Spring is conference time. When the flowers begin to bloom, so do the creative ideas that lead to innovative projects! Conferences are fundamental to professional development, especially graduate students who are just entering the field. I am heading to TESOL to present a paper on a research project we did at the Learning Exchange in 2015. In this talk I argue that ESL programs should encourage peer-to-peer interaction through engaging learners as facilitators in conversational groups.
I am also attending Doctoral Research Forum at TESOL to see fellow graduate students present their work and join mentor roundtables. But most importantly I will see my friends and colleagues from Russia and the US. I can’t wait! We live and work so far apart now, that reconnecting at conferences is such a rare treat.
Right after TESOL, I am heading to AAAL, another huge conference in applied linguistics. I am fortunate to have Victoria – an amazing scholar and friend – as my collaborator and co-presenter this year. We will be presenting in the research strand – a new strand that AAAL opened this year. For a long time, as a student I would feel that the research process is a treasure that colleagues didn’t like sharing with each other. It would be so hard for me to find articles/ and presentations that describe not only the results, but the stages, ups and downs of getting to it. That is why I am thankful that AAAL has opened research strand and gave us the opportunity to present our bilingual interview-based study. Victoria and I interviewed same people both in Russian and English and we will be going through the whole process. I printed 20 copies of our transcripts (hours of transliteration!) and look forward to the roundtable discussion of these data.
Two conferences in a row, double the excitement!