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William Grabe, Northern Arizona University

Dr. William "Bill" Grabe, Vice President for Research and Regents' Professor at Northern Arizona University, joined the faculty at Northern Arizona University in 1984 as an assistant professor in applied linguistics. Over the past more than 20 years, Bill has had extensive administrative experience at the university, serving as:

  • English Department chair from 1998 to 2002
  • executive director of Academic Chair’s Council from 2004 to 2006
  • Interim Vice-Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies from 2006 to 2007

Bill earned his PhD degree in linguistics from the University of Southern California in 1984 and has since conducted extensive research in the fields of second language reading and writing development, language testing, and skills development for English as a foreign language. He has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, edited volumes, and authored books. He has been a U.S. Department of State academic specialist lecturing and consulting in 16 countries, and he has been a consultant with Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, on various assessment projects for the past 24 years. Bill has also served as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in both China and Brazil.


Bill's continuing research interests remain in the area of second language reading and writing skills development. His work centers on identifying the cognitive constructs of reading and writing abilities as they can be examined from research perspectives, and also as they can be translated into language assessments and teaching and learning practices. He has been continuously engaged with his disciplinary organization, the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), serving in various capacities and as President from 2001 to 2002. His research and service to applied linguistics was recognized with the lifetime Distinguished


Scholarship and Service Award from AAAL (2005)

Bill has served on a number editorial boards for applied linguistics journals and has served on review boards for applied linguistics research projects. Prior to beginning his academic career, Bill was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco (1973 to 1976) teaching English as a foreign language at all levels in Moroccan secondary schools.


Foundations for L2 Reading Development
This talk will outline key research ideas and principles that are crucial for anyone involved in reading instruction, material development, curriculum design, or assessment practices. The development of reading abilities is a long, complex, and resource demanding process. For this reason, it is essential to have a strong understanding of the nature of reading, the way(s) that reading comprehension works, and the evidence that supports effective reading instruction. There are also some important differences between L1 reading in English, L1 reading in other languages, and L2 reading in English, and these differences will be noted briefly. However, there is much about reading comprehension that is consistent across languages and consistent across L1 and L2 reading development.

Drawing on a strong foundation of comprehension research, it is possible to determine a reasonable core construct of reading abilities (Grabe, 2009, 2011; Grabe & Stoller 2011, 2013). From such a foundation, it is then possible to examine both L2 reading instruction practices and empirical research on instructional effectiveness. The outcomes of such an exploration should provide teachers and teacher trainers with the resources to make informed and appropriate decisions in (a) using specific teaching practices, (b) evaluating materials and textbooks, (c) reviewing curriculum planning, and (d) using assessment tasks and instruments.


This exploration of reading comprehension will draw on key reading research findings and will highlight component skills that are essential aspects of reading comprehension. The talk will also present instructional applications as well as a few specific practices that are not commonly considered in many reading instruction curricula.


Download William Grabe’s presentation here



Paul Nation

Proudly sponsored by:

Paul Nation is Emeritus Professor in Applied Linguistics at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies (LALS) at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  He supervises PhD research on vocabulary.

He has taught in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, Finland and Japan.


Two new books written for teachers have appeared in early 2013. They are called What Should Every ESL Teacher Know (available free in electronic form), and What should Every EFL Teacher Know (for sale). For details go to www.compasspub.com/ESLTK.


Essentials for learning and teaching vocabulary
In this session, Paul Nation will cover his current ideas on what every primary and secondary school teacher needs to know about vocabulary. He will also address your questions on essentials for learning and teaching vocabulary in your contexts. Averil Coxhead will chair the session with Paul.



John Read

John Read is an Associate Professor and former Head of the Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics at the University of Auckland.  He previously taught at Victoria University of Wellington, the Regional Language Centre in Singapore, the University of Texas-El Paso, and Indiana University.


His primary research interests are in second language vocabulary assessment and the testing of English for academic and professional purposes. He is the author of Assessing Vocabulary (Cambridge, 2000). He was co-editor of Language Testing from 2002 to 2006 and President of the International Language Testing Association in 2011-12. Currently he serves as a member of the Committee of Examiners for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).


Coming to grips with quality in language assessment
An ongoing concern in language teaching is how to assess learner abilities through good-quality assessments that are suitable for their intended purpose. Often this is represented as a matter of achieving "standards", but this is a term with multiple meanings. In this session, we will explore the concept of quality with particular reference to assessing whether students are prepared for the language demands of tertiary study, along with other current assessment issues that participants are concerned with.


Download John Read’s presentation here



Deborah Short, TESOL International

Deborah J. Short, PH.D., directs Academic Language Research & Training and provides professional development on content-based ESL, sheltered instruction, and academic literacy. As a Division Director at the Center for Applied Linguistics, she co-developed the research-validated SIOP Model for sheltered instruction. She directed research on English language learners for the Carnegie Corporation, Rockefeller Foundation, and U.S. Dept. of Education. Publications include journal articles, SIOP Model books, and ESL textbooks for National Geographic Learning/Cengage. She taught English as a second/foreign language in New York, California, Virginia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She serves on TESOL’s Board of Directors.


Using Sheltered Instruction to Develop Essential Academic Language Skills
Teaching reading skills alone is not sufficient to develop academic language proficiency. It is essential for teachers to strengthen second language learners’ background schema, academic vocabulary, and academic oral discourse too. The objectives of this keynote are to report on recent research for teachers on how best to integrate language and content instruction and describe sheltered instructional practices through video clips and demonstrations that scaffold academic language development for learners of all proficiency levels and in primary, secondary, college, and adult settings.


Download Deborah Short’s presentation here




Janet Holmes

Proudly sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:

Janet Holmes is an Emeritus Professor at Victoria University of Wellington.  She specialises in sociolinguistics and workplace discourse, New Zealand English, and language and gender.  She is Director of the Wellington Language in the Workplace project (see www.victoria.ac.nz/lals/lwp) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.  Her books include Gendered Talk at Work, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, now in its third edition, and the Blackwell Handbook of Language and Gender (co-edited with Miriam Meyerhoff).  Her recent work focuses on leadership discourse and the relevance of gender and ethnicity in the workplace.  She is co-author of Leadership, Discourse and Ethnicity published by OUP in 2011 which examines effective leadership in Maori and Pakeha organisations.  Most recently, she and her team are investigating workplace discourse of relevance to migrants and refugees in particular.


“Oh what a beautiful morning!”: why sociopragmatics is essential in language learning
This interactive session will discuss how teachers can assist learners to develop skills in analysing language in its social context, so that they can, if they wish, contribute to interactions in sociopragmatically appropriate ways. The Language in the Workplace Project has recorded everyday interactions in more than 30 workplaces, providing data which has been used to prepare material for learners from a wide range of ESL backgrounds. This session will focus on small talk and requests to illustrate how authentic discourse can be adapted for use in ESL classrooms.


Download Janet Holmes’ presentation here



Laurie Bauer

Laurie Bauer FRSNZ holds a personal chair in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. He first studied phonetics at the University of Edinburgh as an undergraduate, and has taught and undertaken research in various areas of phonetics since then. Most specifically, he has written on the phonetics of New Zealand English and the comparative analysis of Englishes from around the world. He is also known as a morphologists, and is one of the authors of The Oxford Reference Guide to English Morphology recently published by Oxford University Press.


Thinking about teaching pronunciation
Can teachers ignore pronunciation and concentrate on vocabulary learning and grammatical patterns? If teachers want to spend time on pronunciation, where should they start? What do you lose if you concentrate on consonants and vowels but ignore intonation and stress? Is there a simple test which will act as a diagnosis tool for the most important pronunciation problems?


Download Laurie Bauer's presentation here

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