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News & Press: AAALetter

From a Member-At-Large: Ethics Guidelines Write Up

Wednesday, December 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Peter de Costa
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In September 2016, then President of AAAL, Kathleen Bailey, commissioned a task force that would look into the development of ethics guidelines to protect a vulnerable segment of our membership: emerging scholars. Particular focus was given to this group because emerging scholars are often faced with challenges and constraints in the multiple, and sometimes competing, roles of students, teachers, assistants, and researchers.

The task force was made up of the following AAAL members: 

  Peter De Costa, Chair
Michigan State University
  David Chiesa
Georgia State University
  Patricia Duff
University of British Columbia
  Wendy Li
Michigan State University
  Elizabeth Miller
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  Shelley Staples
University of Arizona
  Sue Starfield
University of New South Wales

To ensure that a diverse set of perspectives would be represented in the design of the guidelines, a deliberate attempt was made to recruit task force members from different countries. The task force also comprised of members who were at various stages of their careers, ranging from graduate students to senior scholars in the field.

Following the constitution of the task force, the team created ethics guidelines in relation to three broad areas: research, teaching and service. Through an iterative process, drafts of these guidelines were presented to and discussed by the AAAL Executive Committee. An advanced draft of the guidelines was subsequently made available to all AAAL members in April 2017, and feedback was elicited through an online survey. The survey feedback turned out to be highly insightful, generating input from a wide band of members including colleagues who worked in adjunct positions and who hailed from different corners of the world. Their helpful comments were subsequently incorporated into a revised version of the guidelines that was approved by the AAAL Executive Committee in September 2017.

To view the guidelines, go to:

The task force would like to thank AAAL members and the Executive Committee for their invaluable input. We hope that the guidelines created by AAAL members for AAAL members will provide guidance on ethical practice toward and among emerging applied linguists as they prepare for professional and academic careers.

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