Distinguished Public Service Award

The Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes individuals outside of the field of applied linguistics – writers, journalists, politicians, lawyers, etc. – whose work (1) raises public awareness of important social issues connected to language and (2) makes exceptional contributions to promotion of multilingualism, linguistic social justice, and language-related human rights. The Award is given annually and is not to be confused with the AAAL Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award, given to members of AAAL. 


Criteria for eligibility include but are not limited to the following:

  • significance of language issues addressed by the nominee’s work;
  • demonstrability of the public impact of nominee’s work and community engagement (e.g., impact on language policies in education and other institutional settings);
  • attention to vulnerable and minoritized populations, such as immigrant children and indigenous language speakers; and
  • equitable engagement with communities outside academia, grassroots language activism, championing the voices of community partners, and cultivating leadership among stakeholders.

Nomination procedure

All nominations should include (a) a one-page letter providing the candidate’s contact information and describing the work and its impact, and (b) supporting materials, such as publications, links to websites, articles in popular media and social media, letters of recommendation, etc. Below are three main areas that must guide nomination letters:

  1. What is the focus of the nominee’s work? What motivates that person (in your opinion)? How long has he/she been doing this work?
  2. How does the nominee's work relate to the mission and vision of AAAL? For instance, does it promote linguistic social justice and languate related human rights?
  3. What is the public impact of the nominee’s work? Please describe activities and accomplishments that stand out as particularly meritorious, including evidence, where appropriate, in the form of website links, (references to) publications, articles in popular and social media, letters of commendation, etc.

Nominations are due on June 1, 2021, to Andi Edwards at andi@aaal.org.

The call is now closed.