10th Conference of the Association of Language Centres in Higher Education (ACLES)


“The role of Language Centres in the internationalization strategy of universities”


29 June to 1 July 2017

The European Commission set in 2008 the objective that all citizens of the EU should achieve proficiency in two languages as well as their mother tongue. Since then Higher Education, at both European and Spanish levels, has promoted learning and using English and other foreign languages on university campuses. More recently, the document elaborated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport entitled “Strategy for the Internationalization of Spanish Universities 2015-202”, published in 2014, recommends as measures to improve the international attractiveness of our universities to increase the number of bilingual degree and master’s programmes, taught in Spanish and English or other foreign languages, and to promote the acquisition of a sufficient level of English among teaching and administrative staff and members occupying academic positions. In this new context in which plurilingualism becomes a strategic axis in the process of internationalization of universities, Language Centres become a pivotal tool in training and accrediting students, teachers and administrative staff.

                The goal of this 10th ACLES Conference is therefore to analyze this new role of Language Centres as a key instrument in the internationalization of our universities and share good practices in internationalization through languages.

Plenary sessions

The following speakers have agreed to deliver plenary talks at the conference:

Dolores González Álvarez (University of Vigo)

Languages and internationalization: strategies and policies

Kevin Haines (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

“`But who will support the teachers?´Policy, principles and practices for the support of English Medium Instruction at an international university: the Groningen experience”


To keep ACLES tradition of giving the opportunity to get to grips with techniques and new ideas related to thematic areas of the conference, we offer the following workshops:

bullet-tallerStandardization of oral and written production assessment

Conducted by Cristina Pérez Guillot and Julia Consuelo Zabala Delgado (Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain)

bullet-tallerBest practice in exam piloting

Conducted by Laura Riera Grau and Rebeca Pilar García Rueda (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

bullet-tallerTraining university teachers for EMI (bilingual/plurilingual curricula)

Conducted by Víctor Pavón Vázquez (University of Córdoba)


We also offer the roundtable format for experts to discuss on the following thematic areas:

employeesModels of Higher Education Language Centre management

Moderated by Fina Casal Martínez (University of Vigo Foundation, Spain)

employeesThe role of the Language Centres in the internationalization strategy of universities: conclusions and challenges

Moderated by Dolores González Álvarez (University of Vigo, Spain)

Focus groups

As a novelty, we incorporate the focus group format to promote active participation and discussion among conference attenders about the following topics of relevance to our centres:

question-class-note-symbol Focus group 1: EMI

Moderator: Jeffrey Gordon Beasley (University of Vigo Foundation, Spain)

question-class-note-symbol Focus group 2: Language tests for exchange students

Moderator: Juana Rosario Sanmartín Vélez (University of Murcia, Spain)

question-class-note-symbol Focus group 3: Collaboration between centres on accreditation

Moderator: Isabel Jaschek Corvalán (University of Salamanca, Spain)

question-class-note-symbol Focus group 4: Blended teaching

Moderator: Mercedes Álvarez Piñeiro (University of Vigo Foundation, Spain)