Interdisciplinary Approaches to Multilingualism - I AM 2013

  • Conference Call
  • We would like to welcome you to ** I AM 2013 **, the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Multilingualism International Conference website. This conference is being hosted by the Language Research Centre (LRC) at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada running August 15-17, 2013.

    This first-of-its-kind conference seeks to bring together innovative, cutting-edge research and practice around multilingualism in three key areas:

    • second language pedagogy & literacy development
    • adult second language acquisition, and
    • developmental psycholinguistics

    By creating a space where policy-makers, researchers, administrators, educators, and graduate students can engage in dialogue in these areas, we hope to spark the fire that will lead to participants to become agents of change in their respective areas.

    All successful abstracts containing original research will be invited to submit their abstracts for full peer review for the upcoming Special Topic journal Frontiers in Language Science.

    In addition to the International Conference, there will be three additional opportunities for engagement:

    • Pre-Conference with invited speakers (August 15, 2013)
    • Block Week course (TBA, 2013)
    • Post-Conference publications, multimedia online toolkit, Wikis, and other media/resources

    This conference would not be possible without the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC).

    Keynote Speakers

    • Dr Jim Cummins: "To What Extent are Canadian Second Language Policies Evidence-Based? Reflections on the Intersections of Research, Theory, and Ideology."
    • Dr Craig Chambers: "Capturing the Mature Language User: Implications for (and from) Lifespan Approaches to Language Development"
    • Dr Tracey Derwing: "Adult Language Learners? Pronunciation: Can What Listeners Perceive Be Changed?


    The *iam2013* PreConference will offer an engaging, full day of sessions with some of the leading researchers in the fields of language acquistion, pedagogy and psycholinguistics. Participants can expect to come away from the workshops with a greater understanding of each of the fields individually, their relationships to one another and the potential for application to participants' own work, whether educator, researcher, graduate student, or policy maker.


    "Language Processing in Adults & Children" with Gary Libben – Brock University

    The goal of this workshop is to provide a basic overview of laboratory-based research into first language human language processing. In this session, Libben will discuss how language is processed in adults and children. He will provide insights into the types of questions we can ask/answer when we perform lab-based research and will discuss the pros and cons of new methodologies. Finally, he will discuss some of the recent findings of his own research into how words are stored in the lexicon and will discuss what this means for our studies of second language acquisition.

    "Myths around Bilingualism" with Antonella Sorace – University of Edinburgh

    Bilingualism is still surrounded by false beliefs and misunderstandings, even among the otherwise educated and scientifically-minded. Many people are ready to believe that handling two languages at the same time is too much of a burden for the infant's brain, or that the languages compete for resources in the brain at the expense of general cognitive development. In the preconference, Dr Sorace will discuss the results of research on bilingual development and cognition in order to raise awareness and promote the positive aspects of bilingualism.

    "Understanding Adult Second Language Acquisition" with Annie Tremblay - University of Kansas

    This workshop will provide participants with an overview of adult second language acquisition/learning, and juxtapose this research with that done on children. Whereas children are successful in their acquisition if it occurs before the age of three, adults rarely are, especially in the area of speech perception and pronunciation. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to perform some of the perceptual tasks Tremblay has used in her recent research. A second goal of the workshop will be to discuss the implications of lab-based research for classroom language learning.

    "New Approaches to Second Language Teaching" with Olenka Bilash - University of Alberta

    This workshop will provide an overview of some of the current methodologies prevalent in second language classrooms. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss fundamental concepts and issues relateed to second, bilingual or foreign language curriculum and pedagogy. We will be examining data from these teaching contexts and discussing implications for best classroom practices.

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