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From Member-At-Large--Member Spotlight

Thursday, September 7, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Naoko Taguchi
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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!

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