BAAL Annual Meeting 2015


The updated conference programme and poster list is now available under the Programme link below.

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About BAAL 2015

The focus of this  ‘breaking theory’ conference is to critique current theories and, crucially, to engage in creating new ways of imagining, theorising and practising applied linguistics.

BAAL 2015 will be held at Aston University in the heart of Birmingham.  It is organised  by CfL (Centre for Forensic Linguistics) CLERA (Centre for Language Education Research at Aston) and  InterLanD (Interdisciplinary Research into Language and Diversity), and hosted by the School of Languages and Social Sciences. 

All Delegates

Delegates have to be a member of BAAL to present at the conference.  

You can join BAAL at:

You will need your BAAL membership number to register for the conference, which you will receive following the payment of your BAAL membership fee.

This process might take some time so we advise you to join up as soon as you can!   


Our programme slots are 30 minutes long, but presentations are strictly 20 minutes.   

There will be 5 minutes for questions and 5 minutes for changeover.

There is a PC, screen and/or projector in all session rooms. However, to help with the running of the sessions: 

a)    Delegates are kindly requested to upload their power point presentation during the breaks prior to their talk, and not during room change.

b)    Delegates presenting on Thursday are requested to upload their power point upon arrival in the morning. Please enquire at registration desk

c)    You do not need your own computer as AV facilities are standard in our rooms (including sound). If you would like to use MACs please make sure you bring your VGA display adaptors, though we strongly encourage you to bring a copy of your work in PC compatible form.


1. The Poster Boards, which will be located in the Main Hall, are 2m X 1m in size.  A0 size is recommended for landscape posters.  2 x A1 can be used for portrait posters.

2. Presenters are requested to set up their posters on Thursday Sept 3rd, before the Opening Ceremony, leave them for the duration of the conference, and remove them at the end.

3. Presenters who wish to provide a take away summary, flyer, or contact card are requested to provide a container, folder or envelope for these.

4. Presenters are requested to be present at the poster during one of the POSTER SESSIONS on the Conference programme. They may wish to indicate on the poster the period (say 30-45 minutes) when they will be available for discussion.

6. The Richard Pemberton Prize will be given to the best poster presented at the conference. The Postgraduate Liaison Officer and two other members of the EC will judge the posters and determine who the winner should be. The winner receives a copy of the winning BAAL book-prize entry.

Call for papers and submission guidelines

One definition of theoretical and linguistic creativity is when the rules of language are bent, distended or stretched to breaking point.  Language is only creative when we break the rules: change grammatical order, use ingenious metaphors, puns and wordplay.  Similarly, with linguistic theory.  We only move on as a discipline when a theorist contests received wisdoms, entrenched paradigms, and established methods. The focus of this 'Breaking theory' conference is to critique current theories and, crucially, to engage in creating new ways of imagining, theorising and practising applied linguistics.

We especially welcome papers that question orthodox schools of thought in our field, and help us to think beyond them.  As a profession, we will look to the future to speculate what the new directions in applied linguistics might be.  Abstracts are welcome in any area of applied linguistics and should be interesting and innovative in some way.  They should be scholarly and of academically good quality and indicate clearly objectives, method(s), and results where appropriate. Abstracts which address the conference theme will be particularly welcome.


To submit your abstract please follow the steps below:

  1. Click on ‘Submit papers' button on the right.  Then click on 'create an account’ to register with the system. You will be sent an e-mail to confirm your account registration.  Click on the link to confirm the account, allowing you to proceed to the next stage of the submission process.
  2. Go back to the abstract submission page, log in to the submission system and start the submission process by clicking on the 'New Submission' tab.  An e-mail confirmation of receipt of abstract will be sent to you immediately. Your contact details will be included in the book of abstracts unless you opt out during the submission process.

If you are unable to submit your abstract online, contact


  • Title in Times New Roman 12 (do not use all caps, no bold print)
  • Text 300 words maximum (including references, if any)
  • Times New Roman 12 
  • Align text left, single-spaced
  • Do not use any special fonts, such as bold print or caps (italics fine)
  • Do NOT add tables, photos, or diagrams to your abstract
  • Do NOT indent your paragraphs, leave one space between paragraphs instead
  • Please prepare a blinded abstract (i.e. do not refer to your own work as your own)

Abstract type

Indicate the type of abstract that you are submitting during the submission process:

Individual presentation for parallel sessions Individual papers have 25 minutes:
  • 20 minutes for the presentation
  • 5 minutes for questions
Special Interest Group (SIG) track presentation If you believe your paper is of interest to a SIG track, you may want to submit it to one of the SIG tracks (all individuals, whether or not officially SIG members, are eligible). The SIG may then wish to include your paper in a track at the annual meeting. Submitting your abstract to a SIG track may or may not lead to your paper being included in a SIG track and has no impact on abstract acceptance to the conference. BAAL has nine Special Interest Groups. They are:
  • Linguistic Ethnography Forum
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Language Learning and Teaching
  • Language in Africa, Gender and Language
  • Vocabulary Studies
  • Testing, Evaluation and Assessment
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Language and New Media
Poster We encourage the submission of abstracts for posters, and continue to regard them as a valuable contribution to conference. All posters will be listed in the book of abstracts, and there will be a dedicated area and time slot for discussion of poster presentations. There will also be a £50 prize for best poster displayed at the conference.
Colloquium presentation Colloquium introduction and individual papers within the colloquium must be submitted separately, due to technical constraints. The organiser of the colloquium should first submit the colloquium title and introduction along with an overview of paper titles in the colloquium (max 450 words). The paper abstracts of the colloquium should then be submitted by the the individual authors  entitled "Paper X of colloquium title: paper title" followed by the abstract (max 300 words per abstract). Authors should  tick the checkbox "Colloquium" when prompted. Colloquia have half a day and a minimum of four papers.

Colloquia proposers should plan their half day in four slots, in step with the individual paper slots. If they wish to have a larger number of papers, they may fit two papers into what would normally be a single slot. Colloquia papers should cohere. The order of the papers should not be changed after acceptance.

SIGs may also choose to submit a colloquium: please indicate after the colloquium title if you are submitting on behalf of a SIG.

Conference prizes:

Poster prize - A prize will be given to the best poster presented at the conference. The local organising committee will select poster prize judges from the plenary speakers and leaders of invited colloquia. The winner receives £50.

The Richard Pemberton best postgraduate paper prize - The postgraduate development and liaison co-ordinator together with an ordinary member of the BAAL Executive Committee will draw up a short list and co-ordinate judges for the Richard Pemberton best postgraduate paper prize. The winner receives £50.

All presenters have to be BAAL members by the time they register for the conference.

Download BAAL 2015 call for papers

BAAL is offering up to four full conference scholarships for students or early career researchers (defined as persons who are within 2 years of PhD completion) from any institution, who have had a paper or poster accepted for the 2015 Annual Meeting and who would otherwise be unable to attend. An additional scholarship, the Chris Brumfit scholarship, is usually targeted at delegates from outside Britain who would not otherwise have funds to attend the BAAL Annual Meeting. The scholarships cover up to £1,000 of costs, including the conference fee, accommodation and travel. BAAL does not provide additional living subsidies when the sponsored scholar is at the conference.

Applicants should submit an abstract in the usual way, indicating clearly on their submission that they wish to be considered for a scholarship, and which one (students/ early career researchers or Chris Brumfit). Additionally, scholarship applicants are required to complete an application form, including a short paragraph explaining why they should be considered for an award and two full references. Candidates may apply for more than one scholarship but only one award can be made to any individual.

» Indicates required fields

Have you received any other grants or scholarships for your studies?
Have you been awarded a BAAL scholarship before?
Have you attended a BAAL Annual Meeting before?
Please also indicate whether you would like to be considered for the Chris Brumfit scholarship?
Enjoy Birmingham

Aston is ideally situated for all the Second City has to offer in culture, shopping and entertainment. You can listen to world-class music at Symphony Hall, explore the unique collection of Pre-Raphaelite art at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and enjoyclassic and contemporary drama  at the newly-refurbished Birmingham Repertory Theatre.  Or why not visit the recently opened Library of Birmingham, voted Britain's favourite new building.

Birmingham is famous for its Bull Ring Shopping Centre, and is also home to exciting markets and the dazzling Jewellery Quarter.  It has a great food scene, including Birmingham's Balti Triangle, and a wide range of eating options in the beautiful canal area.  Conference accommodation is in the new Aston Conference Centre, within easy reach of all the conference events.  We promise a memorable social programme to include our gala dinner at Aston Villa football ground and entertainment with a regional flavour.

Getting here
Things to do in Birmingham

If you require parking, please book in advance:

The campus is very compact and all car parks are close to the venue: car park 3 is the closest to the meeting suites, Car park 4 is the closest to the hotel.

More things you need to know about Birmingham

A tour of the new Library of Birmingham - the biggest library in Europe

10 things you probably didn't know about Aston University's campus

Explore Birmingham's cultural quarter

Birmingham is named "one of the top 10 cities in the world"

A flyover of Birmingham on a sunny day

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Forensic Linguistics

The Centre for Forensic Linguistics at Aston University is the first of its kind in the world. We combine leading-edge research and investigative practice with teaching and training in forensic linguistics. Research at the Centre involves all aspects of forensic linguistics from how the police and the courts can best work with interpreters to the development and refinement of methods for identifying the author of disputed forensic texts. We have published widely and have lectured about our research in some 30 countries. Through high-quality research, we ensure that our undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses, as well as our investigative work, have a solid academic foundation.

An interdisciplinary, multilingual group of researchers – academic staff and research students – who work in the field of language and language education research. The main aim of CLaRA is to build on Aston’s longstanding expertise in research into language education, modern foreign languages, applied and sociolinguistics by promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and establishing national and international networks and partnerships.

Interland Square
InterLand is an innovative research centre that builds on the extensive expertise of Aston researchers by bringing together linguistic, social, cultural, economic, environmental, political, management and marketing perspectives. It emphasises interaction, partnership and engagement with policymakers, businesses and local communities as both co-producers and users of knowledge. The Centre is a launch-pad for ‘new frontier’ research into diversity, and its researchers are engaged in work that will shape future thinking and pioneer practices that will have a significant impact on diverse societies.

British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day. 

Date: 3-5 September 2015
Venue: Aston University
Tel: 0120 204 2836

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