Researching the Language and Use of Generative AI
CALL FOR PAPERS
2024 Technology for Second Language Learning Conference
October 24-26, 2024
Freely accessible generative AI has captured the attention of professionals across disciplines with promises of recasting complex language-related practices in every field. Applied linguistics has been among the fields affected by open generative AI, most pervasively through the need to address its impact on language teaching. AI tools not only prompt language teachers to imagine new ways of teaching, but also invite professionals in applied linguistics to investigate language learning and assessment within a new world where machines can create contingent, grammatical monologic and dialogic discourse in response to novel prompts. The new imperatives and possibilities presented by generative AI call for research that offers immediate guidance and builds new knowledge about language use, language learning and language assessment.
The 2024 TSLL conference will respond to this new world of language and learning with the theme Researching the Language and Use of Generative AI. Research on the language generated by AI is critically important because all uses of generative AI for language learning and assessment rely on the quality of the language produced by the AI for particular purposes. The uses of generative AI include the learners’ and teachers’ direct access to AI as a source of language data for teaching and learning. Generative AI is also used by developers of learning materials and assessments in addition to language teachers and assessment specialists.
The language capacities of these new tools call for exploration of their potential for new forms of learning and assessment. They also require inquiry into the skill set required of language learners and test takers who have access to them. Some of the questions arising include the following:
- How well does the stylistic and grammatical expression produced by generative AI reflect natural language production?
- How can sociolinguistic, genre, and register approaches to language variation be adopted or adapted for the study of variation in AI-generated language?
- How well can generative AI respond to metalinguistic specifications in prompts?
- How can theory, research, and practice in language assessment be applied to testing the language performance of an AI?
- How can learners’ direct access to open AI support their performance in and learning of the language they need in their content areas of interest?
- How effective are specialized language learning and assessment tools built from generative AI?
- What knowledge, strategies, and dispositions do language learners need to develop in order to benefit from their use of generative AI?
- How can the theory and research into second language acquisition be informed by the structure, training, and performance of generative AI?
The 2024 TSLL conference will follow up on the 2023 TSLL conference which included many presentations on generative AI as applied linguists began to explore its use. The past year has brought another period of inquiry and experience with the many facets of generative AI. The 2024 TSLL conference invites submissions proposing to share research that builds new knowledge about the issues exemplified above. We are particularly interested in empirical studies using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research to reveal insights into the linguistic, learning, and performance dimensions of AI technologies for language teaching, learning, assessment, and research. Submissions will be organized according to the following strands:
- Linguistic analysis
- Language assessment
- Second language writing
- Second language speaking
- Second language acquisition
- Project-based language learning
- Language for academic purposes
Types of Sessions: Abstracts proposing papers related to the theme are invited for the conference to be held in hybrid format at Iowa State University in October 24-26, 2024. Abstracts are invited for three types of sessions. Please note the abstract requirements and evaluation criteria for each type of submission.
Individual Papers: Formal presentations making a scholarly contribution of original knowledge to the field. Each presentation will be 15 minutes followed by five minutes for discussion. The abstract should be no longer than 300 words including references. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the contents of the presentation.
Colloquium: Several presentations on a single theme to be presented in a 90-minute block of time. Typically, colloquia include four or five presentations with an introduction to the topic and possibly followed by a commentary, but the proposers can design the session as they see fit. The abstract should be no more than 700 words including references, and each contribution should be included in the abstract. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, the coherence of the multiple abstracts in developing the colloquium topic, the apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the contents of the session (including the timing for each presentation).
Posters: Asynchronous online presentation of a scholarly contribution in which visuals play an important role (e.g., demonstration of a short video, interactive software, report of empirical research with graphic models and data displayed in tables). Poster presentations will be available online throughout the conference to conference participants who will be invited to engage in an asynchronous discussion with the presenter and other poster-viewers during the conference. Presenters should plan a short description to provide visitors, who will then engage in discussion about the poster. The abstract for a poster should be no longer than 200 words including references. Posters are a good opportunity to present to a small audience eager to learn about the poster topic. The abstract will be evaluated based on the fit of the topic to the conference theme, apparent scholarly contribution of the work to the field, and the clarity of the abstract in explaining the poster contents.
Submission: The site for submissions will open on March 1, 2024 for submission of abstracts until the deadline on April 22, 2024.
Modality of presentations: The conference will be held in hybrid format. Presentations are planned for in-person and remote delivery depending on the wishes of the presenter. Presenters are requested to make a decision about their desired format shortly after their paper has been accepted. Presentations delivered in person on-site will be streamed live so participants will have access to all presentations online. The schedule will also include social and networking opportunities for both in-person and remote participants.
Registration: Registration will open one month before the conference. All attendees and presenters must register for the conference. There is no registration fee.
Leadership Team: Carol A. Chapelle, Gulbahar Beckett, Bethany Gray and Jim Ranalli
Organizing Committee: Sara Afifi, Jeanne Beck, Mahdi Duris, Ali Ebrahimpourlighvani, Gi Jung Kim, Hwee Jean Cindy Lim, Duong Zoe Nguyen, and Andrias Susanto