in reasonably small groups, teaching essential skills and complementing the topics addressed in the keynote lectures from a methodological and – most importantly – hands-on perspective, 3) presentations by participants on their own on-going research projects (optional), and 4) individual consultations offered by the keynote speakers and workshop instructors (optional).

In sponsoring the summer school, the International Society for the Linguistics of English (ISLE) aims to provide a forum for MA and PhD students and early career researchers to familiarize themselves with developments in the field and to strengthen their international networks of cooperation.

Format of the Summer School

As mentioned above, the summer school consists of a combination of components, including keynote lectures, project presentations by the participants, workshops on current methodological issues, and opportunities for individual consultation.

Keynote lectures

We are very happy that the following distinguished World Englishes scholars have agreed to give a keynote lecture:

  • Marianne Hundt (University of Zurich): Morpho-syntactic Variation in World Englishes – The Corpus-Based Approach 
  • Lisa Lim (University of Hong Kong): Englishes in an age of reimagining: Perspectives from multicultural Asia
  • Daniel Schreier (University of Zurich): Do dialects really change or speakers simply vary? Challenges for sociolinguistic fieldwork and interpretation
  • Edgar Schneider (University of Regensburg): World Englishes as a scholarly discipline: Evolution and current challenges


We will offer the following workshops, each focussing on key topics in methodology in World Englishes research. Workshops are scheduled for four 90-minute sessions across two days, so that each participant can take part in up to two workshops.

  • Analysing World Englishes in Praat (Alexander Kautzsch, University of Regensburg)
  • Collecting and analysing diachronic data in World Englishes (Thorsten Brato, University of Regensburg)
  • Collecting field data in World Englishes (Sarah Buschfeld, University of Regensburg)
  • Corpus data: from compilation to statistical modelling (Sandra Götz/Tobias Bernaisch, University of Giessen)
  • Transcribing and annotating data in ELAN (Naomi Nagy, University of Toronto)

Presentations (optional)

We invite participants to present their ongoing or planned research projects. The main aim is to give young scholars an opportunity to present their ideas to and get feedback from distinguished scholars and peers alike. Presentations are scheduled to take 25 minutes (15 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion). Abstracts of about 400-500 words (excluding references) should clearly address the following:

  • research questions and/or thesis statements
  • theoretical and methodological approach
  • (expected) data basis
  • current stage of progress and expected results
  • problems you (have) encounter(ed)
  • questions you may have

Individual consultations (optional)

In addition to the presentations, participants will be offered an opportunity to discuss their research projects or ideas in individual consultation sessions of approximately 20 minutes length with one of the plenary speakers and teachers of the summer school.


Applications are invited from research Masters (or equivalent) and doctoral students in the field of English Linguistics. Applicants should submit:

  1. A brief (max. 1 page) CV
  2. A short indication of current research interests
  3. An indication of preference of workshops (please indicate three priorities)
  4. Optional: Project description/abstract for a presentation

If you are accepted for the summer school, this information will be passed on to the teachers of the workshops, allowing them to tailor the course contents to the specific needs and interests of the participants. 

The deadline for submissions is 16 March 2017 (extended!). Notifications will be sent out by the end of March.


For ISLE members: 230 € (early registration until 31 May 2017); 280 € (late registration between 1 June 2017 and 31 July 2017)

For others: 330 € (early registration until 31 May 2017); 380 € (late registration between 1 June 2017 and 31 July 2017)

The fee includes tuition, the dinner on 5 October refreshments during the morning and afternoon breaks, teaching materials and a book of abstracts.


Regensburg is located in Bavaria in southern Germany, about one hour away from Munich and Munich Airport as well as Nuremberg and Nuremberg Airport, or about 3 ½ hours from Frankfurt Airport with nonstop train connections. It is a beautiful medieval city and a UNESCO World Heritage site (see https://tourismus.regensburg.de/en). An excursion will be offered the day after the conference.


ISLE has made available a number of travel bursaries, chiefly intended to help academically qualified participants who are not in regular full employment and/or from low- and middle-income countries. Please approach the organizers for modalities of applying after the notification of acceptance to the Summer School.

Further information

There will be a summer school warming on Tuesday, 3 October including an opening talk by Naomi Nagy on “Cross-cultural approaches: Comparing heritage languages in Toronto” followed by an informal dinner. On 8 October, there will be an optional excursion.

For further information and updates, consult the summer school website (www.isle-summer-school-2017.ur.de) and the website of ISLE (www.isle-linguistics.org) and like our page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ISLESummerSchool2017).

You should address questions to ISLE.SummerSchool@ur.de.


Download the Call for Papers in pdf format.

  1. Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Cultures
  2. Department of English and American Studies

ISLE Summer School 2017



Universität Regensburg
Department of English and American Studies
93040 Regensburg