Call for Papers

SAALT and SALALS Joint Annual Conference 2019

30 June – 4 July

Conference theme: Indigenous languages in contemporary African society

We are excited to announce the call for papers for the first joint annual conference of the South African Association for Language Teaching (SAALT) and the Southern African Linguistics and Applied Linguistics Association (SALALS).

In addition to topics of a general nature, and in recognition of the fact that 2019 is the United Nations' International Year of Indigenous Languages, the conference organisers especially welcome abstracts on the theme “Indigenous languages in contemporary African society”, which will form a special stream in the conference programme. Our vision is to play a role in the advancement of knowledge in indigenous languages while providing a platform to promote collaboration between institutions and various relevant linguistic academic disciplines.

The conference theme encourages a focus on challenges faced by indigenous languages in post-colonial African universities. The United Nations (2018) declared that “indigenous languages are essential to sustainable development; they constitute the vast majority of the world’s linguistic diversity, and are an expression of cultural identity, diversity and a unique understanding of the world”. We believe that a deeper appreciation of indigenous languages will facilitate much needed transformation in South Africa and the rest of the continent. It is through language and the full spectrum of linguistic expression that we gain access to cultural identity that will enable openness amongst various cultures. Openness will, in turn, facilitate an attitude of preservation and sustainable development.

In addition to theme-related contributions, we  welcome abstracts which address the special challenges faced by indigenous languages across the following axes:

  • Curriculum transformation and decolonisation in Africa
  • Language, institution and ecology: language curatorship
  • Language technology and digital literacies

The mandates of the participating societies relate to

  • Language teaching and assessment
  • Linguistics
  • Applied linguistics
  • Language practice

and we thus invite innovative podium presentations and workshops related to these foci,  or that will promote linguistic access, sustainable policy development, and the recognition and development of philosophies of indigenous languages.