why AILA matters



In a globalizing world with our present challenges, language matters more than ever: the language of the mind, the language of the listening, and the language of heart. This is what Applied Linguistics is all about.

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Applied Linguistics investigates, identifies, and helps solve language-related problems. Such problems range from healthcare, where physician-patient communication becomes a significant part of the treatment process, to political scenarios where wars can be triggered or avoided by using the right words in diplomacy.

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The goal of the International Association of Applied Linguistics AILA is to bring together thousands of applied linguists and 40 state associations – national affiliates – from around the world. This organization gives researchers the opportunity to share their knowledge directly and on high academic and practical levels.

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AILA includes 40 national Applied Linguistics organizations worldwide, the so-called AILA national affiliates. All of their around 10000 individual members benefit from the AILA global networks.

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AILA helps language researchers and practitioners find people who are engaged in the same or similar, complementary work, no matter where they are in the world. Members share their knowledge, ideas, and dreams at regional and world conferences, by joining AILA research networks, and communicating through the association's mobile app.

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In new affiliates, people tend to ask: But why AILA? What are the benefits of being or joining an AILA National Affiliate? – The answer is: emergence and global scale. Together, we are more than the sum of our parts. Together, we grow through intercultural and transdisciplinary practices in research on language and language use. Together, we leverage our impact as researchers, teachers, and enablers. And together, we can make a change to the benefit of society-at-large, Applied Linguistics and ourselves as language researchers and professionals.

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The officers of this worldwide organization are selected by delegates from all its national affiliates. Together, they form the AILA International Committee, AILA’s decision-making body.

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All the AILA officers work on a voluntary basis. Serving both society-at-large and academia through the means of Applied Linguistics is our incentive and benefit.

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Applied Linguistics is widely considered as a genuinely transdisciplinary endevour. Systematically exploring the proximity of Applied Linguistics and transdisciplinarity, for the benefit of both language researchers and practitioners, could become one of the very strong developments in the field.

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Transdisciplinarity (TD) means to start research from a socially relevant question, include all the relevant stakeholders and disciplines and head for mutual learning throughout the research process. This helps find theoretically, empirically, and practically grounded answers to the research question and can foster sustainable solutions to problems that matter.

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Science brings in tools that enable organizations to identify experts’ tacit knowledge and make it explicit and available to the entire organization. Together, they shape research questions, develop new conceptual frames that help them think out of the box, capture and analyze data, build theories and compose data-based good practice case stories that help them implement the findings in the organization and beyond. In such an approach, stakeholders from academic and practical fields collaborate as researchers to learn from each other and develop theoretically and practically relevant knowledge and skills.

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Every three years, AILA World Congresses bring together two to three thousand applied linguists from all over the globe. The next AILA World Congress, for example, features novel presentation and discussion formats that foster academic discourse and mutual learning between established researchers and their new colleagues bringing in fresh ideas and approaches.

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The venues are selected by the AILA International Committee, based on national affiliates’ applications that have to follow the AILA World Congress bidbook.

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