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The Clarion Online
Issue 5 | Summer 2008


Clarion Online 5

The Clarion Online has reached its fifth birthday. Unfortunately, as we are all, alas, aware, passing years bring in their wake the passing of lives. This issue contains appreciations of three lives which have been snuffed out long before they should have been. Two of the individuals in question, Clive Perdue and Kari Sajavaara, were founding members of EUROSLA, and both, in different ways, made invaluable contributions to getting the Association launched and in setting it on the right course. The third, Abdi Kazeroni, was especially active in EUROSLA in its early years. All three will be deeply missed. Their professional biographies are inextricably intertwined with the history of EUROSLA, a thumbnail sketch of which is very usefully provided in these pages by Heather Hilton. More recent history also finds its place here in the form of some photographs of last year's very excellent conference in Newcastle kindly donated by Richard Towell. Further photos from Richard's collection are posted on my website and are accessible via a link in these pages. As for the present, this is represented by some answers to leading questions put to the current EUROSLA Committee by our mischievous President - also posted on the website and accessible via a link provided below. We even have a sniff of the future in Daniel Véronique's very inviting invitation to Aix. Venez nombreux!

Bienvenue à Aix-en-Provence!
Daniel Véronique

From September 10 to September 13 2008, Aix-en-Provence and the Université de Provence will play host to EUROSLA 18. After EUROSLA 4 in 1994, the annual EUROSLA Conference is back in Aix!

Preparations are under way to make the conference a memorable and pleasant event.

226 proposals have been received by the Conference organisers, 116 have been accepted and some others have been converted into posters. 21 PhD students will participate in  the Doctoral workshop. The Language Learning RoundTable, now a regular feature of the EUROSLA conference, will be convened by Jan Hulstjin and Daniel Véronique. It is devoted to "Acquisition orders and Levels of L2 proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages". Within the conference, three colloquia will bear on "Advanced Learners" (leaders Inge Bartning and Fanny Forsberg), “Pragmatics” (Istvan Kecskes) and “Information structure” (Christine Dimroth). The four plenary speakers will be Simona Pekarek-Doehler, Marianne Gullberg, Monika Schmid and Cheryl Frenck-Mestre. Delegates from at least 20 different countries will present at the conference.  Delegates from Japan, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are making the largest contributions to EUROSLA 18.

As all of you know, from the blog of EUROSLA 18 (http://blog.univ-provence.fr/blog/eurosla18), the conference will be hosted by Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’homme [EmEmesa∫], 5 rue du Château de l’Horloge Aix, ( 33) (0) 4 42 52 40 00). You can get to the venue by bus number 6 (a 15 minute ride). This bus can be caught in the centre of town (2 bus stops – avenue Victor Hugo and boulevard de la République). So jump on bus number 6 going to Jas de Bouffan and jump off the bus at Pablo Picasso bus stop and you will be at MMSH. It is very easy!

You stay in a hotel close to the centre of Aix and make your way to MMSH every morning by bus. This will enable you, as Eric Kellerman wrote in The Clarion after Eurosla 4, to "[…] discuss till deep in the night at any of the dozen pavement cafés that line the Cours Mirabeau" - my own favourites are Le Grillon and Les Deux Garçons (mind you, no free drinks were presented to me for giving you this piece of information). There are dozens of cafés in Aix; I recommend those which are close to the town hall and la Place aux Herbes.

Although no Belle dame au microphone, at least the one that impressed Eric so much will be around, and we do hope you will enjoy your stay in Aix, reputed for its fountains. The conference programme sounds exciting and the weather should be fine!

A brief history of Eurosla
Heather Hilton

EUROSLA was founded at a meeting held in Colchester, England, from  24 to 26 November 1989. The meeting was hosted and organized by Dr. Vivian Cook, who was at that time lecturing at the University of Essex. The proposal for the meeting – drawn up by Vivian Cook and Rod Ellis (then of Ealing College) in July of 1989, and circulated to an array of European SLA researchers  – outlined a clear and ambitious agenda, calling for:

• Increased effectiveness in "L2 learning research," through awareness of work in various domainsican Second Language Research Forum): "bilingualism in early childhood, L2 syntactic acquisition, L1 transfer, L2 cognitive deficit, learner factors, pidginisation, input and interaction, mental lexicons, language loss, phonological development, situational differences, learning strategies, and computer simulation."

• The creation of an Association "promoting the study of second language acquisition and use through a multidiscipliary international approach."  Suggested tasks: holding an annual conference, as well as regular small conferences; centralizing research tools (bibiliographies, corpora, databases, test instruments, and directories of researchers); issuing reports and position papers on issues affecting L2 learning and use.

Thirty-three researchers (in various domains, with linguistics and applied linguistics dominating), representing fifteen countries (including Central and Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Bulgaria, and Hungary, as well as Yugoslavia, whose geopolitical status was still to change), were present for the meeting, which began on the Friday evening, and ended sociably at the Cook’s home on the following Sunday afternooon. "Academic talks" were given by Eric Kellerman (University of  Nijmegan), Janusz Arabski (University of Silesia), Clive Perdue (Max Planck Institute), Allan James (University of Amsterdam), Cécile Beauvillain (Université Descartes), Peter Jordens (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Z. Radnal (Janus Pannonius University.), David Singleton (Trinity College Dublin), and Maria Roussou (University of the Aegean).

The first version of the EUROSLA constitution was elaborated during the meeting and was adopted at the end of the meeting. It has been subject to some minoramendments since, but on the whole one can say that it has stood the test of time.

The first annual conference was held in Salzburg, Austria in 1991. A full list of annual conference dates and venues follows.

1st, 1991, Salzburg
2nd, 1992, Jyväskylä
3rd, 1993, Sofia
4th, 1994, Aix-en-Provence
5th, 1995, Dublin
6th, 1996, Nijmegen
7th, 1997, Barcelona
8th, 1998, Paris
9th, 1999, Lund
10th, 2000, Krakow
11th, 2001, Paderborn
12th, 2002, Basel
13th, 2003, Edinburgh
14th, 2004, San Sebastian
15th, 2005, Dubrovnik
16th, 2006, Antalya
17th, 2007, Newcastle
18th, 2008, Aix-en-Provence
19th, 2009, Cork

Vivian Cook was the Founding President of EUROSLA. He served two terms of two years, and then, in accordance with the provisions of the EUROSLA Constitution, stood down, handing over to the late Kari Sajavaara, who after one term was succeeded by the late Esther Glahn. The presidency then moved to Dublin - to the care of  Vera Regan (one term) and David Singleton (two terms).  More recently the post was held for two terms by Simona Pekarek Dohler, and most recently has passed to Jean-Marc Dewaele, our current President.

1989-1993 Vivian Cook, University of Essex
1993-1995 Kari Sajavaara, University of Copenhagen
1995-1997 Esther Glahn, University of Jyväskylä
1997-1999 Vera Regan, University College Dublin
1999 – 2003 David Singleton, Trinity College Dublin
2003  -2007 Simona Pekarek Dohler, Université de Neuchâtel
2007-2009 Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck College London

In memory of Clive Perdue
Rebekah Rast
Clive Perdue died March 14, 2008, leaving us much too soon.
A remarkable scholar, colleague and professor, Clive played a crucial role in the development of second language acquisition research in Europe from the early 70s to the present. While research in SLA from a generativist perspective was blossoming in North America, Clive was one of the pioneers of the functionalist approach to SLA in Europe. He guided many colleagues through one of the most extensive projects ever conducted in SLA research, a programme funded by the European Science Foundation that involved data collection and analysis of second language productions by immigrants across Europe. The project culminated in a two-volume piece, published in 1993 by Cambridge University Press: Adult Language Acquisition: Cross-linguistic Perspectives. One of the principal findings of this work was the identification of the Basic Variety, a highly structured and efficient form of language developed by second language users. Clive pursued his work on the Basic Variety and various areas of SLA as Professor of Linguistics at the University of Paris 8 (St-Denis) and as Director of the Unité Mixte de Recherche 7023 (CNRS & Paris 8) Structures formelles du langage: Typologie et acquisition, poétrique et métrique. Many of his publications were co-authored with his close colleague and friend, Wolfgang Klein, and his numerous doctoral students.

In addition to his research and university responsibilities, Clive was one of the founders of EUROSLA in 1989, attending the first meeting in Colchester, England hosted by Vivian Cook and taking part in the writing of the constitution. He was a stanch supporter of the association thereafter, encouraging (forcing rather!) his doctoral students to submit abstracts and partake in the provocative discussions about SLA that surfaced annually at EUROSLA conferences. He co-organized the Paris conference with Susan Foster-Cohen and produced a two-volume publication of a selection of conference papers in Acquisition et Interaction en Langue Etrangère, a journal for which he was chief editor until his death.

Those of us who had the good fortune to know Clive all have our stories. I personally have uncannily clear images of both my first and last contacts with Clive. My first was at the 1996 EUROSLA conference in Nijmegen. I was new to SLA at the time and was testing both the SLA waters a potential research director, Clive Perdue, keynote speaker. I remember not understanding most of the talks (Susanne Carroll and Michael Sharwood Smith lost me completely!). Clive’s talk entitled Pre-basic varieties. The first stages of second language acquisition was no exception, but alas, it sparked something. It may have been the charming British accent, or maybe the passion with which he spoke about his subject. “He loves this stuff”, I thought to myself. I somehow mustered the courage to introduce myself at some point later in the day. He gave me his home phone number in Paris and said to give him a call. I trembled for years when dialing that phone number.

My last contact with Clive was over the phone of his hospital room. To a distant, quiet voice, I told him that I had finished the index of my book (and as we all know, that means you’ve finished your book). His voice perked up, “So that’s it. That’s the book!”. Clive never saw the book, but he knew it was finished, and since he had already read and fervently commented on the manuscript, that’s all that mattered.

Clive is survived by his wife, Evelyne, and a legacy of important scholarly work that will influence the field of SLA for many years to come. We thank you Clive, and we will miss you always.

Pictures from Newcastle

By Richard Towell

You can view more of these on David Singleton's website.


Kari Sajavaara: in memoriam
Maisa Martin (with one or two small additions from David Singleton)
Professor Kari Sajavaara (born 18.1.1938, died 24.10.2006) started his career in traditional English philology (Ph.D. in 1967, a text edition) at the University of Helsinki. Later he moved to very different areas but always emphasized the value of this early training. Kari moved to Jyväskylä to take up a post  first as an associate professor and then as full professor (1979) of English language. Gradually he moved towards applied linguistics and became the first director of the Centre of Applied Language Studies in 1996.

Language teaching and research in Jyväskylä and all of Finland owe a lot to Kari. He initiated the language centre system, which since the 1970s has provided all university students with skills in domestic and foreign languages as well as academic writing and speaking skills. In addition to founding a language centre in every institute of higher education, he also created a national unit which provided materials and training for language centre teachers. The international networks which were required for such training were also very much based on Kari’s personal contacts. Then, as the language centre system matured, and teachers required less help, the unit became the research and development institution now known as the Centre for Applied Language Studies.  In the early 1990s the assessment of language skills became an important issue in Finland. National Certificates of Proficiency and DIALANG, both now important language testing systems, were both initiated by Kari. Kari also held many administrative positions within the University. He was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities (1996 – 2002) and the Vice-Rector of the University (1982 – 1991). He was active in the Professors’ Union, as a board member in (1981–82 and 1994–98), and as Vice-Chair responsible for international affairs (1999–2002). After retirement in 2003 Kari remained very active, in particular in developing language education and policy in Finland. An international conference on these issues in October 2006 was also organized by him, although by that stage he was no longer able to participate in it.

It is most appropriate that Kari died on October 24, United Nations Day. In future years the flags flying in Finland on this celebration of international cooperation will also remind us of Kari. Few Finnish professors have achieved such a network of colleagues all over the world. The Summer School of Applied Linguistics (organized for the 26th time in June 2008) could not have attracted the well-known scholars which frequent it without this network.

Kari was one of the founders of EUROSLA at the famous Colchester meeting in 1989, and he served as President of EUROSLA during the period 1993-1995. Probably his most memorable contribution to the Association was his enthusiastic organization of its second annual conference in Jyväskylä in June 1992. This conference attracted some very big names in SLA and also some very fine papers. It was characterized to boot by a highly dynamic social dimension, which very much set the pattern for subsequent conferences. He also chaired the very successful World Congress of AILA in Jyväskylä in 1996, and was in addition the first director (1999 – 2002) of Langnet, the National Doctoral School of Languages, an organization which covers all language departments in all universities of Finland and now provides a wide variety of opportunities for doctoral students.

Doctoral students of applied linguistics in Finland remember Kari as a person who could after the briefest presentation locate a piece of research under discussion in a wider framework, tell how the related areas had developed and what their relationship to each other was, rattle off a great number of potential sources to read and contacts to make, and finally dig from his bag the newest book in the area as he had "just happened to read it on the flight yesterday." The bibliophile interests of Kari still benefit the University of Jyväskylä today, as he donated his language-related books to the Department of Languages. His interests did not stop with books on linguistics; you could also ask for his recommendation for a good detective story; and he had season tickets not only for the Jyväskylä Symphony Orchestra but also for ice-hockey and baseball games.

Family was very important to Kari. I particularly remember the meeting where he was elected the first head of the first National Doctoral School of Languages. In the midst of the election excitement he whispered to me: "Hope they’ll cut off all this talk. I want to go and see my new grandson!"

Abdi Kazeroni: A sad and sudden passing
Jean-Marc Dewaele
I am very sad to inform the linguistic community, belatedly, of the loss of our friend and colleague, Abdi Kazeroni. Abdi passed away in the arms of his wife, after a sudden cardiac arrest on Saturday October 6, 2007 at the age of 47, in Compiègne, France.
Abdi Kazeroni was born in Ispahan, Iran.  He obtained a B.Sc. in Pure Mathematics and a PGCE at the University of Sussex, UK in 1982. However, he decided to become a language teacher and started teaching English as a Foreign language. He moved to France where he completed his DEA de Didactique des Langues et des Cultures at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) in 1990.
Abdi completed his doctoral dissertation on didactics at the Université de Technologie de Compiegne in 1997. He was an excellent teacher and a relentless organizer of workshops and conferences.  He started a series of international conferences (UNTELE - the Use of New Technologies in Foreign Language) in 1997 where he managed to bring researchers and teachers together from all over the world.  Famous applied linguists like Claire Kramsch, Mike Long, Nick Ellis, Florence Myles, Rachel Giora were invited as plenary speakers.  The 6th and last conference was organized in 2007 on the topic "Cross-cultural communication, global networking and second language acquisition". Abdi published and edited a number of remarkable papers and collections on Computer Assisted Language Learning.  He also presented his research at conferences all over the world.  I first met him at the second EUROSLA conference in Jyvaskyla in 1992 where he presented a memorable funny paper. 
Abdi was an extremely generous and witty person who enjoyed nothing more than a good discussion over a good meal.
He was married to Michèle Delabre with whom he had two children.

The Committee on the Committee
We recently asked members of the Eurosla Committee a series of questions to find out more about their work and interests. If you're interested in knowing who Jean-Marc's favourite composers are, or what language Rebekah dreams in, click here!


ace.com/committee-interviews/"> click here!