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11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition Conference

April 30, 2011

Above: Heather Goad, McGill University, keynote presentation (“The L2 acquisition of functional morphology: Why syntacticians need phonologists”)

In late March 2011, the Department of Linguistics and Canadian Studies co-sponsored a major conference on linguistics – the 11th Generative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition.

The purpose of this international meeting was to bring together researchers from a variety of institutions and sub-areas within linguistics, second language acquisition, and psycholinguistics to present state-of-the-art work that addresses contemporary insights in generative approaches to second language acquisition. Research in bilingualism and language acquisition are critical for an understanding of linguistic, cultural and political aspects of Canadas multilingual populations. To address these issues, two Canadian scholars provided keynote speeches, Dr. Susanne Carroll from the University of Calgary and Dr. Heather Goad, McGill University. The conference, held every two years in the U.S. and Canada, hosted participants from around the world and covered a range of bilingual populations. The presentations included discussions of heritage (speakers of Spanish and Hindi) learners, adult and child acquisition of French, and processing of speech in real-time (e.g. reaction time, brain waves). The empirical studies presented at the conference are directly relevant for language instruction and linguistic integration of bilingual populations, as the many Canadian examples demonstrated.

Over 70 faculty and graduate students attended the conference.

Julia Herschensohn, Professor and Chair, Department of Linguistics and affiliated faculty of Canadian Studies, chaired the conference.

The conference was supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, U.S. Department of Education, International and Foreign Language Education.