Studying Speaking to Inform Second Language Learning

Wiseman, Cynthia

There seems to be an ever-widening gap between practitioners and researchers: a disconnect that never seems to close. This relationship or perhaps lack of relationship was perhaps no better evidenced than in one of the opening colloquia at TESOL 2004 Long Beach. Panelists included Diane Larsen-Freeman, Patricia Duff, and David Nunan, among others. These
researchers have long been active in our field and have held leadership roles in the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) as well as in TESOL. The panelists addressed the concerns of many TESOLers on the relationship between AAAL and TESOL. Perhaps foremost in everyone’s mind was the fact that AAAL did not hold its 2004 conference in Long Beach,
breaking a long tradition in which one conference piggybacked the other. Nor would AAAL hold the 2005 annual conference in San Antonio where TESOL 2005 is to be held. There was some talk among the general TESOL membership that AAAL was breaking off from TESOL. This colloquium was probably intended to allay some of those fears and to forge a continuing alliance between these two professional organizations. However, in some ways the presentations by panelists served to deepen this continuing gap between research and practice, or perhaps just make it more salient. It seems that the focus of TESOL as a conference has become more pedagogical while AAAL continues to foster research in second language acquisition and other areas of applied linguistics. The colloquium was both heartening and discouraging at the same time. It was the opening of a dialogue but the researchers seemed to have more to say than the practitioners. It is clear to me that studies such as those reported on in this present volume of articles answer a crisis in our profession as evidenced at the 2004 opening colloquium.


Also Published In

Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics

More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Published Here
October 19, 2015