Resolution on Language of Submission and Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics

Resolution on Language of Submission and Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics

Whereas, the American Association for Applied Linguistics (hereafter AAAL) holds an annual conference that serves as a scholarly meeting where knowledge is shared through individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, colloquia, plenary lectures, and other professional activities;

Whereas, the membership of AAAL collectively have a community repertoire that includes a diverse range of linguistic resources;

Whereas, in its 2017 resolution Commitment to International Diversity and Exchange of Ideas, AAAL establishes that “AAAL members come from more than fifty countries around the world; a third of its membership is from outside the United States; and a large proportion of U.S.-based members are international students and scholars. Our members regularly engage in the exchange of knowledge and skills internationally” and affirms that “the field of applied linguistics has long recognized that language is interconnected with the values, beliefs, and norms that a society shares”;

Whereas, in its 1996 Resolution on the Role and Status of Languages in the US, AAAL emphasizes “the significance languages hold in the United States, a country with rich indigenous languages and a country of immigrants with many languages and cultures” and concomitantly resolves that “all citizens and residents of the United States have the right to retain and use their languages in public and in private”;

Whereas, AAAL has shown support for linguistic diversity in its 2016 Resolution Opposing the Labeling of English as National Language in the US, its 2016 Resolution on Guidelines for Communicating Rights to Non-native Speakers of English in Australia, England and Wales, and the USA, its 1999 resolution Opposing The Arizona Ballot Initiative "English Language Education For Children In Public Schools", its 1998 resolution Opposing the California Ballot Initiative "English Language for the Children" Proposition 227 (Unz/Tuchman), and its 1998 resolution Researchers and Educators Advocate Wider Understanding of Language Diversity;

Whereas, AAAL members presenting at the annual conference over multiple years in strands including Analysis of Discourse and Interaction (DIS); Bilingual, Immersion, Heritage, and Minority Education (BIH); Educational Linguistics (EDU); Language Maintenance and Revitalization (LMR); Language Planning and Policy (LPP); Reading, Writing, and Literacy (RWL); Sociolinguistics (SOC); among others have provided empirical evidence of the practical utility of using diverse linguistic resources in scholarly and academic knowledge production and dissemination;

Whereas, despite the linguistic diversity among its membership, formal affirmation of linguistic diversity by AAAL, and empirical work by AAAL members demonstrating the benefits of linguistic diversity in scholarly and professional work, English is hitherto the dominant language at the annual conference;

Whereas, the submission policies in the call for proposals for the annual conference are at present silent on the language of abstract submission and conference presentation which, in turn, risks reproducing the dominance of English in the United States on the scale of the annual conference;

Whereas, it is a mission of AAAL to support "ethical and informed understandings of language-related processes and practices" and it therefore has a special duty to be a leader (i.e., not only 'talk the talk' but also 'walk the walk') in the global academic community with respect to multilingual practices;

Whereas, the AAAL Strategic Plan adopted on the 1st day of January 2022 includes goals to “refine conference program structure and academic content approval process,” “better serve under-represented and/or under-resourced applied linguists and their scholarship,” and “continue to enhance our global engagement to meet the needs of our members from around the world”;

Therefore be it resolved at the general business meeting of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, convened on 20th day of March, 2023 that

1. The Executive Committee direct the Business Office to update the Submission Policies section of the call for proposals on the AAAL website to include the following text:

Language of Proposal Submission and Conference Presentation

Abstracts for individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, and colloquia shall be submitted in English with the option to also submit them in at least one additional language to allow for a broader international abstract reviewer pool.

At the annual conference, individual papers, posters, roundtable discussions, and colloquia may be delivered in the language(s) or combination of linguistic resources of the presenters’ choice.  AAAL respects the linguistic repertoires of its presenters and participants and their right to use any of their language(s) and linguistic resources to share knowledge with each other at the annual conference.

2. The Executive Committee direct the Business Office to determine a technological solution that will allow for conference submissions in more than one language.

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