Center for Language Acquisition at the Pennsylvania State University



SCT & SLL Research Working Group:  XXth Annual Meeting


20th Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning Research Working Group Meeting



September 26-28, 2013


The XXth annual SCT & SLL Research Working Group Meeting was hosted by the Center for Language Acquisition and the Center for Advanced Language Proficiency Education and Research (CALPER) at Penn State University Park. 


This three-day event featured hour-long sessions involving 20-minute presentations of scholarly works in progress, followed by intensive audience feedback and discussion.  Presenters and attendees hailed from a wide range of institutions and countries.


The full schedule of events is available here.  Further information about the SCT & SLL Research Working Group, as well as links to previous years' meeting schedules, is available at   Questions regarding past and future program events may be sent to


Alternative Approaches to SLA


Saturday, May 11, 2013

8 a.m-8 p.m.

Nittany Lion Inn, Penn State University Park Campus

Boardroom 1


Invited Participants:


Dwight Atkinson (Purdue), Co-organizer
Heidi Byrnes (Georgetown)
Patsy Duff (British Columbia)
Nick Ellis (Michigan)
Joan Kelly Hall (Penn State)

James Lantolf (Penn State), Co-organizer

Diane Larsen-Freeman (Michigan)

Eduardo Negueruela (Miami)

Bonny Norton (British Columbia)

Lourdes Ortega (Georgetown)

John Schumann (UCLA)

Elaine Tarone (Minnesota)




We thank Dr. Xiaofei Lu, Gil Watz Early Career Professor, for his generous co-sponsorship of this event.



Dialogue and Dementia:   Preserving Personhood Through Better Communication


April 29-May 1, 2011

124 Sparks Building

Penn State University Park


The Center for Language Acquisition sponsored a workshop on how patterns of communication affect interactional responsiveness, cognitive functioning, and identity among Alzheimer's patients.  The workshop featured presentations from prominent scholars in clinical linguistics, applied linguistics, and linguistic anthropology, including:


Dr. Boyd Davis (University of North Carolina-Charlotte)

Exploring characteristics and functions of retained story fragments in talk by persons with probable MCI/early, moderate and later dementia: A corpus-based investigation


Dr. Jacqueline Guendouzi (Southeastern Louisiana University)

The use of formulaic language in conversations with people with dementia


Dr. Heidi Hamilton (Georgetown University)

From support group to theater stage: Communicating experiences with Alzheimer's Disease


Dr. Margaret Maclagan and Dr. Boyd Davis

How long does it take to answer a question? Response times across the range from normal to mild cognitive impairment to dementia


Dr. Lisa Mikesell (University of California–Los Angeles)

Displays versus demonstrations: Exploring notions of agency in the interactions of individuals with Frontotemporal Dementia


Zaneta Mok (University of Louisiana-Lafayette) and Dr. Nicole Muller (UL-Lafayette)

The linguistic construction of interpersonal processes in dementia: An application of Systemic Functional Linguistics


Dr. Charlene Pope (Medical University of South Carolina)

Positioning and membership categorization in the monoracial and interracial interactions of persons with dementia

Dr. Robert Schrauf (Pennsylvania State University-University Park)

Ethnolinguistic devices for ‘positioning’ the patient with dementia: African American Vernacular English, Mexican Spanish, and Russian




PAALC 2010 Graduate Research Symposium


January 22-23, 2010


The CLA hosted the first Pennsylvania Applied Linguistics Consortium (PAALC) 2010 Graduate Research Symposium, "Bridging Theory and Practice in Applied Linguistics," on January 22-23, 2010.  The symposium took place on the Penn State University Park campus.  The symposium was a venue for graduate students in Applied Linguistics from across the state of Pennsylvania to interact with fellow researchers, to present their academic research, to generate ideas for future projects and collaborations, and to receive useful feedback on their current work from peers and experts in their areas of research.


 The agenda for the symposium included individual paper presentations by graduate students from all PAALC member institutions:  Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University of Pennsyvlania, Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, and Temple University.  A screening of the documentary film The Linguists was also included in the program.




Diaspora and Language


April 10-11, 2009


Sponsored by the Migration Studies Project and the Center for Language Acquisition, with support from the Department of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State University


Keynote lectures were delivered by the following distinguished scholars:

1. Arthur Spears, Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

2. Valentine E. Daniel, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

3. Jo Anne Kleifgen, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.

In addition, faculty members from diverse departments of PSU (e.g., Comparative Literature, Labor Studies, African and African American Studies, Latino/a Studies, History, Women's Studies, and the Asian Studies Program) presented papers organized in four panels, focusing on areas such as Literature and Arts, Labor Relations, Culture and Identity, History, and Health. The conference also included the presentation of narratives from students at Penn State with multicultural family backgrounds reflecting on their diapora connections and identities, for which prizes were awarded.



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