Penn State to be host for international Second Language Research Forum

October 05, 2004

University Park, Pa. -- From Oct. 14-16, Penn State will be host for this year's Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), an internationally renowned conference organized by graduate students that brings together researchers in second-language acquisition from around the world.

The theme of this year's conference, "Convergence and Collage," captures the diversity of perspectives on second-language acquisition found at Penn State within applied linguistics and the language sciences. Applied linguistics focuses on the application of findings from linguistics and other fields (such as anthropology, education, psychology and sociology) to better understand foreign- and second-language teaching and learning and the social contexts in which they occur. The language sciences use experimental and formal methods to gain insights into the cognitive and linguistic basis of second-language acquisition.

SLRF will be host to three internationally renowned speakers. The plenary lectures are at Days Inn Penn State in State College and open to the public.

-- Ellen Bialystok, distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Canada., on "Becoming Literate: Does Bilingualism Change Anything?" at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. Her research found that older adults who had grown up bilingual had quicker minds when tested than did people who spoke only one language. The research suggests that such brain activity could help forestall mental deterioration associated with aging.

-- Juana M. Liceras, professor of Spanish and linguistics at University of Ottawa, on "Linguistic theory and L2 research: the 'feature land' challenge," at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15. She has been an active researcher focusing among other things on the acquisition of Spanish and on Spanish syntax.

-- Gabriele Kasper, professor of applied linguistics at University of Hawai'i, on "Conversation Analysis for SLA: One Flower or Many?" at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16. Her research interests include sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic aspects of interlanguage pragmatics, especially development, instruction and research methods in pragmatics.

More information is at the Second Language Research Forum Web site at

Faculty and graduate students at Penn State in the Department of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, the Language Departments and the Department of Psychology jointly are sponsoring the 2004 SLRF meeting.The Penn State graduate student coordinators of the conference are Stefanie Rehn Jordan and Jon Reinhardt from the Department of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, and Tracy Cramer from the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Faculty advisers include Paola (Giuli) Dussias, assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics; Nuria Sagarra, assistant professor of Spanish and second-language acquisition; and Judith Kroll, the liberal arts research professor of psychology and linguistics.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 28, 2017