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News & Press: AAALetter

Plans for the 2016 AAAL Conference: "Applied Linguistics Applied"

Monday, June 22, 2015  
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It is my great honor to be the chairperson for the 2016 AAAL Conference, which will take place in Orlando, Florida from April 9 through 12. The conference theme, “Applied Linguistics Applied,” is intended to emphasize the many ways in which our profession and our disciplines address language-related problems in the world today.

I’m very excited about the team that has agreed to serve as the Conference Program Committee. In addition to John Hedgcock, Tim Marquette (right in the photo), and Thor Sawin (left in the photo) (my colleagues here at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey), David Chiesa, a doctoral candidate at Georgia State University is helping with the planning. I chose these people because of their areas of expertise, but also because they represent a cross-section of the demographics of AAAL: senior professors (John), junior professors (Thor), doctoral students (Dave), and MA candidates (Tim).

The 2016 AAAL Conference will feature six plenary speakers. Following on feedback from attendees at previous conferences, we have included three international speakers. Dr. Claudia V. Angelelli (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland) will talk about “Minding the Gaps: Applied Linguistics and Translation & Interpreting Studies.” Dr. Michael “Mitch” Legutke (Justus Leibig University of Giessen, Germany) has chosen as his topic “Teachers Matter: Revisiting the Territory and Charting the Future of Foreign Language Teacher Education.” Dr. Joseph LoBianco (University of Melbourne, Australia) will discuss “Ethnic Separatism, Social Conflict and Violence: The Role of Deliberative Language Planning in Conflict Zones.” Professor John R. Rickford (Stanford University) has chosen the title of “Two Bills: Pursuing Basic and Applied Research, Scholarship and Service.” And Dr. Cristina Sanz (Georgetown University) will talk about “SLA in Study Abroad Contexts: A Researcher-practitioner’s Perspective.”

There will also be ten invited colloquia, including those that are being organized with three sister organizations:

1. Netta Avineri (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey) and Jonathan D. Rosa (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) are co-organizing a panel entitled “Applied Linguistics, Linguistic Anthropology, and Social Justice: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Linguistic and Social Change.” This colloquium is co-sponsored by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology of AAA, the American Association of Anthropology.

2. A colloquium entitled “Blind Spots and Theory Building: How Can the Study of Language Learners Marginalized in the Field Help Us Grow?” is being organized by Martha Bigelow (University of Minnesota).

3. Peter De Costa (Michigan State University) has organized a colloquium on “Global Englishes and SLA: Establishing a Dialogue and Common Research Agenda.” We are very grateful to Language Learning for sponsoring this colloquium through a Language Learning Roundtable grant. Support from Language Learning has helped to make international participation in this colloquium possible.

4. Once again, the AAAL conference will host a colloquium with TESOL. Keith Folse (University of Central Florida) will lead a team in discussing “Issues in Creating Practical Corpus-Based Lexical Lists.”

5. The annual Wilga Rivers Pedagogy Colloquium is being organized by Lynn Goldstein (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey). The panelists will discuss “Developing Pragmatic Competence across Foreign Languages: Key Pedagogical Approaches.”

6. Francis Hult (Lund University, Sweden) has organized a colloquium entitled “Linguistic Landscape Analysis and the Representation of Visual Data.”

7. A colloquium on “Applied Linguistics in the Courtroom” is being co-organized by Aneta Pavlenko (Temple University) and Diana Eades (University of New England, Australia).

8. Maricel Santos (San Francisco State University) has organized a panel to discuss “Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities: Contexts for Researching Health Literacy as Social Practice in Applied Linguistics.”

9. In conjunction with ILTA (the International Language Testing Association), Sara Cushing Weigle (Georgia State University) has organized a panel to discuss “Connecting Corpus Linguistics and Language Assessment”.

10. A panel on “Researching Written Task Complexity in Diverse Contexts” is being organized by Lawrence Zhang (University of Auckland, New Zealand).

Of course, there will also be other colloquia selected in the abstract reviewing process as well.

The Conference Program Committee is very excited about a new feature being offered for the first time in the 2016 conference. On Friday, April 8, the day before the conference begins, there will be two full-day pre-conference workshops. Dr. Stefan Gries (University of California, Santa Barbara) will offer a workshop on “Basic Statistics for Applied Linguists with R.” Dr. Johannes Wagner (University of Southern Denmark) will lead a workshop on “Analyzing Second Language Conversations in the Wild: An Introductory Workshop on Conversation Analysis.” The number of participants in these workshops is limited, and participation will involve an additional fee beyond the conference registration.

The call for proposals is available at
The proposal submission site is now live and will close at 11:59 PM EDT on August 19, 2015. This year there are two additional strands: Research Methods (REM) and Translation and Interpretation (TRI).

For more information, please check the AAAL website. In addition, you can follow us on Twitter and visit the AAAL Facebook page.

— Kathleen M. Bailey, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

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