Opportunities for our students to practise their presentation skills and get feedback on their research, from staff and students in the UK and around the world.


The Undergraduate Linguistics Association of Britain (ULAB) was founded by the University of Edinburgh in 2011 as a place for linguistic students to get together and showcase their undergraduate work in language sciences. It is a student run autonomous collective, entirely staffed by volunteers.

ULAB aims to:

  • provide a forum for linguistics discussion among undergraduates in Britain;
  • hold annual conferences for students to showcase undergraduate research in language sciences;
  • provide a mailing list for issues exclusively in Britain;
  • help provide a network and central hub for university societies;
  • bridge the gap between national student interests and universities and professional organisations;
  • host an open-access blog to facilitate learning and self-presentation.

ULAB is the only society set up for undergraduate linguistic students that is not tied to another professional organisation or university. It is a subsidiary node of the International Association for Linguistics Students (IALS). Anyone can attend the conferences (it is not just for presenters) and this is always a great opportunity for students to get ideas for their own future projects.

ULAB is inclusive. Any undergraduate student can present any work that they have done. The only conditions are that the work has some clear linguistics element and was done while being an undergraduate student: students can present current work; they can present previous work; they can present work done as part of their degree; and they can present work done under the auspices of York St John’s flagship student researchers scheme. For York St John students in their final year, ULAB presents a fantastic opportunity for practising a version of their final assessed presentation that they will be delivering in May. Alternatively, students can choose to present any other project work (e.g. from accents and dialects; sociolinguistics; analysing talk; work placement; analysing media texts).

Conference presentations are close to industry standard usually lasting 15 minutes + 5 minutes of Q&A. There are usually parallel themed sessions. Submitting a poster presentation is also an option. Application is by the standard process of submission of abstracts which are then reviewed prior to acceptance. The experience is therefore pretty much like any other professional academic conference. The quality of papers has always been very high.

Languages and Linguistics staff at YSJ regularly offer practical extra-curricular skills sessions where advice is given about how to write an abstract. They also offer rehearsal opportunities with feedback prior to the conference. They also attend conference, watch as many presentations as parallel timetabling allows and offer post-presentation feedback. 

In the past five years at ULAB2013 (York), ULAB2014 (Edinburgh), ULAB2015 (York St John), ULAB2016 (Aberdeen) and ULAB2017 (Cambridge), YSJ students have presented 64/212 (30.2%) of all the student presentations. Related to this statistic, for every one of these past five years, students from York St John have been by far the biggest presence at these international conferences, consistently sending more conference delegates than even the host institutions. 

Participation in ULAB provides an opportunity to practise:

  • Abstract writing
  •  Project planning
  • Oral presentation skills

      It also:

  • Builds confidence in independent researchers
  • Builds CVs (‘presented at international conference’)
  • Gives level-1 and level-2 students something to aim for future years
  • Highlights the purpose of learning beyond modularised assessment goals
  • Bonds students together within and across year groups
  • Prepares students for academic careers (to date, 22 YSJ ULAB presenters have gone on to postgraduate study)
  • Showcases York St John as highly student-centered and actively engaged in extra-curricular activity
  • Gives students opportunities to be elected to the National Committee (several YSJ students have held officer roles of National Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice-Secretary)
  • Gives students opportunities to bid for and subsequently organise the next conference (as YSJ did in 2015) 

York St John may be a relatively small institution, but in this national organisation, we have been a major driving and sustaining force!


The Postgraduate Forum of Applied Linguistics (PFAL) was formed in 2016 by a student on the Applied Linguistics and TESOL MA programme with the support of the staff in the School of Languages and Linguistics.

PFAL seeks to provide postgraduate students with the opportunity to present their current research to a supportive audience at York St John University. If you are interested in attending or presenting at, this annual event, please contact

LIdIA Research Meetings

LIdIA Research Meetings


Semester 2

  • 24 January 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: The meaning of meaning

Group discussion led by Prof Chris Hall (Linguistics)

  • 7 February 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: NESTs [Native English-speaking Teachers] and LETs [Local English Teachers]: a reappraisal?

Presentation by Prof Fiona Copland (University of Stirling, LIdIA Visiting Professor)

  • 21 February 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: RaY demonstration and the HEFCE Open Access policy

Workshop led Ruth Mardall (Repository Librarian, ILS)

  • 7 March 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: L&L data stocktaking: Combining teaching with research

Discussion led by Dr Liviana Ferrari (Languages) and Dr Andrew Merrison (Linguistics) 

  • 21 March 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: Writing 4* Introductions and Conclusions


  • 25 April 2018, 2.00pm-3.30pm: Self-coaching: encouraging students to be more reflective

Presentation by Alison Hayes (Languages)


Semester 1

  • 20 September 2017, 3.30pm-5.00pm: Inclusive Language in Higher Education

Launch discussion for the new Policy Forum project led by Prof Helen Sauntson (Linguistics) 

  • 4 October 2017, 2.00pm-3.30pm: Vocabulary development by a bilingual child with Down Sydrome

Data session led by Thilini Wijeratne (Phd student, Linguistics)

  • 18 October 2017, 2.00pm-3.30pm: 'Discourses of 'knowing'': How connected toys normalise dataveillance   

Data session led by Dr Beverly Geesin (Linguistics)

  • 1 November 2017, 2.00pm-3.30pm: Metaphor and indexicality in 'The Pitman's Pay': the ambivalence of dialect

Presentation by Dr Rod Hermeston (Sheffield Hallam University)

  • 29 November 2017, 2.00pm-3.30pm: Phonological acquisition in a multidialectal environment

Presentation by Nikki Swift (Linguistics)



LIdIA Research Meetings 2010-17 (PDF, 0.4MB)

BAAL 2018

BAAL 2018                                             

LIdIA hosted the Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics, 6 - 8 September 2018.

BALL 2018 Logo

Postgraduate Forum on Applied Linguistics

Postgraduate Forum on Applied Linguistics

PFAL (Postgraduate Forum on Applied Linguistics) is a student-organised event which aimed to bring together various researchers to discuss their work and areas of study within Applied Linguistics.

PFAL 4 2019 - PFAL4 Programme (PDF, 353.4 kB)

PFAL 3 2018 - PFAL3 Programme (PDF, 1.1 MB)

PFAL 2 2017 - PFAL2 Programme (PDF, 2.0 MB)

PFAL 1 2016 - PFAL1 Programme (PDF, 0.9 MB)


Colloquium Series

Colloquium Series 2016 - 2019

The  is a forum in which guest lecturers present their latest language-based research. We are privileged to host academics which are experts their field. The Colloquium breaks with tradition as we open the series to students, staff and the public to engage with.

Find out the dates, times and topics of past and .

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