Academics from more than 20 countries joined BGU’s Dr Abigail Parrish, Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), and Professor Kim Noels University of Alberta, Canada, at the first Self-determination theory and language learning online symposium.

Self-determination theory is a broad theory of motivation which can be applied in a range of domains, and talks at the symposium, led by key researchers from across the globe, focused on different ways that language teaching can support motivation and learning. Speakers included Dr William Davis (Scott F. Austin State University, Texas), Dr Merilyn Meristo (Tallinn University, Estonia), Professor Jo Mynard & Scott Shelton-Strong (Kandai University of International Studies, Japan) and Professor Quint Oga-Baldwin (Waseda Univeristy, Japan)

Dr Parrish reflected on the success of the sold-out event:

“It was wonderful to be able to bring together so many researchers in our field, particularly as this year’s conferences have had to be postponed. This event has allowed us to develop our networks and will spark collaborations between academics working in SDT & language learning”.

The speakers and attendees were also full of praise for the event; Professor Richard Ryan (Australian Catholic University/University of Rochester, New York) is one of the co-developers of Self-Determination Theory and told Dr Parrish “I signed up right away as I was excited by the topic!”.

Meanwhile, Professor Oga-Baldwin commented that:

“This was a great opportunity to connect and share work with colleagues from around the world. Abigail and Kim did a fantastic job of setting up the event and I hope it will be the first of many”

And they were joined by Professor Mynard who said:

“My head is still buzzing with ideas and I was thrilled to see old friends and also put some faces to names. What a great opportunity!”.

You can find out more by reading Dr Parrish’s recent article on how self-determination can help you to thrive in uncertain times or by visiting

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3rd August 2020