Technology for Second Language Learning Conference

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20 al 21/10/2023

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AI-powered technologies have made natural language recognition and generation more accessible than ever before, opening up new possibilities for applied linguistics research and practice. Like previous advances in digital tools powered by natural language processing, hypermedia, microcomputers, large databases, networking, virtual reality, and wireless technologies, AI tools invite professionals in applied linguistics to imagine new ways of teaching, learning, assessing, and researching language. Unlike previous advances, however, AI tools such as intelligent chatbots and spoken dialog systems appear to forecast a seismic shift in practices in the field.

The language capacities of these new tools call for exploration of their potentials for new learning and assessment. They also require inquiry into the skill set required of language learners and test takers who have access to them. AI-powered bots for language learning and assessment might, for example

  • Act as a partner in an interactive dialog
  • Evaluate students’ language production based on rules or a rubric
  • Provide comprehensive grammatical feedback on students’ texts
  • Guide students’ writing processes to increase the comprehensibility of their texts
  • Generate level-appropriate texts on requested topics
  • Compose example texts for teaching and learning genre-appropriate moves
  • Identify textual cues indicating a writer’s affective and epistemic stances

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Technology for Second Language Learning (TSLL) conference at Iowa State University, we invite abstracts describing research investigating the potentials, uses, and implications of AI technologies for language teaching, learning, assessment, and research. The conference theme, “Advancing Technologies – Expanding Research,” signifies the multiple strands of research and practice in applied linguistics affected by current and future AI technologies.

We are particularly interested in work connected to one or more of the following strands of applied linguistics research at Iowa State University:

  • Data-driven language learning
  • Technology in project-based learning
  • Feedback on writing processes and products
  • Learning and assessment of spoken language
  • Language assessment design and validation
  • Language teacher education

We are particularly interested in exploratory studies using design-based, qualitative, and mixed-methods research to reveal insights into the linguistic, learning, and performance dimensions of AI technologies for language teaching, learning, assessment, and research.

Abstracts proposing papers related to the theme are invited for the conference to be held in hybrid format at Iowa State University on October 20-21, 2023.

Types of Sessions:  Abstracts are invited for four types of sessions. Please note the abstract requirements and evaluation criteria for each type of submission.

Individual Papers: Formal presentations making a scholarly contribution of original knowledge to the field. Presentations will be 15 minutes followed by five minutes for discussion. The abstract should be no longer than 300 words including references. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the contents of the presentation.

Colloquium: Several presentations on a single theme to be presented in a 90-minute block of time. Typically, colloquia include four or five presentations with an introduction to the topic and possibly followed by a commentary, but the proposers can design the session as they see fit. The abstract should be no more than 700 words including references, and each contribution should be included in the abstract. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, the coherence of the multiple abstracts in developing the colloquium topic, the apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the contents of the session (including the timing for each presentation).

Posters: Presentation of a scholarly contribution in which visuals play an important role (e.g., demonstration of a short video, interactive software, report of empirical research with graphic models and data displayed in tables).  Poster presenters will be assigned an hour during the conference when their poster will be available to conference participants. Presenters should plan a short description to provide visitors, who will then engage in discussion about the poster. The abstract for a poster should be no longer than 200 words including references. Posters are a good opportunity to present interactively with a small audience eager to learn about the poster topic. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the poster contents.

Round Tables: Discussion of issues raised for the field by open AI tools.  Round tables will be assigned a 30-minute time slot for discussion by more than two people.  Round tables are useful for inviting participants’ ideas on topics such as the use of AI tools in teaching and research, questions about AI tools in need of investigation, and reflections about the impact of AI tools on the field. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the contribution of each member.

Submission: The site for submissions is now available here: https://bit.ly/TSLL23Abstract. Submissions are accepted up to May 31st, 2023.

Modality of presentations:  The conference will be held in hybrid format. Presentations are planned for in person and remote delivery depending on the wishes of the presenter. Presenters are requested to make a decision about their desired format at least 15 days prior to the conference. Presentations delivered in person on-site will be streamed live. The schedule will also include social and networking opportunities for both in-person and remote participants.

Registration: All presenters must register for the conference. There is no registration fee.

Conference Committee:  Carol A. Chapelle, Gulbahar Beckett, and Jim Ranalli

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