For this 2014 ALAPP conference, a special attention will be dedicated to the topic of Learning through and for professional practice. Professional and vocational learning, and the educational and practice-based experiences that support it, are currently the subject of increased interest and attention in the fields of educational, psychological, sociological, and business management research. They are also becoming a priority for governments, employer organisations, professional bodies and unions, who are concerned about developing and sustaining competent workforces and workers to meet important social and economic goals.
Professional and vocational learning is not constructed independently from language use. To some extent, it is deeply shaped by discourse and by the complex range of semiotic means used by participants when engaging in professional practice. For instance, at least to some extent, it is by conducting interaction with experienced workers, by negotiating meaning with these experts, by reshaping participation in the workplace that workers learn to take part in productive tasks and become members of professional communities. From that standpoint, issues related to vocational and professional training can be seen as a particularly relevant and fruitful terrain for exploring inter-professional connectivities between academic expertise in applied linguistics and professional experience.
ALAPP 2014 welcomes contributions on any topic linking professional practice with language and communication issues. The following topics will be of particular interest:
- Globalization, work and language learning
- Language and institutional demands in professional contexts
- Skills and competence development through language and communication
- Language, communication and workplace learning
- Linguistic and semiotic aspects of professional expertise
- Transitions from school and tertiary education to work
- Vocational learning, communities of practice and identity construction
- Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) at work and in vocational and professional education
- Language and reflexivity at work and in vocational and professional education
- Multimodality in professional practice and vocational learning
- Language, activity and development