LINGUIST List 31.1871

Fri Jun 05 2020

Calls: Applied Ling, Lang Acquisition, Ling & Lit, Socioling/USA

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 04-Jun-2020
From: Chris Jacobs <>
Subject: Making Lit Lit: Forging Connections Between Student Experiences and Literature
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Full Title: Making Lit Lit: Forging Connections Between Student Experiences and Literature

Date: 11-Mar-2021 - 14-Mar-2021
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Contact Person: Chris Chris
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Ling & Literature; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 30-Sep-2020

Meeting Description:

Literature—a cultural product that presents students with models of meaningful, contextualized language use—is a centerpiece of many language curricula. Moreover, research has shown that interactions with materials, like literature, that are made for target-language communities rather than language learners can boost motivation and learning (Gilmore, 2011; Jacobs, 2017, 2019). However, this is likely to be the case only when learners can both relate to the works and see how the accompanying tasks will help them to achieve their personal goals for language learning (Dörnyei, 2009; Hertel & Dings, 2017; Norton & Toohey, 2011; Simonsen, 2019).

This panel, rooted in the theory that learning is “emotionally gated” (Douglas Fir Group, 2016), seeks to provide literature teachers of all languages with concrete suggestions of how they can improve learning outcomes in literature classes by connecting literature more closely to student goals and experiences. This panel will consider how to choose works that speak to student experiences (Norton & Toohey, 2011), how to create meaningful and adaptable tasks (Jacobs, 2019, 2020; Zuniga & Rueb, 2018), and how to use literature as a vehicle for learning target-language structures in context (Bloemert et al., 2017; Jacobs, 2020).

The goal of this panel is to stimulate a practically- and pedagogically-focused conversation on how teachers can develop literature classes to best meet students’ unique needs. Individual presentations may cover topics related to making literature relevant, including (but not limited to): needs analysis in literature classes; connecting literature to student experiences; task-based teaching (TBLT) and project-based learning through literature; and contextualized, form-focused instruction through literature. The hope is that, after attending this panel, attendees will walk away with concrete ideas of how to best tailor literature classes to student needs in order to maximize learning outcomes.

Call for Presentations:

This Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) panel, ''Making Lit Lit: Forging Connections Between Student Experiences and Literature,'' will consider how to apply current pedagogical best practices to make literature and culture classes more relevant and engaging, and as a result, more fruitful.

Presentations--which do not have to be read papers as the NeMLA site might lead one to believe--can be on pedagogical innovations that have been researched and/or implemented in the literature and/or culture classroom, as well as on applied linguistics studies that may not have been on the teaching of literature and culture yet could be applied to it (such as those on motivation/investment, needs analysis, authentic/non-learner-centered materials,TBLT, project-based learning, etc.). Connections to other areas of linguistics could also be made.

The goal is that this practically-focused panel will bring together diverse perspectives--informed by SLA and other relevant disciplines--to help teachers reach their students better in their literature and culture classes. Abstracts are due by September 30, and decisions will be sent out by October 15. Please be sure that the pedagogical implications are clear and explained in a way that will be accessible and useful to an audience who teaches various languages in various contexts.

For more information on this panel, and to submit an abstract, please follow this link:

For more information on the conference itself, as well as on NeMLA's abstract formatting guidelines, please see this link:

Page Updated: 05-Jun-2020