AAAL 2019: March 9-12, 2019, Atlanta, Georgia

March 9-12, 2019, Atlanta, Georgia

Schedule now available www

Plenary Speakers

Nick Ellis, University of Michigan
“Usage-based Language Acquisition: Implicit and Explicit Learning and Their Interface”

Lenore Grenoble, The University of Chicago
“Language Vitality and Sustainability”

Emma Marsden, University of York
“Open Science and Applied Linguistics: Opportunities and Challenges”

Patsy M Lightbown, Concordia University and Nina Spada, University of Toronto
“In It Together: Teachers, Researchers, and Classroom Second Language Acquisition”

Iñaki Zabaleta, University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU)
“Minority Language Media: Framing Their Reality, Development and Roles”

Invited Colloquia

“Let’s Automate: Natural Language Processing Tools and Their Applications”
Organizer: Scott Crossley, Georgia State University

“Expanding the Applied Linguistics Lens on Multiliteracies: Sociomaterial Assemblages”
Organizer: Diane Dagenais, Simon Fraser University [Wilga Rivers Language Pedagogy Colloquium]

“Assessing Lingua Franca Competence”
Organizer: Luke Harding, Lancaster University [Joint AAAL/ILTA Colloquium]

“Fandom and Language and Literacy Development”
Organizer: Shannon Sauro, Malmö University

“What Do the Data Show? Multiple Theoretical Perspectives on Learning in a Single Classroom”
Organizer: Paul Toth, Temple University

Proposals are welcome in the following topic strands:

Analysis of Discourse and Interaction (DIS)
Assessment and Evaluation (ASE)
Bilingual, Immersion, Heritage, and Minority Education (BIH)
Corpus Linguistics (COR)
Educational Linguistics (EDU)
Language Cognition and Brain Research (COG)
Language and Ideology (LID)
Language and Technology (TEC)
Language Maintenance and Revitalization (LMR)
Language Planning and Policy (LPP)
Language, Culture, Socialization and Pragmatics (LCS)
Phonology/Phonetics and Oral Communication (POC)
Reading, Writing, and Literacy (RWL)
Research Methodology (REM)
Second and Foreign Language Pedagogy (PED)
Second Language Acquisition, Language Acquisition, and Attrition (SLA)
Sociolinguistics (SOC)
Teacher Education, Beliefs, and Identities (TED)
Text Analysis (Written Discourse) (TXT)
Translation and Interpretation (TRI)
Vocabulary and Lexical Studies (VOC)

Proposals are invited for individual papers, colloquia, posters, and roundtable discussions. The deadline for proposal submission is 4:00 p.m. on August 20, 2018 (EDT; UTC-4). If you need to renew your membership or create a guest account, you should do so at least 3 hours before the submissions deadline, to allow for changes to take place in the system. Requests relating to membership or guest accounts later than this may mean that you are unable to submit your abstract by the deadline.

INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Papers are formal presentations on a contribution of original knowledge by one or more authors within a thirty-minute period, including 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Paper presentations will be organized into sessions of 2-3 papers grouped by strand or theme.
There will not be designated session chairs. When their presentation time comes, presenters must announce their session title, introduce themselves briefly, and start their presentation. All presenters must present their work during their scheduled time. No time changes will be allowed even if the previous presenter is absent or has finished early. Each presenter must make sure that they respect their allocated time in order to allow for the other presenters in the session to set up their equipment and start on time.

POSTERS: Poster presentations are intended for face-to-face discussions of research. Posters are especially effective for information that can be presented visually (e.g. charts, graphs, tables, diagrams). Prospective presenters are encouraged to consider posters, because of the opportunity they provide for extended discussion with other researchers. There will be several poster sessions scheduled, each approximately 1.5 hours in length. Presenters are required to be present at their posters during the coffee breaks scheduled within the session to which they have been allocated. For the rest of the period, presenters may choose to stay at their poster board at their discretion. The bulletin boards for mounting the posters are normally four feet by eight feet in size. One poster presenter will use the front and another presenter will use the back.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS: Roundtable discussions present an opportunity for informal, in-depth discussions between presenters and attendees on a specific topic. They are particularly well suited for works-in-progress and are not meant to be formal paper presentations. The purpose is not to present on a finished project but rather to address a specific topic in such a way as to engender whole-group discussion. The advantage of roundtable sessions is that they allow for stimulating conversations and networking opportunities among participants on shared research interests. Presenters are encouraged to prepare handouts or clearly visible laptop PowerPoint slides for key information needed to support the discussion.

Roundtable discussions will be held in large rooms with several sessions taking place at the same time at different tables. Each table will be organized by strand or theme. Each presenter will be assigned to a table that seats up to twelve attendees. Presenters will be allocated 30 minutes: 10-15 minutes to speak on their topic and 15-20 minutes for group discussion.There will be a time-keeper assigned to reach roundtable session.

COLLOQUIA: Colloquia allow for extended discussion on a particular topic, achieved through the organization of individual presentations that are clearly linked to the colloquium theme and to each other. A small number of colloquia are invited by the conference chair, but others may be proposed by AAAL members. Proposals for colloquia can be for either one-hour or two-hour block of time. (Please note the change in colloquium length from previous AAAL conferences).

Two-hour colloquia: The number of presenters and length of each presentation is left up to discretion of the colloquium organizer, as is the decision to include one or more discussants. Because the purpose of this format is to foster dialogue among attendees, generous time allowance should be made throughout the colloquium for extended audience discussion of the papers presented.

One-hour colloquia: This is a new format for 2019, designed to provide better coherence among the shorter 10 minute paper sessions offered at AAAL for the past two years. Conferences in many other academic fields limit presentations of full papers to a maximum of ten minutes, in paper sessions that are thematically linked. This has some advantages: it encourages conciseness and focus and allows more time for discussion than the longer paper presentations. Sessions in this format will consist of three individual ten-minute papers within a one-hour time slot. Each paper is allocated up to two minutes for clarification questions, followed by 20-25 minutes of discussion after all three papers have been presented. The thematic linking of the three papers in the session was previously made by the AAAL conference organizing committee. This year, one or more of the authors of the three papers will serve as the colloquium organizer(s). Please note that the one-hour colloquia should not include an additional presenter in a “discussant” role; the discussion is managed by the authors of the three papers.

Colloquium organizers serve as the liaisons between participants in the colloquium and the AAAL conference program committee, and are therefore responsible for communication among the presenters and discussants

AV EQUIPMENT: Please note that AV equipment will not be available for Posters or Roundtable Discussions. Presenters may bring handouts or use their laptops if they wish. However, be advised that the computers will have to operate on battery as there will be no outlets.

DDL studies based in China HE #AAAL2018


Xiaoya Sun

Investigating the Effectiveness of a Data-driven Learning (DDL) intervention in an EFL Academic Writing Class

Tue, March 27, 1:50 to 2:20pm, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Arkansas Room
Session Submission Type: Paper



The past few decades have witnessed the emergence and development of corpus linguistics “as a powerful methodology-technology” (Lee & Swales, 2006, p. 57) with considerable potential for linguistic research and language pedagogy. In language teaching and learning, the growing applications of corpus linguistics are greatly expanding our pedagogical options and resources (Conrad, 2000; Vyatkina, 2016), as corpora provide rich language samples for teachers to develop authentic instructional materials and classroom activities (Yoon & Hirvela, 2004), and for learners to form and test their hypotheses about patterns of language use (Leech, 1997). However, corpora and corpus tools have not yet “made major inroads into language classrooms” (p. 138, Yoon, 2011), especially in EFL/ESL contexts, and the effectiveness of data-driven learning (DDL) in these contexts has not been firmly established.

This presentation reports on an experimental study that set out to investigate the effectiveness of a DDL intervention in an EFL university classroom, in comparison with a traditional teacher-directed approach, in raising learners’ awareness of hedging in English academic writing and improving their use of hedges. The study adopted a pretest-posttest-delayed test randomized control group design. Treatment for the experimental group involved hands-on experience with two carefully chosen, purpose-built online corpora, while that for the control group consisted of traditional lectures featuring dictionary work and passage-based exercises. Statistical analyses of the two groups’ performances on the three tests have yielded empirical evidence of both the affordances and limitations of the DDL activities. In addition, a questionnaire survey conducted after the intervention has received generally positive feedback from the experimental group participants towards the incorporation of corpora in classroom teaching. These findings are interpreted and discussed in terms of DDL learning principles. The presentation concludes with suggestions for future DDL applications and research in EFL teaching contexts.

A group of 24 students studying translation

Condition 1 vs Condition 2

3 writing tests + questionnaire survey on effectiveness of instructional sessions

4 2-hour instructional sessions for each treatment condition in 3 days

Delayed post-text 2 weeks after completion

MICUSP corpus

ICNALE online: Asian learners of English

Group 1 compares hedging in MICUSP and ICNALE

Group 2 stay with MICUSP and their own writing

Hedging was quantified in terms of frequency and variation

DDL somewhat effective

Hands on DDL less effective


Tanjun Liu

Evaluating the Effect of Data-driven Learning (DDL) on the Acquisition of Academic Collocations by Advanced Chinese Learners of English
Tue, March 27, 2:25 to 2:55pm, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Arkansas Room
Session Submission Type: Paper


Collocations, prefabricated multi-word combinations, are considered to be a crucial component of language competence which indicates the central role they should play in language teaching and learning. However, collocations remain a challenge to L2 learners at different proficiency levels, and particularly a difficulty to Chinese learners of English. Collocations have so far attracted only limited attention in the Chinese language teaching classroom. This study, therefore, focuses on the effectiveness of the teaching of academic collocations to advanced Chinese learners of English, using a specific pedagogical approach to teaching collocations, the corpus-based data-driven learning approach (DDL). DDL has been argued to offer an effective teaching method in language learning. However, large-scale, quantitative studies evaluating the effectiveness and assessed the benefits of DDL in the acquisition of academic collocations were limited in number when compared to a different method of teaching of collocations.

This study, therefore, uses data from 120 Chinese students of English from a Chinese university and employs a quasi-experimental method, using a pre-test-and-post-test (including delayed test) control-group research design to compare the achievement of the use of DDL and online dictionary in teaching academic collocations to advanced Chinese learners of English. The experimental group uses #Lancsbox (Brezina, McEnery & Wattam, 2015), an innovative and user-friendly corpus tool. By comparison, the control group uses the online version of the Oxford Collocations Dictionary. The results are analysed for the differences in collocation gains within and between the two groups. Those quantitative data are supported by findings from semi-structured interviews linking learners’ results with their attitudes towards DDL. The findings contribute to our understanding of the effectiveness of DDL for teaching academic collocations and suggest that the incorporation of technology into language learning can enhance collocation knowledge.

3 groups (ca. 40 ss each)

Used the Oxford collocation dictionary in one of the groups

Treatment: 10 weeks

Post test and delayed post-test (2 months later)

Survey + semi-structured interview

This presentation focused on the survey results and the perceptions of the learners

Positive attitudes

Rezaee et al 2015: make students more collocation wise




Some notes #AAAL2018 colloquium on constructions in Applied Linguistics



Constructions in Applied Linguistics: Innovation and Application of Corpus-based Construction Grammar

Sun, March 25, 8:00 to 11:15am, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Colorado Room

Ute Roemer, Georgia State University
This paper presents findings from a large-scale corpus study on the development of verb patterns in second language (L2) learners of English. It follows the lead of existing usage-based studies of L2 construction acquisition while considerably expanding their scope to hundreds of constructions and over 700,000 verb tokens. Using methods from Corpus Linguistics and Natural Language Processing, the study focuses on verb-argument constructions (VACs, e.g. the ‘V n n’ or ditransitive construction) and addresses the following research questions:
1. What are the first VACs acquired by beginning L2 learners of English?
2. How does the VAC repertoire of learners develop across proficiency levels?
3. How does the distribution of verbs in VACs in learner production develop across proficiency levels?
4. What role do formulaic sequences play in the L2 acquisition of VACs?
To address these questions, data on verbs and the constructions they occur in was exhaustively extracted from a dependency-parsed cross-sectional corpus of L2 writing. The corpus is a 6-million word subset of EFCAMDAT, the Education First-Cambridge Open Language Database, consisting of over 68,000 texts produced by L1 German and L1 Spanish learners at CEFR levels A1 through C1. Using a customized Python script, we generated frequency-sorted VAC and verb-VAC lists for each level and L1 (e.g., German_A1). We also extracted recurring multi-word clusters (spans 3, 4, and 5) around the 50 most frequent verbs in EFCAMDAT, together with information on frequency and cluster association strength (Mutual Information).
We will share selected results on verb construction development across learner proficiency levels. We expect to find an increase in VAC types, growth in VAC productivity and complexity, and a development from predominantly fixed sequences to more flexible and productive ones. The resulting findings help to expand our understanding of the processes that underlie construction acquisition in an L2 context.


Nicholas Groom, University of Birmingham, UK


Construction grammar is most strongly associated with cognitive linguistic theory and with research into language acquisition. In this paper, however, I demonstrate that construction grammar offers equally exciting opportunities to more socioculturally-oriented researchers, particularly those whose work focuses on identifying and analysing the meanings and values associated with particular discourse communities.

The potential power of construction-based approaches to sociocultural analysis was first demonstrated by Wulff et al (2007), who identified statistically significant differences in the ‘into-causative’ construction in American and British English. The paper asks why Wulff et al’s call for further research along similar lines has gone largely unheeded. It is proposed that a key reason may be that most current construction-based approaches are deductive in nature (i.e. the researcher decides which construction(s) to study), whereas socioculturally-oriented research is often exploratory in nature and thus more suited to inductive methods (i.e. where the aim is to discover which constructions are associated with a particular language variety or discourse community). The paper then proposes an adaptation of closed-class keywords analysis as a viable methodology for the inductive analysis of variety/discourse-specific constructions in large corpora. The remainder of the paper will provide a practical illustration of this approach, showing how corpus-based construction grammar can yield new insights into the relationship between phraseology (defined as preferred ways of saying) and epistemology (defined as preferred ways of knowing) in the specialized discourses of academic disciplines. The main empirical focus of the paper will be on a newly identified construction, the ‘WAY IN WHICH’ construction (as in This may have affected the way in which religious ideas were disseminated), and will draw on examples of this construction as it occurs in a large-scale corpus-based analysis of professional academic writing in the disciplinary discourses of history and literary criticism.

Closed-class keyword analysis (Groom 2010): the use of closed-class key words yields constructions of interest to the researcher

Phraseology can be repositioned as a discoursal rather than a lexicogrammatical phenomenon.

Florent Perek, University of Birmingham, UK
Amanda Patten


Identifying units of language that unite lexis and grammar as well as form and meaning offer substantial opportunities for resources for language learners. One such would be a ‘constructicon’: a listing of constructions adjusted to learner proficiency level. This paper argues for the use of two existing corpus-based descriptions of English that could be combined to form a constructicon: the grammar patterns identified as part of the COBUILD dictionary project, and the frames identified in the FrameNet project.

Grammar patterns focus on the complementation patterns commonly used with verbs, nouns and adjectives. FrameNet focuses on the roles associated with semantic frames. Although they differ in their scope and approach, both FrameNet and grammar patterns provide valency information as part of their output, but so far no attempt has been made to systematically compare and match this information. The present study fills this gap, focusing in particular on verbs. All argument realization information of verbs was extracted from FrameNet, resulting in a list of triplets of verb, semantic frame, and syntactic pattern. The FrameNet patterns were matched to the verb patterns listed in Francis et al. (1996) and the level of agreement quantified.

The paper demonstrates the use of FrameNet frames to add a semantic dimension to grammar patterns. Conversely, some verb classes defined by their occurrence with grammar patterns can help highlight relations between frames that are not recorded in FrameNet. We argue that matching FrameNet and grammar patterns can build a database of constructions, since semantically coherent set of frames paired with the syntactic realization of frame elements qualify as form-meaning pairs. This would complement the FrameNet Constructicon project (Fillmore et al. 2012) and make it more useful for learners, by focusing on frequent constructions rather than on idiosyncratic ones.

The % of COBUILD patterns in the Frame Net is < 50%.


Stefan Th. Gries, U. California, Santa Barbara


Fifteen years ago, Stefanow

+itsch and Gries introduced methods of measuring the co-occurrence of lexis and construction, identifying what are now called collostructions. Typically, these measures are based on a comparison of (i) the observed co-occurrence frequency of words with other words or constructions and (ii) the corresponding co-occurrence frequencies one would expect from a chance distribution. Examples for such measures include the log-likelihood ratio, MI, or the well-known chi-squared test. Researchers have thus studied the degree to which lexical items ‘like’ to occur in a specific construction (e.g., give, tell, show can be shown to be strongly attracted to the ditransitive construction) or which of two or more functionally similar constructions lexical items prefer (e.g., the will-future is associated more with low-dynamicity and general actions such as see, find, or know whereas the going-to future is associated more with dynamic and specific actions such as do, happen, or go). The observation of such preferred co-occurrences promise considerable improvements to information made available to language learners and teachers, as well as potentially modelling language acquisition processes.

While this approach has been very widely used and quite successful, its reliance on traditional association measures presents problems. First, these measures, unlike learning and comprehension, are bidirectional. Second, they confuse the potentially different effects of frequency and association. Third, the dispersion co-occurrences in the corpus are neglected, with the risk that seemingly high frequencies of underdispersed expressions skew the results.

In this paper, I outline remedies to these problems. I exemplify how unidirectional association measures (Delta P and the KL-divergence) better identify collostructions. I also include measures of dispersion of the collostructions, where corpus parts can be defined in terms of files or of (sub)registers. I exemplify the results for both rarer and more frequent constructions, specifically the ditransitive, the passive, and the will-future.

Towards a tuple-lization of corpus linguistics.

Frequency + association + dispersion


Prof Hunston:

The speaker´s internal model of language is driven by usage

Language is highly patterned

Units of meaning

Textual colligation / Grammar pattern / Local Grammar


-A unified theory of language

-Examples are easy to find but difficult to systematise

-Can the identification of constructions be systematised?

Applications: Measuring learner progress and others

Are patterns and constructions interchangeable? Hunston doesn´t think so. One pattern may have/represent different constructions as different meanings are possible, ie, V – n – for -n with the original grammar patterns will be online this week





EGP: investigating patterns of learner grammar development AAAL 2018 Chicago


The English Grammar Profile: investigating patterns of learner grammar development

Anne O´Keeffe, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick – 

Geraldine Mark, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick – 

Pascual Pérez-Paredes, University of Cambridge

Check out our handout here.



The English Grammar Profile:

Cambridge Learner Corpus:

Sketch Engine universal POS tags



Ellis, N. C. (2003). ‘Constructions, chunking, and connectionism: The emergence of second language structure’. In C. Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 33–68). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Ellis, N. C. (2012). “Formulaic language and second language acquisition: Zipf and the phrasal teddy bear”. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 32, 17-44.

Simpson-Vlach, R., & Ellis, N. C. (2010). An Academic Formulas List (AFL). Applied Linguistics, 31, 487–512.

Ellis, N. C., Römer, U. & O’Donnell, M. B. (2016). Usage-based Approaches to Language Acquisition and Processing: Cognitive and Corpus Investigations of Construction Grammar. Language Learning Monograph Series. Wiley-Blackwell.

Larsen-Freeman, D. (2006).  “The emergence of complexity,  fluency, and accuracy in the oral and written production of  five Chinese learners of English”. Applied Linguistics, 27(4), 590–619.

Milton, J., & Meara, P. (1995). “How periods abroad affect vocabulary growth in a foreign language”. ITL Review of Applied Linguistics, (107–08), 17–34.

O’Keeffe, A., & Mark, G. (2017). “The English Grammar Profile of learner competence: Methodology and key findings”. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 22(4), 457-489.

Römer, U., O’Donnell, M. B., & Ellis, N. C. (2014). “Second language learner knowledge of verb–argument constructions: Effects of language transfer and typology”. The Modern Language Journal, 98(4), 952-975.

Thewissen, J. (2013). “Capturing L2 accuracy developmental patterns: Insights from an error-tagged learner corpus”. The Modern Language Journal, 97(S1), 77–101.

#CFP AAAL 2017 Portland “Applied Linguistics and Transdisciplinarity”


The 2017 conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) will be held at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland, Oregon. Nationally and internationally, the AAAL conference has a reputation as a comprehensive and stimulating conference including in-depth colloquia and paper sessions, topical and thought-provoking plenary presentations, excellent book exhibits, and plentiful opportunities for networking. The theme for the 2017 AAAL Conference is “Applied Linguistics and Transdisciplinarity”.

Access the information here.

Submission Deadline: August 17, 2016, 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time