2018 ALAK International Conference

Opportunities, Challenges and Directions: Celebrating 40 Years of ALAK

October 13, 2018

​Sogang University, Seoul, Korea



Online registration


  1. Due September 30, 2018
  2. Registration types and fee
    Regular: 30,000 KRW
    Student (Master’s program and below): 20,000 KRW

For more information: https://alak.jams.or.kr or www.alak.or.kr


Plenary speeches and colloquia

Plenary Speech I
Andrea Révész (University College London, U.K.)
Investigating second language writing processes: Advances and challenges

The last three decades have seen a significant advancement in describing and understanding the cognitive processes and behaviours involved in second language (L2) writing, and how writing processes and behaviours may relate to the quality of the text produced. A variety of methods have been employed by researchers, with a view to informing models of L2 writing and generating insights for L2 instruction and assessment. In this talk, I will highlight methodological innovations in the field, and demonstrate how adopting more novel data collection technologies (e.g., keystroke-logging, eye-tracking) and combining these with traditional techniques (e.g., verbal protocols) can generate new and more valid information about the L2 writing process and its link to the writing product. I will also discuss challenges in triangulating and interpreting results obtained from various data sources. In doing so, I will draw on my own and colleagues' recent work investigating the effects of task-related variables and level of proficiency on L2 writing processes and behaviours and their relationships to text quality.


Plenary Speech II
Joan Kelly Hall (Pennsylvania State University, U.S.A)
A transdisciplinary framework of SLA: Essential understandings for L2 teachers

Modern-day forces of globalization, technologization and large-scale migration have brought about significant changes in the real-world experiences of L2 learners around the world. Recognizing the challenges these ever-changing conditions present to L2 teaching, a group of 15 international scholars, the Douglas Fir Group (2016), proposed a new intellectual framework – a transdisciplinary framework - for understanding the processes and outcome of L2 learning. The framework is guided by two goals:

  • To foster innovative research agendas that further understandings of the conditions enabling and constraining opportunities for and outcomes of L2 learning across all contexts of social action
  • To promote the development of practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions that are responsive to the challenges of L2 teaching and learning in our increasingly networked, technologized, and mobile worlds

My objectives in this presentation are first, to provide an overview of the transdisciplinary framework, second, to lay out eight fundamental themes on language and learning deriving from the framework, and finally to draw transformative implications arising from the themes for L2 teaching.


Plenary Speech III
Sungmook Choi (Kyungpook National University, Korea)
Using eye tracking to investigate incidental vocabulary learning

Eye-trackers register information on where and how long readers pay attention to during reading. It has been used in a host of different disciplines, and these include cognitive psychologists, psycholinguists, neuroscientists, sports scientists, and marketing, to name a few. Although eye tracking is now more accessible to L2 researchers than ever before, still a lot more L2 researchers have limited access to eye tracking. In the current presentation, I will discuss how eye tracking has been utilized by me as well as other second language researchers in the context of incidental vocabulary acquisition. I will also talk about the promises and potential pitfalls of eye tracking in incidental vocabulary acquisition research. Some of my talk may focus on the history of eye-tracking, eye-tracking technology, data recording and analysis, and choosing eye-tracker hardwares and recording/analysis softwares that may fit your needs.


Invited Colloquium I: SLA Research in Korea

Junkyu Lee (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
Doing L2 quantitative research well: L2 theory, quantifying L2 data, and analysis

To date, there have been numerous L2 theories and hypotheses. Despite the diversity of L2 theories, what is common is that L2 research is based on empirical evidence. By targeting beginning and intermediate researchers, in this colloquia, I will talk about how we can do L2 quantitative research well. From a practical perspective of research method, I will overview how various L2 theories have taken L2 data to support their theories with a special reference to quantitative L2 study. The overview will cover elicitation methods, the quantifying methods of elicited data, and the presentations of quantitative results. The interconnectedness of quantitative research components will be emphasized by providing hands-on sample cases. Also, the expectation of high standard research journals will be highlighted.


Jaemyung Goo (Gwangju National University of Education)
L2 research on recasts

As interaction research has matured and expanded in scope, with enough evidence of its positive impact on L2 development, researchers have shown a keen interest in specific features of interaction (e.g., noticing, type of corrective feedback, modified output, cognitive capacities etc.) that likely influence the interaction-learning relationship. Corrective feedback (CF), inter alia, has been considered to serve as an effective tool for drawing learners’ focal attention to L2 code features, and as such, has generated much discussion and numerous empirical studies on its potential relation to L2 development. Within the purview of interaction and CF research in general, a great amount of scholarly attention has been drawn to one specific type of CF in particular, (oral) recasts, in terms of, first and foremost, whether recasts promote L2 learning, whether recasts are relatively more/less effective than other CF moves, what characteristics of recasts contribute to maximizing or lessening the effectiveness of recasts, and whether other factors affect the extent to which L2 learners can benefit from recasts. Research findings to date have shown a range of outcomes, depending upon such variables as research contexts, target type, task type, outcome measures, learner proficiency, and so on. This review discusses findings in relation to those variables and other newly-explored ones as to their potential mediating roles in the efficacy of recasts on L2 learning.


Eun Sung Park (Sogang University)
The utility of indirect written corrective feedback

Most studies on written corrective feedback have examined the efficacy of different types of feedback—namely direct and indirect feedback. This presentation introduces two studies that focused solely on indirect feedback to examine whether the provision of indirect feedback is useful, and if so, for which features, and under what conditions. The participants comprised 40 Korean (KFL) learners with different proficiency levels and L2-learning backgrounds. They were provided with indirect feedback on their written errors via means of underlining and asked to self-correct their errors. The distribution of error types and self-correction results were compared across learners’ proficiency levels and their prior language exposure/learning experiences (i.e., heritage language vs. non-heritage language learners). The results showed that the learners in general were able to self-correct more than a third of their errors, and that higher proficiency and non-heritage language learners were significantly better at self-correcting their errors, especially ‘treatable’ errors. A follow-up study conducted in a KSL environment, which incorporated think-aloud protocols to tap into learners’ attentional processes showed that learners’ awareness of the target error type was crucial in accurately self-correcting their errors. Results are discussed with pedagogical implications and avenues for further research.


Invited Colloquium II: Discourse Analysis in Korea

Seung-Hee Lee (Yonsei University)
Medical Discourse
Talk and body: Problem presentation of injury in emergency care

This paper examines problem presentations of injury in emergency care. Based on video-recordings of triage interactions between providers and injured patients at an academic emergency department in Korea, this paper shows three main types of problem presentation. First, patients may present physical conditions with nonverbal conduct of showing the injury. Injuries typically have visible signs such as lacerations, bleedings, etc., and patients establish their problem by reference to such visibility. In so doing, patients may use verbal practices of producing the injured body part (e.g., ‘here’, ‘arm’), or their physical condition (e.g. ‘It’s lacerated’). Second, patients may present causes of their injury. In this type, patients verbally describe what caused the injury (e.g. ‘I fell’), often without orienting to visible signs of injury. Both providers and patients treat the cause of injury alone as adequate. Finally, patients may provide both physical conditions and causes of their injury. This type of presentation is used when patients seek emergency care because they have developed some symptoms after they had been injured in the recent past. Their reason for visit is thus different from other cases in that it concerns medical conditions that developed, rather than the acute incidence of injury.


Krisda Chaemsaithong (Hanyang University)
Legal Discourse
“This man...abducted, raped, and strangled to death of an innocent 18-year-old girl”: Reference terms, identities and linguistic violence in the closing statement of death penalty trials”

The closing argument of the penalty phase of capital trials constitutes the last opportunity for lawyers of both sides to persuade the jurors whether the defendant deserves death or life imprisonment without parole. In the closing, the State has to present relevant aggravating factors that necessitate the death penalty, while the Defense has to do their best to deliver mitigating factors for a verdict of lifetime imprisonment. That this goal-oriented and interest-motivated discourse is mediated solely by language makes it an ideal site for observing how speakers’ conflicting goals and ideologies are strategically negotiated in the discourse they create.

It has been suggested that the discourse of death penalty trials involves a form of “linguistic violence” (Conley 2016: 10) due to the construction of an “empathic divide”, that is, jurors’ relative inability to perceive capital defendants as enough like themselves (Haney 200: 1558). The current paper proposes to examines the lawyers’ use of reference terms to represent the defendant and victims in their cases, and the ways in which these terms function to manage degrees of proximity and distance between the presenting lawyers, sentencing juries, and defendants.

Drawing upon ten criminal trials (hence 20 closing statements in total), the quantitative and qualitative analysis reveals systematic differences in the use of reference terms by the two sides. Notably, the prosecution tends to eclipse the individuality and human quality of the defendant, while the defense personalizes him or her to a high degree. The pattern is reversed in the case of the victim. It is argued that reference terms constitute a prime mechanism that aids in the construction and ascription of polarized identities of social actors in the closing argument.


Josephine Lee (Ewha Womans University)
Nonnative Discourse
“I’m loud, pwuthessta! ”: L2 emotion in interaction

This study takes a conversation analytic account to L2 emotion by examining interactional data obtained from Korean EFL learners of various proficiency levels. Whereas previous studies on L2 emotion primarily relied on self-reported data and restricted analytic attention to the L2 emotional lexicon, recent research have analyzed emotion as it is constructed in and through spontaneous interaction (Prior, 2016; Prior & Kasper, 2016). This study, therefore, investigates how L2 speakers produce emotion in situ, documenting the varying multisemiotic resources and situated practices that L2 speakers of different proficiency levels use to manage emotional talk.

The participants were 20 low-intermediate, 20 intermediate, and 20 advanced-level college students that engaged in storytelling tasks. Focusing on the participants’ emotion displays and formulations, the analysis reveals that the lower-level students lack syntactic and lexical resources, but employ ideophonic vocalizations, prosody, and iconic gestures to deliver their emotional displays. The more proficient students display not only more elaborate lexis and syntax, but the recipient’s role is also more active, aligning with the storyteller’s affective valence via upgraded emotive responses, lexical assessments, and candidate (co-)completions. This study sheds light on the interactional competencies involved in L2 emotion talk and concludes with pedagogical implications.