MAALIC 2018 and the Launching of AILA ASEAN

Applied Linguistics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Language, Communication and the Professions

December 3-4, 2018

University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



The conference aims:

  • To raise interest in practical and policy-engaged linguistic efforts across different sectors (e.g. business, diplomacy, economics, health, technology) and communities;
  • To discuss how language enables and disables individuals in different professions and communities;
  • To explore the role of languages and skills in equipping the workforce and industry to deal with emerging issues and future challenges in the workplace;
  • To deliberate on the language needs of vulnerable groups and how to manage this challenge within the SDG ecosystem.


Keynote speakers are:

  • Professor Tan Sri Dato' Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Rector, International Islamic
  • University Malaysia; Senior Advisor, Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya
  • Professor Vijay Bhatia, Visiting Professor, Hellenic American University, Athens (Greece) and Adjunct Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Professor Daniel Perrin, President, International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA), Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
  • Marlies Whitehouse, Treasurer, International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA), Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland


Highlights of the conference include a panel on Applied Linguistics in ASEAN and the MAAL-SAAL-TAAL symposium, a joint effort between the Malaysian, Singapore and Thailand Applied Linguistics associations.

The new AILA ASEAN will be launched during the conference with seven of the ten ASEAN countries represented in this new network: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines and Laos. The setting up of AILA ASEAN is part of the regionalization efforts of AILA which has seen a number of regional networks set up over the years. The new AILA ASEAN is also aligned with the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, a strategic plan to improve connectivity in the region. In this case, AILA ASEAN will assist with people-to-people connectivity bringing together applied linguists from the region thereby promoting inclusiveness and a greater sense of community. Given the common issues in Applied Linguistics in the region and across regions, AILA ASEAN will strengthen collaboration in regional and inter-regional activities including mobility of applied linguists.

Given the diversity in the region and Asian, European and other initiatives on narrowing the development gap, it is hoped that there will be an increase in mobility and research collaboration within ASEAN, in the ASEAN+3 framework and with other regions eg. Europe. AILA ASEAN can serve as a platform for applied linguists to discuss regional and global issues through a trans-disciplinary approach to tackle shared problems.  It can work with other affiliates to take a transnational approach to examining common challenges shared beyond national boundaries and  promote regional cooperation in establishing sustainable solutions.


Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim
President, MAAL
Vice-President, AILA

8 October 2018