ALA 2024: Language Awareness, Education & Power

The 17th International Conference of the Association for Language Awareness will take place in 2024 as the 30th Anniversary Congress from 7 July to 10 July 2024 at Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany (#alaconference2024).

It is my great pleasure to welcome academics, researchers and practitioners to the 17th International Conference hosted by Prof. Dr. Dorothee Kohl-Dietrich and her team at Karlsruhe University of Education in Karlsruhe, Germany on the topic of "Language Awareness, Education, and Power".
Claudia Finkbeiner
Chair of the Association for Language Awareness


Due to the inherent multilingual and multicultural nature of many classrooms around the world in very often monolingual and monocultural settings and contexts, the role of which language to use, to teach and to learn has re-gained new and important relevance. This issue is directly related to the issue of power and ideology. It is therefore time to have a closer look at the intricate interplay of factors contributing to the relationship of language, education, and power and to discuss these issues in depth.  

The ALA 2024 conference will offer symposia, workshops, roundtables, paper presentations, and poster presentations and accept proposals related to Language, Education, and Power in the following areas:

  • Language Awareness in Language Education,
  • Teaching and Learning Language Awareness and Global Citizenship: Language Awareness in Political Institutions and Democratic Decision-Making Processes,
  • Language Awareness and the Media: Language Awareness in the Digital World,
  • Language Awareness and the Workplace: Language Awareness in Business, Marketing and Health Care,
  • Language Awareness, Media, and Artificial Intelligence,
  • Critical Language Awareness and Language Awareness and Decoloniality.

We expect stimulating presentations and engaged on-site discussions by scholars and attendees from around the world. During the pandemic, we were able to offer high-standard digital ALA conferences in 2020 and in 2022. We are, however, very happy that we can now fully return to a face-to-face conference which will facilitate networking and team building. A special focus will also be put on building a network between early-career researchers and connecting them with more advanced scholars.

The conference is funded by DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Become an ALA member!

 Being a member entitles you to receive a hard copy of the Language Awareness journal. To make sure you don't miss the first 2024 issue of the journal, become a member now

As a member, you are also entitled to discounted registration fee at ALA conferences, including Karlsruhe 2024, and a limited number of stipends for ALA conference attendance.

Being an ALA member, with a minimum of one year’s membership behind you, you can apply for a small grant if you want to hold a local event to promote Language Awareness (LA), spread knowledge about LA, and/or promote or support LA practice (your own or that of others). Such a grant could be used, for example, to cover costs associated with organizing and delivering a local workshop for teachers or activities in schools; or payment of visiting speaker fees. The sum applied for will typically be £100 to £500, but smaller or larger amounts can be considered.

Conference Schedule

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Dr. Sinfree Makoni

The primary objective of this keynote address is to frame language research in AfricaS and and its diasporaS through the political and analytical lenses of Theories of the South and Southern Theories. Such theories seek to ground themselves in the impact of subjugated peoples on the formulation of linguistic theory. Theories of the South and Southern Theories  should not only provide raw materials for theories framed in the Global North but also supply insight to the rest of the globe through the deployment of analytical heuristics, such as inventions/disinventions, accommodations, and hybrids, to develop other "waves of knowing". For example, for Santos and Meneses (2020), the ideal informants for Theories of the South and Southern Theories are the indigenous, peasants, and landless, such as the Brazilian quilombos (Severo and Makoni, 2021). Mignolo (2011) uses "border thinking" to describe the "thinking and doing" that originates from the South that confronts Western ways of thinking, Eurocentrism, capitalism, and communism. Connell (2019) regards these activities as "ontoformative", meaning that they produce new structures, realities, and agencies that differentiate the Southern landscape from the Euro-American one.

Theories of the South and Southern Theories are grounded in a political commitment that assumes that there is always something to learn from different ways of knowing, expressing, and living and that the world is so plurilingually diverse that it cannot be explained in western linguistic theories. Linguistics is hubristically Eurocentric, and we propose to rectify the weaknesses of linguistics by developing a conceptual vocabulary and political grammar founded on innovation, animation, and transgression (Nair and de Souza, 2020), which will enable us to challenge the white, and heteronormative foundations which dominate the field of language studies by proposing watery orientationsto language studies. We seek to go beyond a critique of linguistics and applied linguistics by un-bokking publishing processes. In un-booking we are reimagining, recreating and decreating how knowledges are disseminated. In un-booking we align writing practices and blur distinctions between writing, speech and performance to reflect and to act on Southern and decolonial perspectives. In un-booking we create divergent and emergent approaches to publishing because we believe current book publishing cannot contain and carry the demands of innovative and radical scholarship.


Prof. Dr. Simone Pfenninger

Our entire life is characterized by different and inevitable changes, such as life transitions, critical life events, or age-related psychological and physiological changes. Such changes also affect what and how much we learn. The learning environments evolve throughout the lifespan, adapting to our changing preferences, ideas, and aspirations as we age; we also tend to select environments that align with our established knowledge and skills. For instance, in SLA and multilingualism research, change of language preferences throughout the lifetime and their differential use in specific contexts (e.g. family/ friends versus school/ work) are well documented. At the same time as our relationship with language and with learning shifts and changes, it remains significant. To give an example from later stages of life, first results of intervention studies suggest that as a cognitively challenging activity, language learning may, under certain circumstances and in certain phases of the second language (L2) learning process, have a positive effect on cognitive functions, metalinguistic awareness and awareness of language as a whole, prevent isolation and foster linguistic flexibility, self-esteem, autonomy, social interaction and individual mobility in older adults. In this talk, I am taking a lifespan approach to SLA, which seeks to understand continuities and discontinuities in growth and change over the whole of life and promises to make a contribution toward raising ageism  awareness. To what extent is 'age' as a construct of itself of relevance in SLA in the light of huge and increasing spread of individual abilities and skills as age progresses? How does access to various resources impact on success and continuation with the endeavor of L2 learning over one's life course and the events, transitions, and experiences that shape it? How far are adult L2 learners the same regardless of age and to what extent does L2 learning in later life have its own distinctive qualities?

Drawing on my own research on L2 learning in later life, I argue that chronological age does not determine the positioning of L2 learners across the lifespan: age is part of a complex web of social distinctions such as psychological and individual factors as well as major life events that intersect in the construction of a learner’s relative status and opportunities.


Prof. Dr. Rahat Zaidi

In today’s dynamic educational landscape, students and educators find themselves learning and teaching in a post-multilingual era. Through language, culture, religion, and other factors, educational communities  are growing more complex and interconnected, as are the challenges faced by newcomer students. These individuals, often placed in unfamiliar and confusing language and cultural contexts, feel overwhelmed. Meanwhile, educators are grappling with curricula that, for the most part, reflect the dominant culture and language, thereby perpetuating inequities and marginalizing other cultural identities. Rather than viewing language, culture, and identity as isolated silos, I encourage education systems to view these complexities through an intersectional lens. By acknowledging the convergence of race, culture, language, and religion, we can gain deeper insights into the intricate web of marginalization and privilege. This intersectional perspective allows for an improved support mechanism that helps education systems highlight the inherent value of newcomer students’ languages and develops critical language awareness while helping to foster greater academic success. I call on scholars to begin the process of rethinking the approaches traditionally used in a multilingual classroom; approaches that tend to polarize and leave newcomer students on the periphery. Drawing on my research carried out collaboratively with teachers, community partners, and newcomer student participants, I document how the use of critically engaged language and literacy workshops (CELLWs) can empower students to make sense of their experiences as newcomers in a variety of ways. This methodology represents a linguistic and cultural collaboration that incorporate arts-based, critical, creative, and collaborative initiatives that are both multilingual and multimodal. These include walking narratives, film forums, sharing stories, and arts-based methods that frequently incorporate generative artificial intelligence as forms of inquiry and exploration. Each provides an opportunity for participants to explore meanings and map their trajectories and enables educators and researchers to better understand the needs of this demographic. Within this context I highlight a transformational process in language/literacy education and language awareness perspectives.

As a qualitative approach, CELLWs contribute to a holistic sense of belonging, providing opportunities for newcomer students to express  themselves in both their first and second languages. Here, they find space to exercise their multilingual identities, and reflect on their participation within the school and broader communities. They begin to  understand how their experiences represent the sum of different localities, feelings, identity (re)shaping, and both physical and imaginary memories. Culturally diverse school practices ought to include ongoing re-assessment of community needs, social demographics, and actions in place, and the incorporation of CELLWs helps to increase language awareness among educators and students while helping them be more cognizant of newcomers’ positions in the world and the actions that can be taken to support them. It encourages educational stakeholders to address the pushback against marginalized communities, even as they think they are promoting diversity. It is through this process that CELLWs become transformative spaces where participants can actively learn language while engaging with issues of equity, racism, and inclusion, ultimately fostering a deeper intersectional understanding of themselves, their language/culture, and the world around them.


Roundtable "Decolonising Applied Linguistics"

South-North Co-Chair

Wednesdays, 16:30-17:30
Book a slot in StudIP course "Office hour Prof. Martin"

Invited Speakers

Early-Career Researcher Workshop

Sunday 7 July 2024 14:00 - 17:00.

Taking place ahead of the main conference, this workshop aims to give early-career researchers working on Master’s or PhD projects focusing on an area of Language Awareness a space to present and receive feedback on their research from both peers and mentors from different research contexts as well as to network to discover potential collaboration opportunities. The workshop will likewise provide a forum for a reflection on mental and physical wellbeing in early-career research and will give participants the chance to plan and discuss their ALA-Conference visit. Furthermore, the workshop content will be, as far as possible, tailored to the wishes of the participants, who, upon registration, will be asked to state their expectations for the workshop. 


Sprechstunden im SoSe 2024 (3/223 oder BBB):
Mittwoch 09:30 - 11:30
Anmeldung über stud.ip. (Profil - Sprechstundentermine).

Registration and contact

Prices and Discounts

Participant GroupsEarly Bird (15 March - 21 April 2024)Regular (22 April - 14 June)Last Minute (15 June - 7 July 2024)
ALA Member225 Eur290 Eur360 Eur
Non-ALA Member275 Eur340 Eur410 Eur
PhD/Student ALA Member160 Eur190 Eur230 Eur
PhD/Student non-ALA Member200 Eur230 Eur270 Eur
Day Pass125 Eur125 Eur125 Eur


How to become a member.

Stipends available

The Association for Language Awareness is offering 5 stipends, each  of a maximum of £800 or equivalent, to enable participants to present a paper at the conference. Members whose proposals have been accepted may apply for a stipend in ONE of three categories below:

  1. Long-term ALA members (in continuous membership for at least 5 years, i.e. since 2019): two stipends available.
  2. Student members, including PhD students (students must still not have graduated until after the conference, and proof of current student status should be attached to the email application): one stipend available.
  3. Members resident in one of the countries designated by the European Educational Research Association as Low GDP countries. Residence will be determined by the mailing address currently recorded in the ALA membership list: two stipends available.
    List of low GDP countries
    EuropeAlbania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,Turkey and Ukraine. 
    North AmericaAll countries except Canada and the USA
    South American and Caribbean Countriesexcluding Aruba, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten (Dutch), Virgin Islands (US)
    AfricaAll countries
    AsiaAll countries, except Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Republic of Korea, Quatar, Japan, Kuwait, Israel, Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Macao SAR, Hong Kong SAR
    Australasia/OceaniaAll countries, except Australia and New Zealand


    Want to apply for a stipend?
    get in touch with

    Banu Inan Karagul, PhD
    Professor of ELT
    Faculty of Education, ELT Department
    Kocaeli University, Turkey

    Venue and accommodation

    Karlsruhe is a young and liberal-minded city and the seat of important federal government institutions, such as the Federal Court of Justice and the Federal Constitutional Court. Furthermore, Karlsruhe is a city of inventors and a technology hub, and, most importantly, a city of science, education and research. It has nine universities, 26 research institutions and about 40,000 students.

    It is also a cultural hotspot with many different places of interest to visit during your stay at ALA 2024. 

    Allocation of hotel rooms

    HotelPriceReservation untilReservation keyword
    Bürgerstrasse 4
    76133 Karlsruhe
    79 / 84 Eur
    single room eco / comfort
    breakfast included
    7 June 2024Res. No. 20232383
    Hirschstrasse 34
    76133 Karlsruhe
    89 Eur
    single room
    breakfast included
    15 May 2024none
    Berliner Hof
    Douglasstrasse 7
    76133 Karlsruhe
    83 Eur
    single room
    breakfast included
    1 June 2024ALA2024PHKA
    Karl-Friedrich-Strasse 12
    76133 Karlsruhe
    119 / 139 Eur
    single room classic / superior
    breakfast included
    7 June 2024ALA


    Organising Committee

    Sprechstunde während der Vorlesungszeit:
    Mittwoch, 14.00-15.00 Uhr und n.V.

    Bitte im StudIP eintragen!
    Office Hours
    Thu, 09:15–09:45
    Thu, 13:45–14:15
    and by appointment (BBB)
    • Online registration via Stud.IP (Profile – Consultation Hours)
    Sprechstunden im SoSe 2024 (3/223 oder BBB):
    Mittwoch 09:30 - 11:30
    Anmeldung über stud.ip. (Profil - Sprechstundentermine).

    Office hours (Please sign in on StudIP consultation hours): Tuesdays 14.00-15.00 or by appointment
    Sprechstunde / Office Hours
    Übersicht und Buchung auf Stud.IP. /
    Dates and Registration on Stud.IP.
    Sprechstunden in der vorlesungsfreien Zeit:
    Mittwochs, 11:45-12:35
    und nach Vereinbarung

    Bitte melden Sie sich für Termine vorab in Stud.IP an.
    Wednesdays, 16:30-17:30
    Book a slot in StudIP course "Office hour Prof. Martin"


    • CfP submission deadline was 26 January 2024, and
    • notification of acceptance was 15 March 2024.
    Last updated: 18.06.2024
    Content responsibility: