Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 4:00pm Eastern

2021 Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)

The 2021 conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) will be held virtually. Nationally and internationally, the AAAL conference has a reputation as a comprehensive and stimulating conference.. Nationally and internationally, the AAAL conference has a reputation as a comprehensive and stimulating conference. Conference participants can look forward to a variety of colloquia, paper, poster, and roundtable sessions, as well as topical and thought-provoking plenary presentations, excellent book exhibits, and plentiful opportunities for networking.

Please read all of the proposal policies:

  • You can resubmit your abstracts from the 2020 Conference in Denver (updated, as appropriate) or new material. As a reminder, you are limited to one submission as a first-author. This year, the proposal system will automatically block multiple submissions as first author.
  • Please choose a primary strand for your submission. This is the strand in which your submission will very likely be reviewed and grouped. If applicable, please choose a secondary strand that also characterizes the submission. This will help conference organizers in preparing the conference program, and in some instances, balancing size and coherence of strands. You must choose a primary strand; selection of a secondary strand is optional (but recommended).
  • Individuals may submit a maximum of one abstract as first author, whether a paper (including papers presented in a colloquium), a poster, or a roundtable session. This means that an individual can only appear once as a first author on the program. First authors are expected to present the research bearing their name, but all authors are encouraged to share in the presentation of co-authored research.
  • An individual may take on one additional role as a colloquium organizer or discussant. For papers or posters, an individual may also appear as a co-author/co-presenter of another paper, provided they are not first author.
  • All proposals (for individual papers, posters, roundtable sessions, and colloquia) must represent original and unpublished work that is not yet available to the AAAL membership (with the exception of material from publications in press).
  • Proposals for all presentation formats will be double-blind peer reviewed. Please ensure that any reference made to your previous work within the proposal does not include self-reference information that clearly identifies you or one of your co-authors. Avoid, for example, statements such as "In a previous study, we (YOUR NAME, date)". Any proposal that does not respect the blind review format will be rejected.
  • Individuals who will not be attending the conference are discouraged from submitting proposals. Conference attendees highly value the discussion period with all authors at the conclusion of conference sessions. Presenters who know that they cannot attend the conference are asked to withdraw their proposals as soon as possible to give another presenter a place on the program. If unforeseen circumstances at the last minute dictate that a presenter cannot attend the conference, alternative arrangements will be made to the extent possible.
  • The conference registration of the first author signifies that the proposal will be presented on the day and time assigned by the conference program committee. AAAL will not respond to or consider requests for a specific time slot.

Begin a proposal...

Individual Papers

Papers are formal presentations on a contribution of original knowledge by one or more authors within a 30-minute period intended to be 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. Paper presentations will be organized into sessions of 2-3 papers grouped by strand or theme.

There will not be designated session chairs. When their presentation time comes, presenters must announce their session title, introduce themselves briefly, and start their presentation. All presenters must present their work during their scheduled time. No time changes will be allowed even if the previous presenter is absent or has finished early. Each presenter must make sure that they respect their allocated time in order to allow for the other presenters in the session to set up their equipment and start on time.


Colloquia allow for extended discussion on a particular topic, achieved through the organization of individual presentations that are clearly linked to the colloquium theme and to each other. A small number of colloquia are invited by the conference chair, but others may be proposed by AAAL members. Proposals for colloquia can be for either a one-hour or two-hour block of time.

Two-hour colloquia: The number of presenters and length of each presentation is left up to discretion of the colloquium organizer, as is the decision to include one or more discussants. Because the purpose of this format is to foster dialogue among attendees, generous time allowance should be made throughout the colloquium for extended audience discussion of the papers presented. Colloquium proposers should provide a short introduction to the topic and its importance, describe the number, focus, and complementarity of individual papers within the colloquium, and state how time will be allocated across paper presentations, discussant remarks (optional), and audience discussion; this should be done without identifying presenters by name in order to preserve anonymity.

One-hour colloquia: One-hour colloquia consist of three individual 10-minute papers within a one-hour time slot proposed by the colloquium organizer(s). Like the 2-hr colloquium proposals, the papers should be closely connected to the same topic. A discussant may (or may not) be invited to provide some brief remarks. Each paper is typically allocated up to two minutes for clarification questions, followed by brief discussant comments (if any), leaving approximately 10 minutes for general discussion.

The advantage of a 1-hour colloquium is that the AAAL program can potentially accommodate more of these than 2-hour sessions and they allow for a more concise presentation of topics and accommodate more presenters at AAAL.

For both 2-hour and 1-hour colloquia, their organizers serve as the liaisons between participants in the colloquium and the AAAL conference program committee and are therefore responsible for all communication among the presenters and discussants.

Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable discussions present an opportunity for informal, in-depth discussions between presenters and attendees on a specific topic. They are particularly well suited for works-in-progress and are not meant to be formal paper presentations.  The purpose is not to present on a finished project but rather to address a specific topic in such a way as to engender whole-group discussion.  The advantage of roundtable sessions is that they allow for stimulating conversations and networking opportunities among participants on shared research interests. Presenters are encouraged to prepare handouts or clearly visible laptop PowerPoint slides for key information needed to support the discussion.

Roundtable discussions will be held in large rooms with several sessions taking place at the same time at different tables. Each table will be organized by strand or theme. Each presenter will be assigned to a table that seats up to twelve attendees. Presenters will be allocated 30 minutes: 10-15 minutes to speak on their topic and 15-20 minutes for group discussion.There will be a time-keeper assigned to each roundtable session.


Poster presentations are intended for face-to-face discussions of research. Posters are especially effective for information that can be presented visually (e.g. charts, graphs, tables, diagrams). Prospective presenters are encouraged to consider posters because of the opportunity they provide for extended discussion with other researchers. There will be several poster sessions scheduled, each approximately 1.5 hours in length. The size of a AAAL poster presentation is 3' X 4’. Presenters are required to be present at their posters during the coffee breaks scheduled within the session to which they have been allocated. For the rest of the period, presenters may choose to stay at their poster board at their discretion.  The bulletin boards for mounting the posters are normally four feet by eight feet in size. One poster presenter will use the front and another presenter will use the back.