AILA 2023

See you in Lyon?

Call for Abstracts

Hybrid LiLLT ReN Symposium – Researching Literature in Language Learning and Beyond

AILA World Congress in Lyon in July 2023

LiLLT ReN Symposium Abstract [Symp12]: Researching Literature in Language Learning and Beyond In this symposium we invite papers researching the additional facets of literature in the language classroom, the spaces where we use literature but go beyond it. For that purpose, we seek to problematise the use of literature in the language learners’ and the teacher education classroom in a number of ways.  One is through research exploring the ways in which literature permeates our pedagogic actions in the classroom, for example, when using a short epigraph or well-known quotes that have come common parlance in the language (e.g. Shakespeare’s ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’) to spark a discussion as a lead in to a lesson. When, how and by whom is literature used in the language classroom or in teacher education? How do teachers introduce literature and how do language learners respond to it? Which role does canonical literature play? How are literary competences of teachers’ and learners’ assessed in language learners’ and teacher education classrooms? The second way is through research looking at how literature intersects with other educational issues in the foreign language classroom – such as the ways in which teachers may be using literature to initiate discussion of social issues (e.g. social (in)justice, power, advocacy, attitude & bias, diversity-emancipation, discriminations, ethnicity and gender, ideology) or controversial topics, sometimes known as ‘taboo topics’ (Ludwig and Summer, forthcoming). Which skills and knowledge base do language teachers need to address controversial topics? Which texts and learning designs are particularly suitable to teach these topics? How does context play into the discussion of literature in language classroom? The third way in which we problematise literary creations in the language classroom is through research on the inclusion of new formats of literature, from more accepted formats such as graphic novels, picturebooks, and pop-songs, through to more recent innovative formats such as electronic literature, literature produced on social platforms (e.g. twitterature) or artificial-intelligence generated text. How are students and teachers using these formats (if at all) and how have these formats been addressed in teacher education? How relevant are technological competences to teaching and learning with literature? Potential topics for presentations may be

  • using literature to discuss social issues or controversial topics,
  • researching literature and critical thinking,
  • researching literature, foreign language learning and empathy,
  • literature and democracy,
  • literature and technology,
  • literature in teacher education (professionalising teachers to teach literature, the skills base teachers need for teaching and using literature in the language classroom),
  • cross-disciplinary approaches

We welcome papers using a wide range of methodologies, from individual case-studies to large scale empirical studies. We particularly welcome papers researching the use of literature in lesser-taught languages as well as papers researching the use of literature in less-researched geographical and educational contexts.  


Shakespeare, W. The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (1600). Open Sources Shakespeare. George Mason University. Available at: Accessed 25 March 2022.

Stadler-Heer, S. and A. Paran (eds.) 2022. Taking Literature and Language Learning Online: New Perspectives on Teaching, Research and Technology. London: Bloomsbury.

Summer, T. and C. Ludwig (eds.) forthcoming. Taboos and Challenging Topics in Foreign Language Education: Critical Language Pedagogy in Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Routledge

Procedure for the call for individual submissions:

1)     Please submit your abstracts via the Congress website:

2)     The call will close on 26 June 2022.

3)     We invite you and anyone else interested to subscribe to the conference newsletter so as not to miss any important information:

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