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AAALetter - September 2017

AAALetter ,

Volume 29, Number 2

Table of Contents

  1. From the Editor - A New Start with Key Priorities

    As we start a new academic year, on behalf of all of us in the EC and in the AAAL Office, I want to wish you a wonderful and exciting year! Read More.

  2. From the President - Questions of Diversity

    Fall greetings from Spring-like Melbourne! And best wishes for a seamless start to the new academic year commencing in the Northern Hemisphere. The 2018 Conference Chair, Linda Harklau, and AAAL staff have had a busy summer preparing for the August deadline for abstracts for the 2018 conference in Chicago in March. Some 2100 proposals were received, higher than the number received for the most recent conference in Portland, and in fact a record number. At a time of considerable turbulence in the US and in the world, this is a wonderful achievement, and congratulations go to Linda and her team, and the wonderful support staff in the AAAL office. Read More.

  3. From 1st VP/Conference Chair

    AAAL 2018 will take place March 24-27. We will be returning to Chicago, a perennial favorite for AAAL meetings, and the Sheraton Grand Chicago, a great venue in downtown Chicago right on the Chicago River and close to the lake. Read More.

  4. From the Secretary/Treasurer

    It was a busy summer at AAAL. As the secretary/treasurer of the Association, it is my privilege to communicate to you the results of the yearly election. We welcome Dr. Kendall King as our Second Vice President, Dr. Charlene Polio as our Member-at-large, and Dr. Thomas Ricento as our FFAL Trustee. In addition, we welcome Dr. Heidi Byrnes, Dr. Ofelia García, Dr. Christine Tardy and Dr. Lawrence Zhang as members of the Nominating Committee. I would like to thank each of the elected officials for their service. I would also like to thank those who were nominated but not elected. We look forward to working with all of our nominees in some capacity in the coming years. The Association depends on the talents, insights and efforts of its outstanding membership. Read More.

  5. From the Past President - New "Conference Connections"

    Over the past two years, members of the Graduate Student Council and the Executive Committee have been gathering information about the professional development needs and interests of graduate student members of AAAL. Based on input from individuals and focus groups, in addition to academic professional development, we learned that some student members would like to have opportunities to make social connections with more senior members of AAAL. As a result, AAAL will trial a small-scale project of social opportunities at the 2018 AAAL Conference. These opportunities could be referred to as “Conference Connections.” Read More.

  6. From Member-at-Large - Member Spotlight

    It is a great honor for me to serve on the Executive Committee (EC) of AAAL as a Member-at-Large. On a personal level, AAAL has always been a special organization to me, which has helped me grow as a professional in the field and cultivate my interests in Applied Linguistics research. Read More.

  7. From the Graduate Student Council's Steering Committee

    Three years ago, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) became an official organizational body within AAAL. Since our inception, we have worked diligently to serve our fellow graduate students by (1) encouraging active AAAL membership and providing opportunities for leadership and participation within the organization, (2) maintaining social media and communication platforms for disseminating information related to applied linguistics and graduate student interests, and (3) planning and leading conference events for grads. This year’s GSC Steering Committee is comprised of five students from different institutions, including myself (co-chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Mengying Liu (co-chair, University of Minnesota), Michael Amory (secretary, Pennsylvania State University), Rayoung Song (member-at-large, University of Massachusetts-Amherst), and Ai-Chu Ding (member-at-large, Indiana University-Bloomington). We’ll have some (friendly) rivalries for Big Ten sporting events this year! Read More.

  8. AILA Research Networks: Call for Applications

    Research Networks (ReNs) within AILA are formed for promoting research and disseminating their research findings inside and outside AILA. Each ReN focuses on a special topic area of Applied Linguistics that has the potential for new cross-disciplinary research. ReNs exist for three years and can be renewed upon reapplication. Read More.


From the Editor - A New Start with Key Priorities

As we start a new academic year, on behalf of all of us in the EC and in the AAAL Office, I want to wish you a wonderful and exciting year!

In reading the various contributions, I hope you will realize that all of us share the excitement of looking forward to a great conference in a great city! Personally, I am delighted to go back to Illinois, as it was the State that welcomed me as a visiting teacher from Chile back in 1992. I will always consider Illinois a special place as it is the State where I pursued my graduate education and got started in my professional journey! My Illinois friends are still my family in the US!

I urge you to carefully read our President’s message in this issue. Tim highlights much of the priority work the EC will tackle this year, addressing the issues that have been formally brought to our attention by the membership around diversity and inclusion. As our 1st VP writes in her piece, “Chicago is a major metropolis with a diverse population and rich immigration history, providing a perfect backdrop for the discussion of language issues.” So let’s be sure to take the opportunity to actively engage and participate in advancing the issues that concern our membership.

In talking about participation and engagement, please also keep an eye on further developments on this topic. At our last EC meeting a task-force was also proposed to address the topic of “Member Engagement and Communication.” An initial group has been convened to start tackling this work. The current appointed members are Steve Thorne, Peter De Costa, Thor Swain, Hisako Yamashita and me (Chair). Together, we will work towards developing ideas leading to proposals for implementation that can help us address this concern.

As you see, we have a busy year ahead, and we welcome it with much excitement!

Enjoy this September issue. We look forward to working with you as opportunities arise and see you in Chicago!

Fabiola


From the President - Questions of Diversity

Fall greetings from Spring-like Melbourne! And best wishes for a seamless start to the new academic year commencing in the Northern Hemisphere. The 2018 Conference Chair, Linda Harklau, and AAAL staff have had a busy summer preparing for the August deadline for abstracts for the 2018 conference in Chicago in March. Some 2100 proposals were received, higher than the number received for the most recent conference in Portland, and in fact a record number. At a time of considerable turbulence in the US and in the world, this is a wonderful achievement, and congratulations go to Linda and her team, and the wonderful support staff in the AAAL office.

Our next face-to-face Executive Meeting will be held in Chicago at the end of September, and we already have a considerable agenda. One of the most important matters to be discussed will be the question of diversity within the organization, an issue which is prominent in discussions in many contexts in the United States this year, and an issue which has been raised in a recent letter to the Association signed by 30 members. The letter draws the attention of the Executive to the ‘Resolution Affirming Commitment to Promoting Diversity in AAAL’ adopted in 2013, and suggests that there has been insufficient follow-through on this in the organization and structuring of the annual conference, in the composition of the Association’s committees, in its award recipients, and in its representation on other boards. In particular, the signatories suggest a number of changes to the conference organization to address what they see as ‘an insufficient amount of conceptual, geographical, and human diversity reflected generally in AAAL conference programming over the years, particularly the selection of plenary and invited speakers and topics’.

The Association takes the issues raised by these members very seriously, and on receipt of the letter I asked the immediate Past President, Kathi Bailey, to head a small task force consisting of some members of the AAAL Executive and a representative of the signatories to prepare a short briefing document as a trigger for a full discussion of the issues at our meeting in Chicago. Without pre-empting the outcomes of that discussion, one of the options to be considered is the creation of an ad hoc committee, initially for one year, as permitted by the Bylaws, in order to monitor the implementation of the decisions of the Executive in relation to diversity.

At the level of individuals, the composition of the Executive itself is marked by far greater diversity than the composition of the Association as a whole, and in that sense might even be felt to be unrepresentative! The question of identity politics is a fraught one. On the one hand, in the plurality of our subjectivities, the identity that is most relevant to our membership of the Association is our identity as researchers; AAAL is primarily a research organization. On the other hand, it is important that the Association be inclusive, and allows opportunities for members’ research to reflect their diverse life experience and priorities. Getting this balance right is an important task, and I am committed to making this a priority during my term as President.

Another important aspect of our diversity is the international character of the Association. Our conference is widely acknowledged to be the leading annual international meeting for research in Applied Linguistics. The current political climate however continues to present challenges, if not insuperable barriers, for some members outside the United States, and many others have expressed disquiet about visiting the United States at this time, for a number of reasons. We propose to monitor this situation on an ongoing basis, and will do everything in our power to ensure that the international character of the organization is supported and encouraged.

Looking forward to seeing you in Chicago!


From 1st VP/Conference Chair

AAAL 2018 will take place March 24-27. We will be returning to Chicago, a perennial favorite for AAAL meetings, and the Sheraton Grand Chicago, a great venue in downtown Chicago right on the Chicago River and close to the lake.

We are once again coordinating schedules with TESOL, which will be holding its annual convention in Chicago immediately following our conference from March 27 to 30.

Chicago is a major metropolis with a diverse population and rich immigration history, providing a perfect backdrop for the discussion of language issues. The conference venue is within walking distance of world-class restaurants, cultural attractions including the Art Institute and other museums, the Lake Michigan waterfront, and shops.

The hotel is close to public transportation and just 35 minutes away from O’Hare International Airport.

I have been helped in choosing plenary speakers and invited colloquia by my colleagues Ruth Harman, Victoria Hasko, Jiyoon Lee, and Don Rubin. Our Conference Planning team includes Associate Chair Rhia Moreno Kilpatrick, who is serves as the Strand Coordinator Liaison. Rhia is a doctoral student at the University of Georgia researching study abroad experiences in Italy. It also includes Nicole Siffrinn and Lei Jiang, also doctoral students at UGA, who have been hard at work helping to put together the conference.

 

(pictured, left to right: Ruth Harman, Linda Harklau, Rhia Moreno Kilpatrick, Victoria Hasko, Nicole Siffrinn, Lei Jiang)

This year's conference forgoes a conference theme. Representing the diversity of our field, sessions and invited colloquia draw from cutting-edge work across the many areas that comprise applied linguistics. Featured plenary speakers will include:

  • Ellen Bialystok, York University, “Bilingualism: Consequences for Mind and Brain”
  • Eric Friginal, Georgia State University, “Quantifying Cross-Cultural Professional Communication”
  • Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago, “The Resilience of Language and Gesture”
  • Kim Potowski, University of Illinois at Chicago, “Every U.S. Primary School Should Teach in Two Languages. Why Don’t They, and What Can We Do About It?”
  • Steven L. Thorne, Portland State University, “Technologies, Morphologies of Communicative Action, and the Rewilding of Language Education”


Invited colloquia are equally diverse. Marcyliena Morgan will lead the session “‘We Got It From Here’: Language, Identity, and Global Hiphop.” With a generous grant from the Language Learning Roundtable program, Aline Godfroid and Paula Winke have organized “One Tool, Many Applications: Robust Eye-Tracking Research Across SLA Disciplines.” Marking the advent of the Vocabulary and Lexical Studies conference strand, Norbert Schmitt will lead “New Trends in Vocabulary Research.” Martha Bigelow and Shawna Shapiro will lead the Wilga Rivers Pedagogy Colloquium on “Multimodality in Teaching and Research with Refugee-Background Language Learners.” Jointly-organized colloquia include “The Next Generation of Policy-Driven Language Testing Systems: Accountability, Consequences, and Learning” (ILTA@AAAL) led by Micheline Chalhoub-Deville. Meg Gebhard will lead “Recontextualizing Systemic Functional Linguistics Theory and Praxis in Multilingual U.S. Classroom” (NASFLA@AAAL) and Naoko Taguchi will lead “Globalization and Second Language Pragmatics: Implications for Research and Teaching.” (IPrA@AAAL)

I am also very pleased to announce two pre-conference workshops taking place on Friday March 23nd. The first, “Exploring Digital Tools for Qualitative Research,” will be led by Trena Paulus of the University of Georgia. Dr. Paulus will lead participants in examining the affordances and limitations of various technologies for data collection and annotation including mobile apps, and also discuss how to select data analysis software. The second workshop, “Integrative Mixed Methods Research Design and Analysis,” will be led by Eunice Eunhee Jang of the University of Toronto. Dr. Jang will lead an exploration of mixed methods research design typologies and analytic approaches. Look for these when you register and sign up early—space is limited and likely to fill quickly.

The 2018 conference also includes two AAAL conference orientation sessions for newcomers led by Past President Kathi Bailey and the AAAL Business Office’s Jessica Atkinson, one on the evening of Friday, March 23rd and the other mid-morning on Saturday. These sessions will also include an orientation to the AAAL Conference App, which will contain the most detailed and up-to-date information about the conference. (An abbreviated printed conference program featuring daily schedule summaries will also be available).

Other featured events at the conference will include an address by the first recipient of AAAL’s new Distinguished Public Service Award, and a special screening of Talking Black in America, a new documentary funded by the National Science Foundation and produced by Walt Wolfram and colleagues.

Lastly, the 2018 conference will host several new events for graduate students. Friday night will feature an informal meet and greet where graduate students can drop by the lobby and bar area to network and socialize. A “Conference Connections” activity will link graduate students and faculty mentors (see Kathi Bailey’s column here for more details). Another session will present master’s students and interested faculty advisors with information about and tips for applying to applied linguistics doctoral programs.

See you in Chicago!


From the Secretary/Treasurer

It was a busy summer at AAAL. As the secretary/treasurer of the Association, it is my privilege to communicate to you the results of the yearly election. We welcome Dr. Kendall King as our Second Vice President, Dr. Charlene Polio as our Member-at-large, and Dr. Thomas Ricento as our FFAL Trustee. In addition, we welcome Dr. Heidi Byrnes, Dr. Ofelia García, Dr. Christine Tardy and Dr. Lawrence Zhang as members of the Nominating Committee. I would like to thank each of the elected officials for their service. I would also like to thank those who were nominated but not elected. We look forward to working with all of our nominees in some capacity in the coming years. The Association depends on the talents, insights and efforts of its outstanding membership.

As your representative to AILA, I am also pleased to provide an update on our international efforts. I would like to thank AAAL-member Claire Kramsch for her outstanding service as AILA President and AAAL-member Shawn Loewen for his visionary service as ReN coordinator. I am pleased to communicate that AAAL-member Laura Gurzinski-Weiss will be cycling into the role of ReN coordinator. We look forward to her leadership in promoting the unique opportunity that the ReN offers for international collaboration in applied linguistics. We also look forward to working with Daniel Perrin (VALS/ASLA) as he moves into the role of AILA President. A key effort in Daniel’s portfolio was re-establishing a close collaboration with UNESCO. Through this collaboration, AILA will pursue strategic objectives in the UNESCO medium-term strategy (2014-2021) consisting of supporting member states to develop education systems to foster high quality and inclusive life-long learning for all, advancing education for all and shaping the future international education agenda, supporting inclusive social development, fostering intercultural dialogue for the rapprochement of cultures and promoting ethical principles, fostering creativity and diversity of cultural expressions, and promoting freedom of expression, media development and access to information and knowledge. Going forward, Daniel will continue to liaise with UNESCO as AILA President. AILA is also moving forward in an exciting direction to establish an AILA Membership Database that will facilitate collaboration and scholarly exchange with applied linguists from around the world. I will be working on a committee with Daniel Perrin, Christina Gitsaki (Secretary General) and Antje Wilton (Publications Coordinator) as we continue to move in this direction. Our objective is to identify a solution that will allow members of AILA-affiliated associations to transfer member profiles seamlessly from their local organization to AILA. For this reason, I would encourage all AAAL members to ensure that their member profiles are up to date.

It is a privilege and a high honor to serve as your treasurer/secretary. Please do not hesitate to contact me at martinez.474@osu.edu, or any of the members of the Executive Committee, if you have questions or ideas on how to improve our Association.


From the Past President - New "Conference Connections"

Over the past two years, members of the Graduate Student Council and the Executive Committee have been gathering information about the professional development needs and interests of graduate student members of AAAL. Based on input from individuals and focus groups, in addition to academic professional development, we learned that some student members would like to have opportunities to make social connections with more senior members of AAAL. As a result, AAAL will trial a small-scale project of social opportunities at the 2018 AAAL Conference. These opportunities could be referred to as “Conference Connections.”

The pilot project will consist of three options for pairing graduate student members of AAAL with more senior members at the conference for one of three purposes:

  1. Presentation feedback: If the graduate student is giving a presentation at the conference, the senior partner would attend the graduate student’s talk, round-table, or poster presentation and meet with him/her afterwards to provide feedback on the presentation.
  2. Introductions: The senior partner would spend two coffee breaks in the Publishers’ Exhibit getting to know the graduate student and introducing him/her to other conference goers there.
  3. Proposal ideas: The senior partner would meet with the graduate student for 30 minutes and give him/her feedback on his/her preliminary ideas for developing a proposal for the coming year’s AAAL Conference.


Offering “Conference Connections” is not meant to take the place of research mentoring or to interfere with anyone’s attendance at conference sessions. Instead, this idea is meant to provide structured opportunities for graduate student members to meet more senior members of AAAL through a simple system of pairing interested individuals.

People who register for the AAAL 2018 Conference will be given an opportunity to indicate their interest in participating. Space will be limited by the number of non-student members of AAAL who agree to participate.


From Member-at-Large - Member Spotlight

It is a great honor for me to serve on the Executive Committee (EC) of AAAL as a Member-at-Large.

On a personal level, AAAL has always been a special organization to me, which has helped me grow as a professional in the field and cultivate my interests in Applied Linguistics research. I still remember my first presentation at the annual AAAL conference in St. Louis. I was a Ph.D. student at Northern Arizona University and presented my little study of a corpus linguistics analysis of English discourse markers. Presenting in front of established professors and scholars was a nerve-breaking experience, but the warm comments and encouragements I received after my talk made me feel like that I was part of the field. Many years later hearing my own students making the same comment after their ‘first talk’, I know that this inclusive atmosphere is a characteristic of AAAL. Individuals in any role, status, and experience get together and engage in constructive dialogue under the shared goal of advancing research and its application to real-world problems. The inclusiveness also transpires to the diverse nationality of AAAL membership. I can share my own observations as a Japanese. AAAL is one of the few organizations located outside of Japan, which involves a large representation of Japanese nationals. In fact, international representation and cultural diversity are taken for granted in this organization. As a Member-at-Large, I am committed to helping nurture the inclusive atmosphere of AAAL, which my predecessors of the EC and members as a whole have worked hard to achieve and maintain.

Strong membership is a key factor for the future growth of the organization, and I value that every member feels included, and that his/her voice truly matters for the AAAL affairs. My role is to listen to the members and represent their perspectives in the EC committee. By being a liaison between members and the EC, I hope to facilitate a bi-directional communication where both parties can learn each other’s views and concerns, as we engage in the collective effort of disseminating our work to a wider body of the society. In addition to the liaison role, I am committed to serving on existing programs and services in my full capacity. I am currently the EC member of the Best Dissertation Award Committee, which is a relatively new initiative. I am sure that more opportunities like this will present themselves in the next few years. I look forward to getting involved in AAAL’s committees, task force initiatives, and strategies plans to make this organization a better place for everyone. I also look forward to working with other members of the EC, as well as the members at the AAAL business office, including Managing Director, Sarah Berke and her wonderful team. I wish everyone a successful and fruitful academic year.

See you all in Chicago in March!


From the Graduate Student Council's Steering Committee

Three years ago, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) became an official organizational body within AAAL. Since our inception, we have worked diligently to serve our fellow graduate students by (1) encouraging active AAAL membership and providing opportunities for leadership and participation within the organization, (2) maintaining social media and communication platforms for disseminating information related to applied linguistics and graduate student interests, and (3) planning and leading conference events for grads. This year’s GSC Steering Committee is comprised of five students from different institutions, including myself (co-chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Mengying Liu (co-chair, University of Minnesota), Michael Amory (secretary, Pennsylvania State University), Rayoung Song (member-at-large, University of Massachusetts-Amherst), and Ai-Chu Ding (member-at-large, Indiana University-Bloomington). We’ll have some (friendly) rivalries for Big Ten sporting events this year!

We are honored to represent AAAL grads who, as of December, 2016, comprise 36% of the total AAAL membership (761 out of 2,101 members). Since April, we have held monthly meetings to begin planning graduate student events for next year’s conference and to enhance our outreach and communication platforms. After reviewing survey feedback from the graduate student events at the 2017 AAAL conference, we generated a list of the most requested topics and are currently in the process of finalizing themes for next year’s sessions. We have also been working closely with the AAAL Executive Committee and the conference organizing committee at the University of Georgia to enhance the graduate student experience at the 2018 AAAL conference. If you are interested in getting involved in conference event planning, keep an eye out for our forthcoming call for volunteers.

Growing and improving our communication platforms continues to remain one of our top priorities. Last year, we launched AAALGrads, a newsletter created by and for graduate students, which covered topics such as achieving work/life balance, navigating the job search, becoming an academic writer, and transitioning from Master’s to Ph.D. student. This year, we will continue to publish fall and spring newsletter editions, under the leadership of co-editors Rayoung Song (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) and Jessica Lian (Purdue University). The deadline for articles for the fall issue has passed, but we encourage you to submit an abstract for the spring edition—look for the call mid-winter!

This year’s communication initiative is to develop and maintain a AAAL graduate student website. Our website will contain information about the GSC Steering Committee and our conference events and will serve as a resource center for grads, with relevant topics such as writing conference proposals and applying for grants. We are currently looking for students to help produce some of the website content. If you are interested, please respond to this call by mid-September. This is a great opportunity to get involved and to share your experiences and advice with fellow grads.

As always, we love to hear from you! If you have any questions or are interested in getting more involved in the Graduate Student Council, please email us at aaalgrads@gmail.com. And, if you haven’t already, connect with us on our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@AAALgrad), and Instagram (@aaalgrads). We wish you all a great start to the academic year!


AILA Research Networks: Call for Applications

Deadline: 31 October 2017

Research Networks (ReNs) within AILA are formed for promoting research and disseminating their research findings inside and outside AILA. Each ReN focuses on a special topic area of Applied Linguistics that has the potential for new cross-disciplinary research. ReNs exist for three years and can be renewed upon reapplication.

The criteria for ReNs includes:

  • a research area pertaining to applied linguistics;
  • participants who are active in the research area of the ReN;
  • at least five members, some of whom should be new scholars;
  • multinational composition with universities from at least three countries;
  • a commitment to fill a ReN symposium slot at the AILA Congress three years hence;
  • a report of the activities of the last three years if your ReN is seeking renewal;

For applications (both renewals and new applications), the ReN convenor must submit a proposal to the ReN Coordinator. The proposal should consist of

  • a statement concerning the scope of the ReN,
  • a list of the participants of the ReN and their affiliation,
  • a plan for ReN activities for the upcoming three years, and
  • a design for a ReN symposium at the 19th AILA Congress

Applications to set up a ReN should be submitted between 1 September 2017 and 31 October 2017. Submissions should be sent to the AILA ReN Coordinator, Laura Gurzynski-Weiss (lgurzyns@indiana.edu). Notification of acceptance will occur by 31 January 2018.