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CASLA 2008 : Cognitive Approaches to Second Language Acquisition


When Mar 10, 2008 - Mar 13, 2008
Where University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Ge
Submission Deadline Sep 1, 2007

Call For Papers

32nd International LAUD Symposium

Call deadline:
September 1, 2007

Plenary speakers (confirmed):

Melissa Bowerman
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Nick Ellis
University of Michigan, USA

Susan Gass
Michigan State University, USA

Jeannette Littlemore
University of Birmingham, UK

Peter Robinson
Aoyama Gakuin University, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

John Taylor
University of Otago, New Zealand

Andrea Tyler
Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA

The psycholinguistic and cognitive processes underlying the learning of a
foreign or second language have always been a subject of major interest to
both (i) Second Language Acquisition (SLA) researchers and (ii)
practitioners involved in language pedagogy, i.e. Foreign Language Learning
(FLL). Most SLA theories have thus far assumed a top-down operation from
Universal Grammar to L1 and L2 grammars. Just as for first language
acquisition, it is assumed that, given sufficient input, a second language
system develops in the mind automatically. The L2 input is said to trigger
the language acquisition device, which is seen to operate quite
autonomously, that is, independently from and without any interaction with
other cognitive abilities or faculties such as bodily experiences, image
schemas, perception, attention, categorization, emotion, or still other
mental faculties.

The Symposium takes a radically opposing view in the sense that language
acquisition and learning can, like all human learning processes, only be
understood and explained if they are seen as bottom-up, exemplar-based and
usage-oriented processes. These can and have to be accommodated in a much
broader framework of how people interact with the world around them, store
and acquire knowledge in some symbolic form or other, and thus establish a
link between cognitive development and language acquisition.
The Symposium will explore the even more complex process of L2 learning and
acquisition from three different inroads:

(i) the cognitive theoretical foundations of language and learning,
(ii) the specific acquisition procedures followed by language learners, and
(iii) the rational pedagogic strategies required to facilitate and speed up
the acquisition and learning processes seen from the perspective of the
cognitive linguistics enterprise.
These will be explored in the following three theme sessions:

Theme Session 1:
Cognition and language: Theoretical frameworks and models
The first session examines the theoretical foundations of language,
language acquisition and language learning. A number of theories have
emerged from empirical research findings on second language learning and
language instruction.
In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- General: Second language acquisition theories and cognition
- Comparing and contrasting cognition in first and second language acquisition
- The relevance of conceptual knowledge for L2 learning and teaching
- Corpus linguistics, cognition and language pedagogy
- The nature and sequence of the form-meaning pairing
- Cognitive grammar and SLA
- Neuro-cognitive issues of language acquisition
- Process-oriented instruction of second languages by children and adults

Theme session 2:
The mental processes and acquisition procedures involved in SLA:
Case studies and empirical findings
A second goal of the symposium is to empirically investigate the mental
processes of language learners within the acquisition process such as the
role of attention as one of the basic explanations of language learning.
In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- Explicit learning, attention and awareness in SLA research
- Language awareness and motivation in FLT
- Cognition and interlanguage at all linguistic levels (phonological,
morpho-syntactic, lexical, constructional, pragmatic)
- The mental process of interlanguage development in SLA
- Interaction of gesture and speech in the development of metaphorical
- Formulaic language as the cornerstone of natural SLA
- Constructions infants and L2 learners live by

Session 3:
Cognitive language pedagogy: Pedagogical grammar, lexical expansion,
cultural fluency
The third and main theme of the symposium centers around the theoretical
model of cognitive linguistics, which represents a valid framework within
which FLL research may take place. Various implications for pedagogically
oriented research and for SL classroom practice will be discussed. The
contextual facets of CL including the social, cultural, and discourse
ingredients of language can be exploited for a communicative and
usage-based approach to language teaching in the classroom. 'Applied
Cognitive Linguistics', therefore, investigates the links between the
theoretical views of CL and their relevance for applications in the areas
of language acquisition, learning and pedagogy.
The specific goal here is to discuss the didactic potential field of CL in
the teaching and learning of second and/or foreign languages.
In particular, we invite abstracts on the following topics:

- The relevance of dynamic usage-based models in language acquisition
- Corpus-data in a usage-based cognitive grammar
- The acquisition-learning debate in the light of CL findings
- Culture-specific conceptualizations in an FLT context
- Figurative thinking and SLA
- Cognition and pragmatic development in a second language syllabus
- Cognitive-didactic approaches to the English verb phrase (TMA-system)
- Iconicity, construal and prototypicality in Pedagogical Grammars
- The issue of 'rules' from a cognitive-linguistics perspective
- Idiom and metaphor in lexical expansion and creativity
- From the internet corpus to usable learning materials;
- From classroom experiments to large-scale experimentation

Conference Fees
The conference fee is EUR 75 payable on arrival.

Deadline of submission
September 1, 2007
Submissions are solicited for theme session presentations which should last
for 20-25 minutes with 5-10 minutes for questions (maximum 30 minutes total)
All submissions for presentations should follow the abstract guidelines below.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words (about one page)
should be submitted via email to
Martin Pütz

The abstracts will be subject to anonymous peer-review.
Please include the following information in the subject header of your email:
Abstract LAUD 2008 - name/s -

Please include the following information in the main body of your email:
name of author/s, affiliation, email address, presentation title.

Please also state for which of the 3 theme sessions
of the symposium your contribution is intended:

Theme Session 1:
Cognition and language: Theoretical frameworks and models

Theme Session 2:
The mental processes and acquisition procedures involved in SLA:
Case studies and empirical findings

Theme Session 3:
Cognitive language pedagogy: Pedagogical grammar, lexical expansion,
cultural fluency

Notification of acceptance will be given by September 15, 2007.
A first draft version of your paper should be submitted by November 1,
2007, which will be reviewed and, if accepted, pre-published by LAUD and
distributed to all participants before March 2008.
Selected papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings.

More information on the city of Landau (1 hour by car south of
Frankfurt/Main and very close to the Alsatian border, France):
Landau or Landau in der Pfalz (pop. 41,821) is an autonomous (kreisfrei)
city surrounded by the Südliche Weinstra?e (''southern wineroute'')
district of southern Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is a university town
(since 1990), a long-standing cultural centre, and a market and shopping
town, surrounded by vineyards and wine-growing villages of the Palatinate
wine region. Landau lies east of the Pfälzer Wald, Europe's largest
contiguous forest (quoted from Wikipedia)

For more information on LAUD
(e.g. LAUD Symposium 2006, history, past symposia, conference proceedings
click here
Local Conference Organizer
Martin Pütz
University of Koblenz-Landau
Landau Campus
FB 6 Institut für Fremdsprachliche Philologien
Fach Anglistik
Marktstr. 40
D -76829 Landau/Pf.
PH: 06341-146-204
Fax: 06341-146-200

Organising committee members:
Sabine De Knop, René Dirven, Susanne Niemeier,
Martin Pütz, Monika Reif, Ulrich Schmitz,
Laura Sicola

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