FAQ's for Joint Sessions

 1. What are Joint Sessions?

In past years, AAAL has routinely sponsored joint sessions with several prominent national/international academic associations (e.g., TESOL, LTRC/ILTA, AILA, AAA, ACTFL). In Fall 2019, for the first time, on a pilot basis, we will open up submissions for joint sessions in March 2021, to be vetted by the program committee for that conference. We anticipate including up to three Joint Sessions, in addition to those normally submitted to AAAL for vetting through the regular review system.


As with other proposals, submitters to a special joint session cannot also be organizers or first-paper authors in other sessions for the same AAAL conference. Joint Sessions are intended to give prominence to important and often overlooked areas of intersection between the two associations while also raising the profile of the partner association. However, full proposals must meet the expectations of other AAAL colloquia as well, such as:


  • Appropriateness, timeliness, and significance of the topic
  • Presentation of original and on-going research studies OR differing or dissenting perspectives on an important issue
  • Coherence and complementarity of the papers
  • Manner of presentation (clearly indicated schedule of activity, with significant amount of time allocated for discussion of the presentations and audience participation).

 2. What is the responsibility of the partner organization (joint sponsor)?


The joint sessions should (ideally) have the endorsement of the parent association whose organizational name is being used. These are self-funded sessions with no special arrangements to be made by AAAL, apart from notification and scheduling of events.

 3. What does "fit with AAAL" mean?

Joint sessions should fit with the broader mandates of AAAL and align with one of its strands (see https://www.aaal.org/about-us): “AAAL is a professional organization of scholars who are interested in and actively contribute to the multi-disciplinary field of applied linguistics. AAAL members promote principled approaches to language-related concerns, including language education, acquisition and loss, bilingualism, discourse analysis, literacy, rhetoric and stylistics, language for special purposes, psycholinguistics, second and foreign language pedagogy, language assessment, and language policy and planning.” The advantage of submitting a Joint Session application is that it makes the partner organization and its work more visible at AAAL and that the session has a special designation in the AAAL program.

 4. How many sessions and what types are likely to be accepted?

In selecting joint sessions, we will also look for diversity across strands represented and topics that are likely to be of widespread interest to the AAAL membership. We must also take into account the overall program composition, including plenary and invited colloquia, and the criteria listed above under FAQ #1.

 5. After submitting a 50-word summary (by Sept. 1), when are we likely to learn about results and when will a full proposal (with overall colloquium abstract and abstracts for each paper presentation) be required?

The initial application is due by Sept. 1st for the conference 1.5 years (approximately) later. We anticipate requesting full proposals for a shortlist of selected joint sessions by Sept. 20th. Because these proposals are for the conference 1.5 years later,  we must also take into account themes and invited speakers anticipated to be part of the full program for that conference. The deadline for full proposals is Oct. 1st. The full proposals will be vetted and decisions will be communicated by the end of October. If the joint session is not accepted, given the program constraints, it can still be submitted for vetting as a regular colloquium proposal the following summer for the same conference. However, it will not be listed as a Joint Session in that case.

Dates for submission of Joint Session proposals for the AAAL 2021 Conference in Houston, TX are shown below:



Initial Joint Session Proposal

Submission Date

Notification by Program Committee of shortlisting

Required submission of full proposal by shortlisted proposal organizers

Notification of program acceptance as Joint Session

Presentation at AAAL

Sept. 1, 2019

Sept. 20, 2019

Oct. 1, 2019

Oct. 31, 2019

March 2021


 6. Can joint proposals also be submitted to the regular AAAL proposal system for 2020?

Joint proposal applications cannot previously have been presented or proposed through the regular colloquium vetting process.


 7. Do Joint Session presenters need to be AAAL members?

Please note that all presenters at AAAL must be registered for the conference.