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  About UMDS


The Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Malaya is pleased to announce the third University of Malaya Conference on Discourse and Society (UMDS 2012).

The aim of this conference is to go beyond conventional papers and presentations, and to set a new agenda for research and scholarship in the study of language, with the focus on discourse and society. The conference aims to bring together scholars, theoreticians and practitioners from different disciplines and professional fields to exchange ideas and offer new perspectives and directions in research on discourse and society. The meeting of the two different worlds of academic knowledge and professional experience is intended to lead both sides to a richer understanding of how language functions in contemporary society.   

Secondly, the conference will be multidisciplinary in nature; the participation of practitioners from various fields is intended to provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary dialogue which will enable us to engage in and make sense of the discursive practices of the professional world. At the same time, linguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis will provide the approaches and analytical tools to help make sense of the meaning-making process involved in this kind of interaction.

Finally, the conference provides a way forward for academics working on language from different disciplinary perspectives, particularly those at an early stage in their careers. It is hoped that the conference will open up new areas of research into language as a discourse and as an academic subject in addition to bringing forth new approaches to the study of language which will be able to provide meaningful input into language teaching and learning and curriculum design for programmes in languages and linguistics.

While papers are invited in English or Malay from any topic in the field of discourse, preference will be given to contributions that encourage debate from interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives. Areas of interest include:
  • Discourse and academic practices
  • Discourse and business practices
  • Discourse and health practices
  • Discourse and industrial practices
  • Discourse and legal practices
  • Discourse and media practices
  • Discourse and practices of service providers
  • Discourse and social work practices
  • Discourse and teaching practices
  • Other related areas of research in discourse and society
We also welcome papers dealing with the teaching of language as an academic subject in the context of discourse and society, and with language as the medium of instruction in different professional areas. The following are among the questions which we hope will be raised in the course of the conference:
  • What are our aims in teaching language as an academic subject and language in special areas of communication, e.g. language in medical, business or legal contexts?
  • How can we identify and share best practice in the teaching of discourse and communication in the context of contemporary society?
  • What is the role of linguistic form in these contexts of use?
  • What are the mechanisms for feeding research findings into teaching?

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