Programme

Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. This page provides details of presentations and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


  • The Interdependence of Language Teacher and Learner Wellbeing
    The Interdependence of Language Teacher and Learner Wellbeing
    Keynote Presentation: Sarah Mercer
  • CLIL – Consolidating Integration
    CLIL – Consolidating Integration
    Keynote Presentation: Phil Ball
  • Gender, Race and Other Factors: Being a Member of Multiple Communities
    Gender, Race and Other Factors: Being a Member of Multiple Communities
    Keynote Presentation: Keiko Sakui
  • Transforming passive TV viewing into language learning with AI
    Transforming passive TV viewing into language learning with AI
    Keynote Presentation: Masaya Mori

Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ACLL conferences via the links below.

The Interdependence of Language Teacher and Learner Wellbeing
Keynote Presentation: Sarah Mercer

Wellbeing is at the heart of a life well lived. Our emotions, health and general satisfaction dictate whether we flourish or flounder. In life more generally, and language education specifically, wellbeing should be centre stage and the fundamental foundation on which everything else is built. Teachers should be flourishing in their schools and professional roles, as should learners. In a class defined by positive wellbeing, everyone benefits – teachers are less at risk of burnout and tend to teach more creatively, and learners are typically more motivated and have higher levels of achievement. In this talk, I focus on the criticality of wellbeing, showing how and in what ways it impacts language learning and teaching. In particular, I show how teacher and learner wellbeing are interconnected through social relationships and processes of contagion with each impacting the other. As positive relationships are one of the defining pillars of wellbeing, we consider in more detail what the qualities of positive relationships are and how teachers and learners can improve their skills of relating to each other. We also reflect on data from a range of studies investigating teacher wellbeing and consider other key social and individual factors that contribute to teachers flourishing in their professional roles, which also impacts positively on learner wellbeing.

Read presenter biographies.

CLIL – Consolidating Integration
Keynote Presentation: Phil Ball

The title of this conference could not be more pertinent to a practitioner of CLIL (content and language integrated learning). CLIL arose in the mid’ 1990s as a support mechanism for subject teachers and their learners working in a language other than their mother tongues, a fact which immediately marked it as a movement independent of standard language teaching practice but nevertheless dependent on much of the methodological canon that ELT had developed up to that point. CLIL borrowed from the world of language education and yet its principal objective was not to teach language but rather to make use of it.

In CLIL, the interdependency between content and language is much healthier because language is being used at the service of conceptual and procedural knowledge, whereas in traditional ELT the content was the slave to the language objectives. It was probably never meant to be thus, and CLIL has gradually steered language teaching into the general educational fold, giving it new life and providing it with a role as the purveyor of subject-based discourse. Language teachers, who in the past were often independent but isolated in their schools are now more interdependent in their roles as language consultants and helpers. In an interesting counterpoint to the 1990s, when subject teachers were exhorted to borrow from language-teaching practice, now language teachers are paying more attention to the very different world of subject teaching, with its own set of methods and its varied discourse fields.

Content and language were always closely related. Any speech act requires their integration by default. Nevertheless, several educational approaches have done their best to keep them apart, by perpetuating the myth that language is an object of study in itself, and that content needs no focus on the particular language that sustains it. CLIL makes sense of the integration, then maintains and develops it.

This talk will try to illustrate both the independent parameters of CLIL and the features that characterise the connectivity that it promotes, drawing on an award-winning project in the Basque Country.

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Gender, Race and Other Factors: Being a Member of Multiple Communities
Keynote Presentation: Keiko Sakui

“Independence and Interdependence” is a perfect and timely conference theme to describe the processes of how we learn, teach and research languages. We all bring our own individual factors such as gender, race, and cultural and educational backgrounds into our teaching and researching. At the same time we interact with numerous social factors, which sometimes work as affordances to accomplish what we want, but at the same time they can potentially become obstacles. To further develop the conference theme, in this plenary speech I want to discuss the notion of “communities of practice” (Wenger, 1998) in order to show how factors that contribute to our identity interact with social factors in a given community; and that this helps us analyze and appreciate the fact that professional development as a teacher and researcher can be described as the process of becoming a member of a community. In order to specifically illustrate this point, I will focus on how my identity interacts with social, cultural and political variables in two very different research communities I have recently been involved in: digital technology in language learning and English education in Japanese elementary schools. To illustrate, I initially felt alienated because of my gender in the male-dominated community of language and technology but my position as a university professor helped me feel at ease in the same community. On the other hand, my entry into the community of teachers of young learners was smooth because I am a woman but my university position did not help me share some aspects of the community ethos. In the increasingly rapidly changing society we live in, we simultaneously belong to multiple, different communities, while entering and exiting communities is far more common and frequent than ever before. This makes our life incredibly rich but at the same time makes it more complex and at times even unsettling. This talk will help us reexamine how we can make sense of the process of professional development through the lens of communities of practice by highlighting who we are, where we are, and in which direction we are heading.

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Transforming passive TV viewing into language learning with AI
Keynote Presentation: Masaya Mori

Rakuten, an internet service company in Japan, has a strategic R&D organization called Rakuten Institute of Technology, or RIT, which works on numerous research projects by considering the impact of new service trends on the technology utilization of business. The big service trends, such as long tail, cloud computing, big data and so on, have increasingly affected the leveraging of technology to internet services. And now, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is getting more and more attention because it is seen as the possibility of changing social infrastructure dramatically. This Keynote Presentation will give some examples of AI projects in RIT and will explain AI-based language learning tools on top of authentic foreign language content in our video streaming business, which is utilized by the National University of Singapore, and others as well. The tools employ state-of-the-art technologies and the treasure trove of Rakuten’s multilingual data. The presentation will also mention how an interdisciplinary team of experts in machine translation, computational linguistics, platform engineering, and cognitive psychology comes together to blend education with entertainment, transforming passive TV viewing into an opportunity for active learning.

Read presenter biographies.