Call for Papers

The Language Centre of the University of Calabria is pleased to announce the XIV CercleS International Conference entitled Enhancing Learners’ Creative and Critical Thinking: the role of University Language Centres. The Conference will be held on 22-23-24 September 2016.

The aim of the Conference is to create an occasion for scholars, practitioners and project managers to share ideas about research and didactics related to language learning and teaching. The Conference wants to offer the opportunity for a three-day collaborative and friendly debate which will involve the many members of the Associations of Language Centres in Europe who, thanks to their varied working and geographical backgrounds, will enrich the conference discussions. It is, indeed, our wish to embrace different perspectives in order to promote in-depth reflection on issues related to the well-being of language students and of University Language Centres.

Creativity and Critical thinking are concepts of paramount importance for learners’ global development process, both from a cultural and social point of view as well as from a linguistic and multilingual perspective. We strongly believe that it is the duty of language scholars to never forget the role that languages have in society and the role that creativity and critical thinking, in particular, have in language acquisition and learning. Teaching actions should therefore encourage learners to bring out all of their potential, which is often hidden inside and silently waiting for the right stimulus to help create meaningful actions.

Papers can be delivered in various languages. This has the aim of enhancing the multilingual aspect of the conference, which wants to emphasize the wide range of cultures and communication styles that practitioners in University Language Centres come into contact with during their academic life. Experiences will therefore be considered from a European perspective and beyond, thus providing participants with insights that should help reinforce the concept of belonging to a community of practice that crosses all geographical boundaries.

Topics have been chosen to include broad research areas, with interrelated sub-issues, which have favoured important changes in the field of language learning and teaching and which foster significant debate on how languages naturally interweave with other academic disciplines. They are intentionally broad so as to encourage the sharing of a wider range of backgrounds, findings, expertise, ideas and discussions.


The three strands and main topics of the Conference include:
Applying research to pedagogical practice

  • Discourse and interaction analysis
  • Bilingualism, plurilingualism and translanguaging in higher education
  • Translation, interpretation and mediation, intercomprehension
  • Language and cognition
  • Creativity in language acquisition

Giving learners a multicultural voice

  • Social and cultural dimensions of language acquisition and use
  • Collaborative and task-based approach in language learning: strategies for fostering creative and critical thinkers
  • Languages for the academic world and for professional contexts: how language and content interact to enhance learners’ intercultural growth
  • Language, technology and new media

Giving University Language Centres an international voice

  • Assessment, self-evaluation and certification
  • Language planning and policy
  • European projects in higher education
  • Quality assurance in European University Language Centres


Keynote speakers

Manuel Célio Conceição, President of the European Language Council, Universidade do Algarve, PT 
David Little, President of CercleS (1995-2000), Trinity College Dublin, IRL
Alison Mackey, Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University, US and Lancaster University, UK


Abstract submission

If you are interested in one of the Conference topics and want to share ideas with friends and colleagues from other countries as well as from your own, please submit an abstract (max. 300 words) in one of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish. Please specify the strand in which you would like to be included. The language used in the abstract will be considered the language of presentation at the Conference. We also ask you to include a summary of your abstract (max. 150 words) in another language of your choice from the five languages of the conference. Submit your abstract online by 12th February, 2016 to the following link. Proposals will be blind reviewed by members of the Scientific and Programme Committees. You will receive an answer of acceptance by 15thApril, 2016. The Book of Abstracts will be uploaded by 30thJune, 2016. The Conference Program will be uploaded by 31stJuly, 2016.

Proposals are invited for oral and poster presentations by one or more authors.

Oral presentations will be allotted 30 minutes (20 minutes for the presentation + 10 minutes for questions). Speakers will be provided with a video projector and a laptop.
Poster presentations will offer visual displays of a research experience, a project or a best practice. They allow for the opportunity for informal discussion with attendees by providing an interactive forum for sharing professional ideas and for receiving feedback. A time slot will be allocated when presenters are available to discuss their posters.


Interactive roundtable discussions

The Conference will offer participants an opportunity to take part in small group discussions on Future implications for University Language Centres, with time reserved for audience participation, questions and comments. The roundtables will be coordinated by invited experts on topics of particular relevance such as Quality, Management, Project planning, Individual learner needs, Autonomous learning and self-evaluation, Research methods, Internships. These roundtables are not meant to be formal paper presentations but rather an opportunity to foster peer-to-peer discussions with a small group of attendees (max. 16) with shared research interests. Invited convenors will be given 10 minutes to present the topic and then 20 minutes will be devoted to extended discussion with participants joining the roundtable. There will be no access to laptops or video projectors. If you are interested in participating in one of the roundtables, please sign up in the appropriate area on the Conference website.



The Conference will include a friendly competition during which the best presentations will be awarded with prizes. Details will be shared at the beginning of the Conference.


Conference Venue

The Conference will be hosted by the University of Calabria and will be held on Campus (see pictures), specifically at the Conference Centre and the Language Centre.


Cultural events and excursion

A music event will be organized at the Auditorium, one of the University Theatres. A downtown excursion will be organized to the Castello Svevo in Cosenza. On the final day, an excursion will be planned to the beautiful coast of San Nicola Arcella on the ‘Alto Tirreno’, a place that reflects the astonishing beauties of the Mediterranean coast. So plan to leave on Sunday 25th.


Dates to remember and costs

Abstract submission deadline: 12thFebruary, 2016

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 15thApril, 2016

Early registration: Members € 180.00; Non-members € 210.00 (before 30th April, 2016)

Standard registration: Members € 200.00; Non-members € 230.00 (from 1stMay to 15th July, 2016)

Late registration: Members € 230.00; Non-members € 250.00 (from 16th July, 2016 to Conference date)

MA, PhD and undergraduate students: € 100.00 (any time)

Daily rates: € 100.00 (full day)

Conference Dinner: € 40


Scientific Committee

Carmen Argondizzo (Università della Calabria, Italy), Marta Estella Clota (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain), Raija Elsinen (University of Eastern Finland, Finland), Paola Evangelisti (Università Foro Italico-Roma, Italy), Luisanna Fodde (Università di Cagliari, Italy), Maurizio Gotti (Università di Bergamo, Italy), Peter Howarth (University of Leeds, UK), Jean Jimenez (Università della Calabria, Italy), Gillian Mansfield (Università di Parma, Italy), Anthony Stenton (Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, France), Liliana Szczuka-Dorna (Poznan University of Technology, Poland), Christopher Williams (Università di Foggia, Italy).

Programme Committee

Carmen Argondizzo, Paolo Balboni (Università di Venezia, Italy), Michael Cronin (Università della Calabria, Italy), Anna Maria De Bartolo (Università della Calabria, Italy), Beatrice Garzelli (Università di Siena-Stranieri, Italy), Jean Jimenez, Stefanie Neuner-Anfindsen (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland), Christoph Nickenig (Università di Bolzano, Italy), Ian Robinson (Università della Calabria, Italy), Ida Ruffolo (Università della Calabria, Italy), Marie-BertheVittoz (Università di Torino, Italy).

Organizing Committee 
Team Università della Calabria, Italy
Carmen Argondizzo, Mirko Casagrande, Francesca Federico, Deneb Oliva, Renata Oggero, Ida Ruffolo, Maria Sasso, Federica Toscano (Organization);
Giuseppe De Marco, Simone G. Malizia (Technical and ICT staff);
Maria Amono, Elvira Calabrese, Teresa Filippelli, Sayuri Kusumoto, Salvatore Luberto, Vanessa Marcella, Donato Martano, Elena Raso, Sabina Rizzo, Marina Vitelli (Welcome and Buddy staff).




Further information on the Conference organization will be published on this website. You can contact us by e-mail at or by using our direct contact form.


We look forward to having you as part of our Campus community at the University of Calabria. Although it will be for only three days, we do hope new friendships and professional collaborations will begin and continue in the coming years.