The International Linguistic Association 57th Annual Conference

13-15 April 2012
Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, 199 Chambers St., New York City

Conference theme: Language and Institutions

The focus of this conference was Language and Institutions, in which participants examined how language functions within institution and/or how institutional contexts shape language. These studies focused on a wide variety of institutions including education, medicine, social work, law enforcement, urban planning, religion, government, and family. Other papers from across the discipline of linguistics were also presented.

Plenary Speakers

Betsy Rymes
Associate Professor of Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. Her research, theoretically and methodologically informed by linguistic anthropology, is centered in educational contexts and examines how languages, social interaction, and institutions influence what students get out of schools. She has published in academic journals including Language in Society, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Research on the Teaching of English, TESOL Quarterly, Anthropology & Education, Linguistics & Education, and Harvard Educational Review. She is the author of the books Conversational borderlands (Teachers College Press, 2001), and Classroom discourse analysis: A tool for critical reflection (Hampton, 2009) and co-editor, with Stanton Wortham, of Linguistic Anthropology of Education (Praeger, 2003). Her current research investigates students' communicative repertoires and their function in massively multilingual schools.

Elana Shohamy
Professor and Chair of the Language Education program at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University where she researches a variety of topics related to language policy in the context of conflicts and co-existence in multilingual societies, mostly of Israel. Specific areas include — language testing in context of critical testing and the power of tests, an expanded and critical framework of language policy, academic achievements of immigrants in Israeli schools, language rights in the context of immigration and minority groups. In the past decade she has researched extensively a variety of dimensions related to Linguistic Landscape, i.e., the study of language in public spaces in context of multilingualism, multimodalities, visual literacy, language policy, where the space is an arena of conflict, contestation and negotiations. Her books include: The Languages of Israel: Policy, ideology and practice (with B. Sposlky, 1999), Multilingual Matters, The power of tests, 2001, Longman; Language policy: Hidden agendas and new approaches, 2006, Routledge; Linguistic landscape: expanding the scenery (co-edited with Durk Gurter), 2009, Routledge, and Linguistic landscape in the city (co-edited with Ben Rafael and Barni), 2010, Multilingual Matters. Elana is the editor of the journal Language Policy and the winner of the 2010 life time achievement award of ILTA (International language testing association).

Srikant Sarangi
Professor in Language and Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre at Cardiff University, Wales, UK ( He is also Professor in Language and Communication at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Humanities, Aalborg University, Denmark; and Honorary Professor at the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. His research interests are in discourse analysis and applied linguistics; language and identity in public life and institutional/professional communication studies (e.g., healthcare, social welfare, bureaucracy, education etc.). He is author and editor of 12 books, 5 journal special issues and has published nearly 200 journal articles and book chapters. He is editor of Text & Talk (formerly TEXT); the founding editor of Communication & Medicine, as well as co-editor (with C. N. Candlin) of Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (formerly Journal of Applied Linguistics). He is also general editor (with C. N. Candlin) of three book series, all published by Equinox. Over the last ten years, he has held visiting academic attachments in many parts of the world.