British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) 2016-Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press is proud to Sponsor the 49th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics hosted by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge on 1–3 September 2016.

Visit the Cambridge stand at the conference to receive 20% off applied linguistics titles on display and take away complimentary copies of our popular linguistics journals.

We would also like to invite you to join us for the Cambridge University Press Colloquium featuring a distinguished panel of speakers: Professor Li Wei, Dr Napoleon Katsos, Dr Jenny Gibson, Dr Martin Dewey and Dr Ardeshir Geranpayeh. They will be addressing the theme of ‘what does it mean to know a second language?’ from a range of perspectives:  a sociolinguistic perspective, a clinical-applied research project, a pedagogical perspective and a view based on automated language assessment, and will include an interactive Q&A session.

Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment are co-sponsoring the wine reception to be held on Friday the 2nd of September in the Academy at Anglian Ruskin. We look forward to seeing you there for complimentary drinks and nibbles at 5.30pm.

Cambridge University Press

SSLA Announces the Albert Valdman Award Winner

Cambridge University Press and Studies in Second Language Acquisition announce the Albert Valdman Award.

This new annual award, in honor of Founding Editor Professor Albert Valdman, is for an outstanding paper in the previous year’s volume.

The 2015 award is given to Dr. Sible Andringa, University of Amsterdam, The Use of Native Speaker Norms in Critical Period Hypothesis Research, Volume 36, Issue 3.

Post written by Dr. Sible Andringa, Amsterdam, February 2015

When I heard my paper ‘The use of native speaker norms in critical period hypothesis research’ won the Albert Valdman award for outstanding publication in Studies in Second Language Acquisition, I was truly surprised. I didn’t know the award existed.  It turns out the award is new and that my paper is the first ever to receive it. Still, even if I had known about the Albert Valdman award, I would have been equally surprised. Studies in Second Language Acquisition is a high-quality and high-impact journal, and every issue invariably contains excellent work. That my paper was chosen from such an excellent array of publications– I just couldn’t believe it. What makes it even more amazing that it won, is that the paper itself was never planned:  a true case of serendipity. The paper is based on data collected within the so-called ‘Studies in Listening’ (or Stilis) project, on which I worked together with my colleagues Catherine van Beuningen, Jan Hulstijn, Nomi Olsthoorn and Rob Schoonen. The project ran from 2007 to 2011 and we planned several papers, but never one on the use of native speaker samples in second language acquisition research. I got the idea for this paper somewhere halfway through the project upon observing that our native speakers varied considerably, but I do not know how I came to relate this observation to the use of native speaker samples in CPH research. Perhaps my SLA course, in which we also discuss age effects in SLA, got me thinking. I did not start writing immediately – the planned papers obviously took priority, but I kept notes when I stumbled upon interesting publications, I started to attend relevant presentations at conferences, and I informally discussed my ideas at lunch meetings with my colleagues of the ‘Cognitive Approaches to Second Language Acquisition’ (CASLA) research group here in Amsterdam. In Stockholm in 2011, I presented a crude version of the paper at EUROSLA 21. It drew a crowd, as well as critical questions! I chewed on it for another year, occasionally spending a few minutes to update my notes. When I finally started writing the paper, about three years after I conceived the idea, it wrote itself, took no effort. And now it won the Albert Valdman award! Perhaps, then, this is the recipe for writing award-winning papers: postpone writing as long as you can, present the ideas and discuss it with colleagues until the paper is fully crystalized in your head. I want to take the opportunity to thank all my Stilis and CASLA colleagues here in Amsterdam and all others who provided feedback and helped me sharpen my thoughts, Studies in Second Language Acquisition’s reviewers and editorial team included. It is an excellent idea that Cambridge University Press and the new SSLA Editorial team decided to honor Founding Editor Albert Valdman with an award that carries his name and I am deeply honored and flattered that my article won this award.

Vander Viana and Milena Mendes discuss organising the 1st ILinC

Last year Vander Viana and Milena Mendes were involved in organising the 1st Interdisciplinary Linguistics Conference (1st ILinC)  in Belfast.

They kindly agreed to answer some questions for Cambridge Extra:

What were the major challenges you faced in organising your first conference?

It goes without saying how challenging it is to organize a conference. Everyone who has done so is aware of the numerous tasks it involves as well as the attention required. In practical terms, conference organizers need to have a thorough knowledge of all aspects – from catering to the latest academic publications in the specific field the event focuses. And, most importantly, they need to be ready to deal with the most unusual situation of, for instance, having their academic conversation with a guest speaker interrupted by a helper who needs to know where s/he could find a missing umbrella!

How did you manage to obtain such high profile speakers?

That is a question we have been frequently asked since the names of our guest speakers were announced. It has been a most remarkable experience to have Profs. Deborah Cameron, Michael Halliday and Ruqaiya Hasan in Belfast for the very first time.

Honestly, all we did was to write an invitation letter to them, explaining what the purpose of the 1st ILinC was and how we would be honoured to count with their academic input. Rather than discussing what we did to bring them over, it is important to highlight how much they worked at their ends to make their participation possible.

You used e-mail and Facebook as your main forms of communication with delegates, how responsive did you find this?

Working with electronic media is a must nowadays since they allow for easy and convenient conference advertising all over the world. In our case, as we expected, most participants (70% altogether) pointed out that they were informed of the event by means of an e-mail sent either by the conference organizers or by their colleagues.

Our Facebook page ( had a different purpose: we wanted to have a lively way of updating participants on the conference.  Therefore, while the most important ones were also advertised on our website (, the Facebook page allowed us to include participants in the organization loop.

What were the major topics discussed at the conference?

Given our choice of conference theme, presenters were asked to focus on two main topics: ‘interdisciplinarity’ and ‘impact’. These were interpreted in a broad way by participants as they came from different areas such as Applied Linguistics, Education, Linguistics, Modern Languages and Psychology to cite five examples.

What changes will you make for the 2012 conference?

As the 2012 conference will be organized by a different committee, the new organizers will be in charge of deciding which changes are to be made in the overall structure of the event. We have passed on to them all the feedback received, which has been mostly positive and encouraging.