AILA President’s Final Report 2021
Dear AILA Members, International Committee, and Executive Board,
When the AILA Executive Board and International Committee decided in 2020 to shift the AILA elections by one year due to the pandemic, we all knew that this would mean a lot of extra work for all the AILA officers. This assessment turned out to be not too cautious an assumption. So let me thank you, dear colleagues and AILA members, for making this year, again and against all odds, a fruitful and inspiring one: a year we can be grateful for and proud of. Here are just five examples:
- First, we managed to further consolidate AILA finances, with most members regularly contributing to our joint development. A sound financial situation is a precondition for AILA’s still growing support of applied linguists in need.
- Second, we build the structural resources – the Endorsement Committee and the Strategic Collaboration Committee – to systematically collaborate with partners in academia and the practical world, be it on global, regional, or local levels.
- Third, we upgraded our journal, which now offers two issues a year. The first one starts from an open call and discusses hot topics in our field; the second showcases state-of-the-art research by AILA Research Networks.
- Fourth, we set up the Regional Network AIALA to foster collaboration, support the creation of new AILA national affiliates in the Ibero-American region, and increase the representation of Ibero-American applied linguists and languages in the field.
- Fifth, we decided for the AILA 60th Anniversary Congress Lab and to hold three complementary World congresses, which will take place in 2023, 2024, and 2025. By doing so, we are developing interactive formats for future hybrid world congresses.
A forerunner of the AILA World Congress Lab is the discounted day ticket for the AILA 2021 World Congress. Using the AILA App, delegates can identify themselves as members of AILA national affiliates who qualify for solidarity discounts.
Together, these achievements symbolize what I had in mind when I shared my vision at our 2017 World Congress in Rio: During my presidency, I wanted to intensify networks within and across regions; develop new ways to support AILA members in need; and grow our structural resources that support collaboration with practitioners when it comes to sustainably solving wicked societal problems.
Language and Applied Linguistics matter, and we are the ones to walk this talk.
On a personal note, I am deeply grateful for this experience of both serving and leading AILA – and I am happy to pass on the baton to my colleague Azirah Hashim with my very best wishes for her presidency and the next stage of our journey.
Daniel Perrin, President, International Association of Applied Linguistics 2017–2021