ONELAAFLA-AILA conference: 19-21 October 2021, Lairdil in Toulouse Imprimer cette page

AFLA-AILA conference: 19-21 October 2021, Lairdil in Toulouse


ONELA : Instrumentation and New Explorations in Applied Linguistics

International conference of the Association Française de Linguistique Appliquée (AFLA) and AILA Junior Researchers Europe - Lairdil

Version en français ici

ONELA 2021 in Toulouse, France brings together the AILA Europe Junior Researchers Meeting with AFLA, the French association for applied linguistics. Organised by the Lairdil, in collaboration with the CLLE and BCL, the latest in the conference series CRELA 2013, TRELA 2015, and PRELA 2019, ONELA will focus on Instruments and Explorations in Applied Linguistics, since the question of instrumentation is relevant to all applied linguists, whether they work on the use of language(s), translation, language education, corpus linguistics or other areas. Under instrumentation, we first consider language observation: what tools can be used to observe language and how are observations conducted? The second issue involves data collection: what means are used to gather, record, store, annotate, analyse and understand data? A third point concerns the communication of results: what instruments are employed to share the results of our research, and how can findings in applied linguistics best be disseminated? ONELA 2021 will look beyond instruments per se in order to assess their power to facilitate (or possibly complicate) new explorations in applied linguistics. This theme will be approached from four angles – language observatories, language learning and education, methods in corpus linguistics, and translation – while transversal approaches to epistemological or historical themes may be situated in any of these areas.


Plenary sessions : 


Beatrice Daille (personal page)

François Grin (personal page)

Bryan Smith (personal page)


Thematic Strand 1: Language or language-related observatories

Observatories are bodies that focus on the systematic and detailed observation of both natural and social phenomena. They collect and analyse data with a view to questioning the themes that emerge from these observations. Over the past decades, observatories with a focus on language(s), or including language(s) and language use, have been set up in France and in other countries.  Track 1 of ONELA 2021 will focus on linguistic issues in society as seen through the prism of such observatories. How are they defined? What different fields are they working in? How do they share their observations with other researchers? The meeting of all these stakeholders could lead to synergies, or even a convergence of views.

Particular emphasis is laid on business contexts and the potential for research and education which could arise from pooling and exploiting observatories' resources. Papers are invited on any aspect of the implementation of research in and around language observatories:

  • Missions of language observatories;
  • Research methods;
  • Objects of observation: plurilingualism, the economics of languages, mobility and migration, endangered languages, less commonly taught languages, digital and cyberspace;
  • Language policies, language rights;
  • Languages for specific purposes, professional uses, case studies.


Thematic Strand 2: Language teaching and learning

Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has focused on the acquisition, learning and teaching of languages for decades. The potential of technology continues to attract researchers, teachers and stakeholders with a focus not on tools per se but rather on the mediation of technologies by theories of acquisition, learning and teaching, and by teachers and learners. Proposals for papers may tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by technologies for teachers and learners, teacher education in the area of innovative practice, or indeed perspectives for teaching and research in the digital era in the following areas:

  • Classroom technologies, blended and distance teaching;
  • Informal learning;
  • Mobile technologies;
  • Data-driven learning and corpus linguistics in language education;
  • Technologies with less commonly taught languages (minority languages, sign languages, heritage languages);
  • Language policy, technologies in compulsory education and in higher education;
  • Translation and translation studies
    • degree and non-degree courses,
    • public/private training,
    • professional/non-professional status of translators,
    • methods and tools for teaching translation
  • Technologies in the evaluation and certification of language proficiency.


Thematic Strand 3: Tools and methods in corpus linguistics

Whether a corpus is general or specialised, oral or written, and whatever its purpose may be, corpus analysis today necessarily requires instruments or tools. These may be general tools: taggers, parsers, concordancers, textometric tools, tools for distributional analysis, or they may be tools for a specific task: transcription, terminology, annotation. The choice of particular instruments, the way they are used and how their results are interpreted depending on the size and nature of the corpus, constitute an important research question in its own right. The type of tool chosen can also represent a bias in the analysis which users should take into consideration. In applied linguistics where corpus studies are more and more varied, careful consideration of how tools are used and how they influence the analysis is an integral part of any study. Clear justification of the choice of particular tools contributes to the replicability of analyses and increases confidence in the scientific validity and reliability of results. Proposals in this track should take a corpus analytic perspective with a particular application in mind: terminology, planning, ontology, analysis of variation, specialised language, business communication, or forensic linguistics, for example.

  • Constitution of task-specific corpora;
  • Corpus annotation;
  • Lexicometry and textometry;
  • Deep learning applied to texts;
  • Development of corpus analysis instruments;
  • "Manual" vs. tool-based distribution analysis;
  • Methods for corpus analysis: choice of instruments, use and interpretation of results;
  • Limitations of instruments;
  • Reproducibility of analyses in other corpora;
  • Reproducibility of analyses with other instruments;
  • Other.


Thematic Strand 4: Translation, Interpretation, Copywriting Translation and translatology

Translation technologies and tools, particularly with the advent of Computer-Assisted Translation and the recent but exponential development of Machine Translation, have profoundly changed the practices of translators. Translated data is now collected, stored, reused or reusable on a large scale. What impact does this have on the type of data? How can user feedback help improve the tools? The use of corpus analysis software such as SketchEngine, once the preserve of designers of translation tools, is now spreading among translators and editors themselves. How can these new practices be described and explained? How do users view these instruments? To what extent does the evolution of tools change the very nature of the tasks of authoring, translating and editing? Proposals for Track 4 may attempt to answer these questions, or raise others. The following themes could be among those addressed:

  • Research in translation
    • Research methodology (surveys, comparisons, evaluations, data collection, other);
    • Current issues in Translation Studies;
    • Taxonomy of translation (literary, specialized, technical, other);
  • Instruments for writing and translation
    • Computer-Assisted Translation;
    • Machine translation;
    • Resources, corpora, concordances;
    • Evaluation of machine translation and instruments to assist or enhance translation;
    • Standards, formats, best practices;
    • Ergonomics of translation;
    • Other.

Format and submission procedures

Abstracts of 400 words (excluding bibliography) in French or in English to be submitted on the Sciencesconf website before February 28, 2021. Participants can propose papers for parallel workshops (20-minute presentation and 10-minute question period) or interactive presentations with posters (2 dedicated sessions plus exhibition during all break periods). The choice of format will depend on the researcher's wishes and the content itself.  For example, more quantitative research resulting in tables, graphs or diagrams, as well as presentations of learning centres or on-line programmes might be better suited to an interactive poster-type presentation, while more narrative content might lend itself better to a standard presentation. Junior researchers are offered additional feedback from reviewers to help bring proposals into line with expectations for the conference.

Conference languages: English and French. Communications can be given in Spanish if documents are in either of the conference languages. No interpretation will be provided. Reviewers’ responses: end of April. Deadline for rewriting and modifications for inclusion in the program: end of May.


Publication of selected articles in Études en linguistique appliquée (ELA) or Études en didactique des langues (EDL) in English or French, subject to a specific call.