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11th International Conference on Language Teacher Education

May 30–June 1, 2019

The Graduate Hotel, Minneapolis, MN

Opening Keynote (Plenary): The Promise of ‘Disturbing Encounter’ as Meaningful Language Teacher Education

Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 5:00 PM–6:30 PM Central Time (US & Canada) add to calendar
Meridian Ballroom
Session Type


Program Summary

Language learning happens across many sites of social interactions; those characterised by linguistic adventures and convivial acts of welcoming the stranger as well as those scarred by injustices, conflicts, and hostility towards those who are not like us. In the context in which the "first reflex" of mistrust of the Other (Kapuściński, 2009, p. 73) is gaining increasing currency as a legitimate way of being in the world, I ask what role language teacher education can or even should play in enabling alternative spaces in civil society; meeting points which allow differences to "encounter each other, adjust to each other, oppose each other, agree with each other and produce the unpredictable" (Glissant, 1996, p. 98). Along with Morrison (2017), I conceptualise these meeting points as "disturbing encounters" and propose that their capacity to disrupt one's certitude about Self and open a gateway into an active relationship with difference is central to meaningful language teacher education pedagogy. Reflecting on data-based vignettes from diverse contexts of language learning and use, building on insights from language teacher education research, philosophy, and the arts, and engaging in forms of creative practice, I explore the promise of "disturbing encounter" as pedagogy for socially responsive language teacher education.

Maggie Kubanyiova is Professor of Language Education and Director of the Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) at the University of Leeds. Her research concerns the role of language education across a diverse range of human relationships and interactions. She has researched language teachers' development in multilingual settings, language learners' lives across diverse contexts of L2 use, language learning opportunities in classroom discourse, moral and political dimensions of language teachers' work, and research ethics. Her publications include Teacher Development in Action (Palgrave, 2016), Motivating Learners, Motivating Teachers: Building Vision in the Language Classroom (Cambridge University Press, 2014; with Zoltán Dörnyei) and Language Teacher Cognition in Applied Linguistics Research: Revisiting the Territory, Redrawing the Boundaries, Reclaiming the Relevance (co-edited Special Issue of the Modern Language Journal, with Anne Feryok).

Lead Presenter/organizer

Maggie Kubanyiova

Session Materials