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Conferences and courses

Prunella Scales will discuss how she develops a role and Timothy West will give an oration at the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama's jubilee conference, February 17-18. Plus poetry readings, choral music and workshops on vocal limbering, dialect and performing a play text. Venues: Victory Services Club, Seymour Street and Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1. Limited places available. Mia Ball, 27 Rollscourt Avenue, Herne Hill, London SE24 OEA. E-mail: English language from key stage 3 to ASA2: looking for continuity is the theme of an English Association conference at The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, March 10. Speakers include: Duncan Grey, teacher and author of Internet in School, on materials and approaches for English language teaching; John Seely ('The Grammar Book'), on making grammar approachable, accessible and usable; and Catherine Alexander, The Shakespeare Centre, on Shakespeare and language. Choice of workshops. Fee: pound;45, pound;40 members.

Also coming up is a conference on Writing in the Primary School - Making a Difference, at The Lowry Centre, Salford, June 16. EA, Leicester University, University Road, LE1 7RH. Tel: 0116 252 3982. E-mail:

Places are still available for undergraduate and graduate students on Shakespeare in Performance, a course being held in Stratford-upon-Avon April 24-28, and you can join in celebrations for Shakespeare's birthday afterwards. Plays in the Royal Shakespeare Company's current repertoire (probably Hamlet and King John) will be explored, including the chance to discuss plays and roles with actors and production staff, and a trip to Richard III at the Young Vic, London, will be organised. Fee: pound;210 residential (includes theatre tickets and lectures); pound;150 non-residential. Bursaries available. Details: English Association, tel: 0116 252 3982. E-mail: Web:

The National Association for the Teaching of English is running a conference called Dances With Words: approaches to literacy at key stages 2 and 3 at Rockingham Teachers Centre, Rotherham, March 17, 10am-3.30pm. Fee: pound;45, pound;35 members, pound;25 students. Tel: 0114 255 5419.

The implications of the global dominance of English will be explored at World Speak: opportunities and dangers for the English language, March 23. Venue: Royal Society of Arts, 8 John Adam Street, London WC2. Lord Davd Puttnam, Professor Jean Aitchison, Oxford University, and Kathy Rooney, publishing director (Bloomsbury) and UK editor-in-chief, Encarta World English Dictionary, are among the speakers. Themes include: the impact of technology and the role of broadcasting, advertising and literature in the transmission of English and its impact on other cultures. Fee: pound;70. RSA Lectures, tel: 020 7451 6868. E-mail:

TES columnist Sue Palmer, literacy consultant to educational publishers, the BBC and the National Literacy Strategy, is to lead a conference organised by the United Kingdom Reading Assocation's Ormskirk branch. Entitled Can't Write! Won't Write!, it will be held at Edge Hill University College, St Helen's Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, March 24, 10am-1pm. Fee: pound;15, pound;10, pound;5 students. Dr Norma Mudd, tel: 01704 893607.

The National Association for the Teaching of English's Birmingham branch is holding a secondary conference on March 17. Workshops include: Year 7 literacy pilot, media education, running an English department, key skills and drama and using technology. The AGM will be held on May 21 at 6pm with guest Gervase Phinn, the renowned writer and speaker. NATE, 50 Broadfield Road, Sheffield S8 OXJ. T el: 0114 255 5419. Web:

Authors including Berlie Doherty, Harry Horse, Aidan Chambers, Anne Fine, Diana Wynne Jones, Paul Jennings, Debi Gliori and Linda Newbery are lined up to speak at the Federation of Children's Book Groups national conference being held at the West Park Centre, Dundee, March 30-April 1. Optional visits to J M Barrie's birth place in Kirriemuir and to Glamis Castle will be laid on. Details: Olivia Menzies, tel: 01738 476200. Bookings: Amanda Hunt, St John's High School, Harefield Road, Dundee DD3 8EY.

Forthcoming courses organised by the Reading and Language Information Centre, Reading University, include: 'Keeping up with children's books', March 1 and June 6, 4.30-5.45pm, fee pound;5, members free; 'Comprehension!', May 4, 9.30am-3.30pm, fee pound;60; and 'Dramatising stories for children' with the Mirage children's theatre company, May 11, 9.30am-3.30pm, fee pound;60. In addition, 'Teaching reading', March 26-30, a course for primary teachers from international schools, will consider recent initiatives and the national curriculum for English 2000, fee pound;400. RALIC, Reading University, Bulmershe Court, Earley, Reading RG6 1HY. Tel: 0118 931 8820. E-mail:

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