Networking and applying linguistics 1

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The Finnish Association of Applied Linguistics (AFinLA) organizes an annual autumn symposium. The symposium is this year organized by the School of Languages and Translation Studies at the University of Turku. We expect to have more than 100 participants listening to plenaries, presentations and workshops on applied linguistic topics.

The association is an important networking tool for anyone interested in applied linguistics. In addition to the symposium, AFinLA awards the annual Afinlandia prize for an excellent MA thesis within applied linguistics in Finland. Every three years an award is also given to an excellent PhD thesis.

To build networks between researchers interested in similar areas AFinLA has special interest groups (SIGs). At present, there are 5: Language Policies, Discourse Studies, Dialogic and Sociocultural Language Research, Assessment, and Teaching and Learning in a Foreign or Second Language. By becoming a member of AFinLA, you can also join the SIGs.

The membership fee in 2013 is 24 € (only 16 € for students!) – and if you pay only 10 € more, you also receive the AFinLA yearbook, which is published every autumn. It includes peer-reviewed articles of the top studies presented at the symposium. The yearbooks are a good way to see what is going on within applied linguistics in Finland. AFinla also has an electronic publication series AFinLA-e that also includes peer-reviewed papers that may not be directly related to the theme of the autumn symposium.

This year’s theme is Language Users of Tomorrow. This follows nicely from the earlier theme Language Learners of Today that was used when the symposium was last held in Turku. This also reflects linguistic thinking; we now are more and more interested in the future: What does language proficiency consist of in the future? What is the effect of digital environments? How does language use change in workplaces? Population is ageing, what are the effects on languages in society? Come and see!
Pekka Lintunen
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