British Association for Applied Linguistics,
56th Annual Conference

Wednesday 23 August – Friday 25 August 2023,
The University of York

The University of York

Welcome from the Local Organising Committee.

Opening Up Applied Linguistics.

In August 2023 we look forward to welcoming delegates to The University of York for the 56th Annual Conference of the British Association for Applied Linguistics. This year’s conference theme is “Opening up Applied Linguistics”. With this in mind, we aim to celebrate existing open research initiatives, which have led the way in transforming applied linguistics research by making it more accessible, transparent, reproducible and collaborative, to further realise principles of openness and inclusivity by representing a broader range of areas within applied linguistics, including but not limited to decolonizing language learning and teaching, language use in the digital age, and Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and to create an accessible and inclusive conference environment.

The conference is hosted by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language Education (CASLE) and the Department of Education at the University of York. CASLE (formerly CReLLU) is an interdisciplinary research centre that bridges theory and practice and explores practical questions relating to classroom-based teaching and learning as well as questions in second language acquisition. Colleagues in the Centre employ a wide range of methods and are at the forefront of efforts to develop infrastructure and communities underpinning open research and open scholarship, notably by ensuring that research materials are publicly available for inspection and reuse (IRIS), that research articles are physically and conceptually accessible to people outside academia (OASIS), and that researchers have access to the guidance, advocacy, and open educational resources necessary to work openly (EROS). The Department of Education at the University of York is also home to the National Centre for Excellence in Language Pedagogy (NCELP).

We welcome proposals for symposia and conceptual and empirical papers in any area of Applied Linguistics, broadly defined, as well as papers that relate to the theme of “Opening up applied linguistics”. Delegates are also encouraged, in their contributions, to showcase how they are engaging in open science. There are several ways in which delegates might do so. Most directly, delegates might submit a presentation or poster to the LOC symposium in which we plan to showcase open research initiatives. Additionally, participants may choose to submit to any of the other symposia, and share materials and outputs from any point in the research lifecycle via the 54th Annual Conference of BAAL OSF repository.

Key deadlines summarised

Thursday 29 September 2022
Abstract submission opens for symposia proposals

Extended to Wednesday 23 November 2022
Deadline for abstracts for symposia

Friday 16 December 2022
Symposia chairs notified of acceptance

Monday 30 January 2023
Abstract submission opens for individual paper proposals
Friday 17 March 2023
Deadline for abstracts for individual papers

Friday 5 May 2023
Authors notified of acceptance of individual papers

Wednesday 10 May 2023
Early-bird registration opens

Friday 16 June 2023
Early-bird registraion closes, normal registration opens

12 noon, Friday 4 August 2023
Normal registration closes

Wednesday 23 August – Friday 25 August 2023
BAAL 2023 Conference Dates

Plenary speakers

What’s so good about transparency? Decolonising Applied Linguistics for whom

Alison Phipps

University of Glasgow

Abstract: Attempts at decolonising, following the decolonial re-turn of recent years in social sciences, arts and humanities are predicated on a belief that justice will be served by attention to decolonial practices, ones interrogating the formation and history of knowledge; ones making amends. It’s not difficult to acknowledge that amends need making. The epistemic injustices of centuries of plunder, imperialism and enslavement together with the genocidal patterns which can attach to language mean the applied nature of linguistics becomes critically implicated in any decolonial attempt. In recent years there has been a strong move to interrogate applied linguistics from an anti-racist and also decolonial stance, including through my own work. All of this scholarship sits in what Spivak has called an ‘aporia’, or a ‘double bind’ with no hope of an exit. All paths lead nowhere. The ways are closed. In this theoretical, deconstructive, decolonial and practical plenary Alison Phipps will consider who might be served by the attempts to decolonise applied linguistics, not shirking the double binds, but also not settling for arguments and conceptualisations which cannot bear the weight of the task.  Through description and presentation of materials, and practice-led research from three decades of work, Alison will offer some resources for critical and creative thinking. To decolonise requires an application of attention learning from languages and languagings. But for this, the ideology of openness is insufficient. Through a presentation of work from low to middle income countries, and from work with those who seek asylum and are granted refuge, Alison will interrogate and interrupt the presumptions that rapidly create new norms.

Open scholarship in Applied Linguistics: Past, present, and future

Emma Marsden

University of York

Cylcia Bolibaugh

University of York

Meng Liu

Beijing Foreign Studies University

Abstract: Open scholarship aims to make the processes and products of research transparent, free, findable, and re-usable. It is relevant to every stage of research and draws in an enormous range of rationales, activities, infrastructures, and behaviours. In this plenary panel, we will consider the foundations, state-of-the-art, and future directions of open scholarship with particular reference to applied linguistics as well as looking beyond to our sister disciplines. The driving forces behind open scholarship can relate to economic, equality, diversity, scientific, and philosophical rationales. Reviewing these motivations, we highlight how each promotes different kinds of open scholarship practices, and we consider some of the early initiatives, such as IRIS, and their challenges. The current state of open science is then reviewed by examining specific practices that are more recently becoming established, such as OASIS, and institutional and association initiatives such as Educational Researchers for Open Science (EROS) and Open Applied Linguistics (an AILA Research Network). We discuss what these initiatives could mean for the quality and scope of applied linguistics work. These initiatives harbour great potential but they only mark the beginning of a long journey. Finally, we discuss what is needed going forward to ensure equitable and sustainable open scholarship, emphasising the need for grass roots initiatives, top-down infrastructure and mechanisms, a robust metascience to support evidence-informed interventions, and the need for the kinds of community action that the professional associations are well placed to offer. To fully realise the potential for open scholarship for improving the way we conduct and disseminate research, we must continue to experiment, evaluate and evolve. We hope our plenary panel serves as a catalyst for further discussion and action and inspires researchers from diverse backgrounds to journey—be it gradually or rapidly—towards a more open future. Colleagues interested in learning more are encouraged to join the  Local Organising Committee’s symposium workshop which will provide more practical insights into the practices discussed in the plenary.

Postdigital possibilities in Applied Linguistics

Ibrar Bhatt

Queen’s University Belfast

Abstract: During this plenary, I will attempt to outline the genealogy of the term postdigital, the various metaphors that have guided how the term has been conceptualised and employed, and use this understanding to provide a framework for potential developments in applied linguistics. Metaphors used within postdigital thought include the following theoretical ‘hooks’: That digitality is entwined or interwoven into the fabric of human life; Like air and drinking water, digitality is to be defined and noticed only by its absence rather than its presence; And that the postdigital is both a rupture and a continuation in existing theories about socio-technical relationships. While the impacts of digital media on various forms of semiotic practice have been a preoccupation within applied linguistics since the 1990s, much of this research, understandably, emphasised what was ‘new’ about language phenomena enabled by digital media. But the digital-analogue entwinement (Gourlay 2023) is one of many aspects of the postdigital condition and, for applied linguistics, perhaps its least important. The pandemic has shown how our physical health, and even our biological existence, is profoundly tied to digitality. Also, recent work on ‘postdigital theologies’ uncovers the embedded engagements between belief, spiritual practice and technology (Savin-Baden and Reader 2022). And studies on epistemologies of online deceit (including ‘fake news’ and populism; see MacKenzie et al 2021) have shown how digital platforms mediate politics, connect disparate groups, and allow for the rapid spread of ideas in ways that circumvent mainstream restrictions, and foster a sociolinguistic inter-dependence between politics, platforms and personal lives. All of these lines of postdigital inquiry, and many more, involve critical analyses of language at their various substrata and are thus central to an applied linguistics which must not remain in disciplinary isolation. In acknowledging the messy, entwined, and unpredictable nature of the socio-technical relationships that constitute linguistic practice today, I will suggest a more expansive view of ‘what counts’ as research in the field of applied linguistics (broadly defined). And that it needs to be ‘broadly defined’ is arguably the most significant aspect in a postdigital framing that offers new possibilities for inquiry and analysis.

Pitt Corder Lecturer

Opening up language education in the aftermath of the pandemic

Glenn Stockwell

Waseda University

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an enormous yet almost instantaneous shift in education—including, of course, language education—where lockdowns and school closures forced the vast majority of face-to-face teaching into remote modes on a global scale (e.g., Iglesias-Pradas et al., 2021). One of the outcomes of this shift was that technology became an indispensable part of most educational settings, but with little or no training, many teachers struggled to come to terms with conducting classes in an online format (Stockwell, 2022). This sudden upsurge in the use of technology in language education has no doubt resulted in a lowering of affective barriers towards it, but at the same time, it is led to a relatively narrow view of its potential applications, often restricted to the use of videoconferencing tools as a means of emulating face-to-face teaching. While some teachers and learners embraced the convenience of being able to teach flexibly in terms of time and place, many others experienced frustration and disillusionment with technology, yearning to return to face-to-face teaching as quickly as possible. Thus, in the aftermath of the pandemic, there are both teachers and learners who have come to view technology negatively based on their experiences as an inferior alternative to face-to-face teaching, often at the expense of the prospective opportunities for flexible and personalised learning that it can offer. In this presentation, I will talk about some ways forward to open up our language teaching and learning to understand the challenges and to capitalise upon the affordances of technology, including emerging AI technologies which have seen increased visibility in the post-pandemic period. The need for support across all levels of administration and sufficient training for teachers and learners is also discussed, as well as a potential roadmap for a way forward in a changing educational climate.

Conference Venue

University of York
Heslington West
YO10 5DD

The conference parallel sessions will take place within the Exhibition Centre and Spring Lane Building, located centrally on Heslington West. Exhibitors and Catering will be within the Exhibition Centre. The Exhibition Centre lies at the heart of the University, offering a lakeside setting, providing a unique venue which is just a short distance from the city of York.

The plenary sessions will take place in the Spring Lane Lecture Theatre within the  Spring Lane Building.

Accommodation will be available on campus at James College.

Getting to the conference

For detailed information on how to reach York by Rail/Air/Car please see here.

York Railway Station is a 15-minute taxi/bus journey (dependent on traffic) to the University of York. Taxis are available directly outside the station. Alternatively, the No. 66 bus will take you directly to the University of York, the 2023 timetables will be issued in due course.

Local Taxi Company Number – Streamline Taxis +44 (0)1904 656 565 or Fleetways +44 (0)1904 365 365

If you are arriving by car, please note that parking at the University of York is limited and where possible we encourage you to travel by public transport. Cashless pay and display parking is in place, see here for rates. As well as credit/debit card, payment can also be made via PayByPhone.

The following is a list of all pay & display car parks on the Campus.

• Car park North
• Car park Central (nearest to Spring Lane Building)
• Car park West (nearest to Exhibition Centre & James College)
• Car park South

Please see interactive campus map for location of all car parks on Campus West.

Accessible parking bays are available across campus, reserved for blue badge holders, see here for more information.

About York

Uncover 300 years of railway history, climb aboard restored locomotives and browse some of the 1 million train-related artefacts at the free National Railway Museum.

Whitby, the setting for Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and Haworth, the birth place of the Brontës, are a short journey by car, bus or steam train (as seen in the Harry Potter films) from York, across the dramatic scenery of the North York moors.

Please visit for more information and to plan your trip.

Contact the Local Organising Committee:

BAAL Conference 2023 Conference Secretariat
c/o Mosaic Events
Tower House
Mill Lane
Askham Bryan
YO23 3FS

Tel +44 (0) 1904 702165