Laura and Anna Explore the Canadian Rockies

Laura and Anna recently made the most of a trip to Alberta for the International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB) by having a few days’ holiday in the Canadian Rockies beforehand. Highlights included bears, early morning lake swimming, a hike near Lake Louise and a drive up the Icefields Parkway. They stayed on a farm near Lake Mara and in a very secluded cabin between Jasper and Edmonton (that they’d probably never be able to find again if they tried!) It was a very pleasant way to get over the jet lag before the conference. Below are some photos of their travels!

Multilingual Matters at the International Symposium on Bilingualism 2017

Earlier this month, Anna and Laura left Bristol in the midst of a heatwave for rainy Ireland and the biennial International Symposium on Bilingualism, which was hosted this year by the University of Limerick. In this post Laura tells us what they got up to.

A very busy coffee break

The theme of the International Symposium on Bilingualism conference this year was ‘Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the New Speaker’ and delegates enjoyed a packed schedule of presentations, either linked directly to the theme or to any other aspect of bilingualism and multilingualism research. Clearly the topic of the conference lies right at the heart of Multilingual Matters and we were pleased that there was plenty of interest in our books. So much so that we often had a queue of keen customers at the stand during the breaks and were very glad to have each other to share the workload.

Naturally, the 6th edition of our bestselling textbook, Foundations of Bilingualism and Bilingualism by Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright, was a popular choice but it was matched in popularity by New Perspectives on Translanguaging and Education, edited by BethAnne Paulsrud, Jenny Rosén, Boglárka Straszer and Åsa Wedin. All the authors of other bestsellers, Raising Multilingual Children, by Julia Festman, Gregory J. Poarch and Jean-Marc Dewaele and Beyond Age Effects in Instructional L2 Learning by Simone E. Pfenninger and David Singleton, were present to talk to readers about their work. Another hot title was New Insights into Language Anxiety edited by Christina Gkonou, Mark Daubney and Jean-Marc Dewaele, who was one of the keynote speakers.

Accompanying Jean-Marc Dewaele as other plenary speakers were Ana Deumert, Alexandre Duchêne, Elizabeth Lanza, Tina Hickey and Lisa Lim. The keynotes were all very well-attended and we were glad to be able to slip away from a quiet stand in order to hear them.

Laura and Anna putting their free conference umbrellas to good use

Aside from the packed academic schedule, delegates were treated to a drinks reception, Irish BBQ with traditional Irish music and dancing and a Gala Dinner, featuring a live band and welcoming dance floor. Needless to say, we returned home utterly exhausted from an excellent and enjoyable conference and already looking forward to the next one in Canada in 2019!

The start of a busy conference season for Multilingual Matters

Laura at NABE 2017Last month I kick-started our 2017 conference attendance with a trip to the National Association of Bilingual Education
conference. Last year’s conference was in Chicago and this year the gathering moved south to the warmer climate of Dallas, Texas. Fresh off the press (so much so that I had to take them in my suitcase!) and highlights of the Multilingual Matters’ stand were Mahoney’s new book The Assessment of Emergent Bilinguals and the 6th edition of our bestselling textbook Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, which is now co-authored by Colin Baker and Wayne E. Wright (you can read more about that collaboration on our blog here).

Click to enlarge

Next up on the Multilingual Matters conference schedule come the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) and TESOL conferences and our editorial team will be heading to those gatherings which are due to take place on the west coast in Portland and Seattle later in March. We very much enjoyed our last trip to Portland for AAAL in 2014 and are looking forward to a bustling few days at the conferences. A particular highlight of the AAAL calendar will be the celebration that we’re hosting during the Monday afternoon coffee break at AAAL, to which all delegates are invited.

On return to the UK, Anna will be attending the iMean conference which is hosted right on our doorstep at the University of West of England, in Bristol. Jo Angouri is one of the organisers of the conference and also one of the series editors of our new Language at Work series. We are looking forward to introducing the delegates to the first book in the series, Medical Discourse in Professional, Academic and Popular Settings edited by Pilar Ordóñez-López and Nuria Edo-Marzá, which was published last year.

Later in the spring we’ll be exhibiting at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in San Antonio, Texas and then in the summer we’ll be crossing the waters to Ireland for the International Symposium on Bilingualism, which is to be hosted by the University of Limerick.

We very much hope to see you at a conference somewhere this spring – please drop by the stand and say hello if you see us!


International Symposium on Bilingualism 2015

Tommi and I recently attended the International Symposium on Bilingualism in New Brunswick, New Jersey organised by Rutgers University. Around 480 delegates attended, including many of our authors, so it was nice to catch up with people and meet others for the first time. At conferences people always appreciate being able to browse our books in a way that isn’t possible online and also make the most of the opportunity to buy the books at a special conference discount price!

Assessing Multilingual ChildrenOur most popular title by far was Sharon Armon-Lotem et al’s new volume Assessing Multilingual Children which was published earlier this year. People were also interested in titles from our Bilingual Education and Bilingualism book series as well as other volumes on bi- and multilingualism.

Tommi enjoying the Eurovision Song Contest at the stand
Tommi enjoying the Eurovision Song Contest at the stand

Our stand was in a great location, right in the middle of all the conference hustle and bustle so that everyone could have a look at the books while they had a cup of coffee. In a quiet moment Tommi even managed to catch up with the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Vienna this year. Although Finland was knocked out at an early stage, Tommi still enjoyed watching the other countries compete!

New York street art
New York street art

On an afternoon off before the conference started, we had time to make a brief trip into New York as it was so close. We spend the afternoon walking through the Highline Park which gave us some great views of the city as well as some interesting street art.

All in all it was a successful trip and we are already looking forward to ISB 2017 which will take place in Limerick!


International Symposium on Bilingualism

Bilingual Community Education and MultilingualismEarlier this month Tommi and I attended the 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The book exhibits were situated in the open air – there was a roof but no walls! On the first morning we arrived to torrential rain and a thunderstorm so we were glad of the roof! However, throughout the conference the wind was sometimes so strong that the books were literally flying off the table!

Ofelia García speaking at ISB
Ofelia García speaking at ISB

One of our authors, Ofelia García, was one of the keynote speakers and we were pleased to be able to attend her talk on students and teachers translanguaging which featured her recent book Bilingual Community Education and Multilingualism. It was a really successful conference and it was great to see so many of our authors there.

Singapore skyline
Singapore skyline

We didn’t have time to see much of Singapore but one evening there was a drinks reception at a bar with a roof terrace and we had a great view of the Singapore cityscape.

We’re already looking forward to ISB10 at Rutgers University in 2015!