SLRF 2007

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host the 30th annual Second Language Research Forum on October 11th - October 14th, 2007.

About SLRF

The Second Language Research Forum (SLRF) is a prestigious and internationally renowned conference which brings together researchers in second language acquisition (SLA) from all over the world. It is the premier conference on SLA in North America providing a venue for established scholars and graduate students to present work on a wide variety of theoretical and empirical issues in SLA including cognitive, linguistic and sociolinguistic SLA research conducted in both laboratory and classroom settings.

Conference Theme

The theme of SLRF 2007 is "Second Language Acquisition and Research: Focus on Form and Function". In order to explore the myriad ways in which learners map the forms they acquire to the functions that the forms are required to serve, research presented at this conference will highlight the interconnections and interfaces between form and function in SLA research and practices. It will also explore the implications of these interfaces for second language pedagogy.

Invited Speakers

Gabriele Kasper, University of Hawai'i at Manoa,

Silvina Montrul, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,

James Purpura, Teachers College, Columbia University,

Lydia White, McGill University,

SLRF 2007 Colloquia and Workshop

Understanding the interlanguage systems of heritage language learners
A growing trend in L2 programs and classrooms in North America, Europe and Australia is the increasing presence of immigrants or their children who wish to learn, relearn, or preserve their native language and culture. These are heritage speakers of minority languages who come to L2 classrooms with different degrees of command of the language depending on a variety of sociolinguistic circumstances. Although these speakers possess notable and empirically verified linguistic strengths due to early exposure to the language, in other ways their linguistic abilities are comparable to those of L2 learners with no exposure to the language and culture. To date, there is very little systematic research which seeks to understand the complex linguistic profile of these speakers. This colloquium seeks to begin to fill this gap by extending current SLA theories and empirical methods to the study of this population. Questions that this colloquium will address are: 1)What theoretical approaches within first, second or bilingual acquisition can best account for the linguistic competence and performance of these speakers? 2) What are the linguistic strengths and gaps that these learners possess in comparison to typical postpuberty L2 learners? 3) How are these strengths and gaps explained? 4) Is formal instruction successful to help these speakers overcome linguistic gaps and become full speakers of the heritage language? 5) If so, what type of instruction is most effective to help heritage learners acquire or bring back aspects of the heritage language grammar acquired early in childhood? We hope that some of the answers to these questions can be found in the variety of approaches available within the general field of language acquisition.

Recent trends in generative L2 acquisition
The talks in this colloquium address L2 acquisition from a generative perspective, with special attention to the following issues: (1) Are L2-learners capable of acquiring aspects of the target language that are not instantiated in the L1 and/or not subject to explicit instruction? (2) What predictions do current lingustic theories make for the state of Interlanguage Grammar, and are these predictions supported by empirical data? (3) Do L2-learners show sensitivity to deep syntactic, semantic, or morphological rules that cannot be deduced from the input alone? (4) Are L2-learners' errors random or constrained by linguistic rules? These issues are examined in light of access to Universal Grammar; domains under discussion include tense/aspect, inflectional morphology, scope, and article semantics.

CA-Workshop: Data session and discussion
This workshop brings together CA researchers (and those interested in CA) for a data session on learner data. We envision a follow-up discussion of topics such as learnability and CA, CA for SLA, the acquisition of vocabulary, grammar, and pragmatics. Data and transcripts will be provided.

SLRF 2007 Sponsors

Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
Illinois Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)
School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics
Department of Linguistics
Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese
Division of English as an International Language
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Department of French
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures