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AESLA 2016 is pleased to welcome the following plenary speakers who have already confirmed their participation:

Ken Hyland

Universidad de Hong Kong

Specificity and English in the disciplines

In 2012 Hong Kong totally reformed its educational system by removing a year from students’ school experience and adding it to their time at university. For those of us responsible for English language provision it presented an opportunity to reconsider the kind of English that we should be teaching and how we might create courses which best prepared students for their studies. At Hong Kong University we decided to redesign our courses to focus on “English in the Discipline”. This recognizes that because the conventions of academic communication differ considerably across disciplines, identifying the particular language features, discourse practices, and communicative skills of target groups becomes central to teaching English in universities. Teachers therefore had to become researchers of the genres they teach and to devise courses around the principle of ‘specificity’. In this presentation I talk a little about this process, but mainly discuss the principles of disciplinary specific language on which it is based, drawing on my research over the last decade to highlight the disciplinary-specific nature of writing and argue for a specific view of teaching EAP.

Maurizio Gotti 

Universidad de Bergamo, CERLIS, Centro di Ricerca sui Linguaggi Specialistici.

Interdisciplinary Cooperation in the Analysis of Specialized Discourse: Challenges and Prospects

The purpose of this paper is to investigate some of the challenges and prospects connected with interdisciplinary cooperation in the analysis of specialized discourse. In the last few decades, the ESP literature has often underlined the importance of this type of collaboration, highlighting the usefulness of the integration of methodological diversity, the exploration of possible connections among procedures and knowledge in order to achieve more focused interpretation and purposeful action. This interdisciplinary process is considered fundamental to better understand how practitioners use language to achieve the objectives of their professions. However, this collaborative experience may also present serious challenges both to the applied linguist and the expert professional, which can only be faced by means of a careful alignment of the specialist’s perspective with the analyst’s approach, and a continuous process of feedback and triangulation that guarantees inter-analytic reliability of the research project. This negotiation of the findings also avoids the insurgence of the practitioners’ skepticism towards the research results and therefore their limited impact on professional practice.

Juana M. Liceras

University of Ottawa, Canada and Nebrija University 

Bilingüismo simultáneo y bilingüismo secuencial: las distintas facetas de nuestro “Imitation Game”

La identificación y definición de lengua dominante y la identificación de las áreas en que se produce influencia interlingüística (transferencia) así como la direccionalidad de la misma son dos problemas centrales de la investigación de la adquisición bilingüe y de la interacción de las lenguas en contacto. Abordamos aquí ambos problemas a partir del análisis de datos espontáneos y experimentales que ponen de manifiesto cómo las diferencias y similitudes de las lenguas y los contextos en que se adquieren marcan el proceso de adquisición bilingüe. La presentación de la problemática se llevará a cabo utilizando una metáfora basada en la propuesta que Turing (1950) bautizó como “imitation game”. A partir de esta metáfora se discuten propuestas de aprendibilidad basadas en análisis lingüísticos y psicolingüísticos y dirigidas a identificar los problemas que presenta el análisis de datos a la hora de predecir y explicar si el concepto de lengua dominante constituye un factor a tener en cuenta en la presencia y direccionalidad de los procesos de influencia interlinguística. 

Lynne Bowker 

University of Ottawa, Canada

Disintermediation and the language professions: Exploring the effects on specialized discourse

Disintermediation is giving the user or the consumer direct access to information that otherwise would require a mediator, such as a librarian, a doctor, or a translator. Web-based technologies (e.g. search engines, machine translation systems) give users the power to access information that was previously accessible only to specialists. In some cases this might remove the need for the mediator (librarian, doctor, translator), but at the very least, it changes the relationship between the user and the product (e.g. text). For instance, the notions of terminologization and de-terminologization, where lexical items move from language for general purposes into language for specific purposes, or vice versa, are both susceptible to the effects of disintermediation. Another example is online searching using natural language keyword queries. Are users choosing appropriate search terms to identify specialized information, and how effective are the resulting searches? In this presentation, we will explore the social process of disintermediation in the language professions, focusing in particular on ways in which this phenomenon is affecting specialized professional and academic discourse.

Pascual Cantos Gómez 

University of Murcia

No hay lingüística sin matemáticas

La lingüística y las matemáticas se han considerado, tradicionalmente, dos áreas científicas muy alejadas entre sí, con metodologías de difícil convergencia. No fue hasta los años 40 cuando se propiciaron los primeros modelos lingüístico-matemáticos tanto de carácter algebraico, como estadístico; véase, por ejemplo, la Ley de Zipf que establece la relación entre la frecuencia de una palabra y su rango, o más recientemente la formalización matemática del proceso de regularización de los verbos irregulares (Lieberman y Michel, 2007). En esta ponencia analizamos la sinergia de algunos métodos cuantitativos y estadísticos con la lingüística (lexicografía, lingüística clínica y forense, lingüística aplicada, etc.) a fin de conocer su potencial utilidad, a la vez que explorar los límites de esa contribución simbiótica.


34th AESLA International Conference (AESLA 2016)

Universidad de Alicante
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