Major shifts made in language studies over the past decades have been the result of reflective thinking, rigorous research, and innovative practice. The first symposium on language studies organized by the English Language Teaching Unit of the University of Colombo aims to provide a forum through which some of this reflection, research and innovation can be shared and discussed. The organizing committee invites proposals for papers, poster presentations or workshops on the following broad themes:

  • Issues in teaching/ learning English as a second/ foreign language
  • Language acquisition and learning
  • Sri Lankan English and world Englishes
  •  Linguistics
  • Language teacher education
  • Language policy and planning
  • Language curriculum development/ teaching methodology/ testing and assessment
  •  Language programme evaluation
  • Cognitive linguistics/ psycholinguistics/ neuro-linguistic programming
  • Translation studies
  • Computational linguistics
  • Literary texts, culture and identity

Proposal Preparation Guidelines

 Proposals for full papers (15-minute presentation time + 10-minute discussion time), workshops (duration of 1 hour) and poster presentations must consist of two parts. Cover page is common to all three categories and should include all required information given below. The information required in the body of the proposal varies according to category and has been detailed under each category.

The proposal

Please submit both a soft copy and one hard copy of your proposal.

The soft copy should be sent as one Microsoft Word attachment. Use Times New Roman (body) font, 12 pt, justified (unless otherwise specified) at 1.15 line spacing. Paragraphs should be flush left. Margins should be 1 inch all around.

Your proposal file must be named: Proposal_(your family name.initials).doc

E.g. “Proposal_Padmarathne.SM.doc”

Cover page (one page, common to all categories)

  • Title (should not exceed 15 words; bold, flush center) 
  • Name of presenter(s) and affiliation(s)

    Name must be written as family name, given name (or initials). (E.g. Padmarathne SM)

  • Contact information: email address, fax number, telephone number including country code, and mailing address
  • 50-word bio-data of presenter(s)

Body of the proposal

Please do not include the name/s of presenter/s in this part. Do not add sub-headings, or include quotations, reference lists, and/ or figures in your abstracts/ proposals.

For research papers:

  • Title of paper (should be the same as appears on the cover page)
  • Sub-themes for which the paper is written
  • 300 word abstract AND 750-850 word extended abstract that includes

  • the purpose and background of the research
  • brief description of research method
  • findings
  • results and major conclusions

For workshops:

  • Title of workshop (should be the same as appears on the cover page)
  • Sub-themes for which the paper is written
  • Workshop design (maximum of 300 words) that includes

  • target audience
  • learning objectives
  • format of workshop (include a brief description of stages/ agenda of workshop)
  • materials required

For posters:

  • Title of poster (should be the same as appears on the cover page)
  • Sub-themes for which the paper is written
  • Poster design (maximum of 300 words) that includes

  • purpose
  • approach and design
  • findings to be presented  (layout for proposals will be made available to accepted proposals)

Evaluation of proposals

Your proposals will be evaluated by a referee from the relevant field on the basis of the following:
  • Relevance, appropriateness, and significance of the topic to the symposium sub-themes
  • Originality of the work
  • Clarity of stated research objectives, description of research design, data collection methods, and findings, as appropriate
  • Quality of language

Important dates and contact

Deadline for proposal submission: May 15, 2014

 All submissions will be acknowledged.

For more information, please contact the organizing committee at

Telephone: (+94) 112 506 705

Mail the hard copies of your proposals to:

The English Language Teaching Unit,
University of Colombo,
94, Cumarathunga Munidasa Mawatha,
Colombo 03.

Download: Proposal Preparation Guidelines