Call for papers: The role of interaction in language development and loss throughout the lifespan

Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi)Workshop, University of Essex, 26 April 2016

Social interaction is an intrinsic aspect of what makes us human, and language, both first (L1) and additional (L2) languages, is learned amidst communication exchanges where linguistic evidence is made available. The study and examination of the linguistic environment in general and the role of interaction as a component of that environment, in particular, have been a matter of great interest, controversy and debate for decades. However, the precise role, nature, contribution and relationship between interaction and language learning, development and loss remain elusive.

This innovative workshop aims to provide a unique opportunity for participants and leading experts from diverse theoretical perspectives to discuss a range of key issues relating to the role of interaction in language development and loss throughout the lifespan.


We welcome submissions on any aspect of the topic but we would be particularly interested in PAPERS and POSTERS addressing one or more of the following:

Early language development: perceptual/attentional, social, emotional and linguistic aspects of interaction in language acquisition; impact of caretaker’s interaction and speech quality on infants’ language acquisition; interactional characteristics and infant motivation to develop attachment and social affiliation; cross-cultural versus local commonalities of interaction and its role in L1 development; the role of nursery rhymes in parent-child interaction.

Second language learning and teaching: Relationships between interaction, communication and L2 learning; interactional mechanisms mediating relationships between communication and L2 development (e.g., noticing, attention, negotiation of meaning, feedback, scaffolding, collaboration, joint problem-solving, imitation, gesture, songs and stories; inner and private speech); semantic versus syntactic language processing during interaction; tutor-student (expert-novice) interaction in instructed L2 contexts.

Language loss, aging and impairment: communication disorders and aging; impact of language impairment or loss on interaction; interactional characteristics of heritage language users; determining declining rate of language skills such as comprehension, production, naming, vocabulary, and grammatical judgement, and their relative impact on interaction; languaging as a mediational mechanism to restore aspects of linguistic ability and interaction in aging populations.

Abstract Submission Information

Slots of 20 minutes for a paper presentation plus 10 minutes for questions.

Submissions should include the following:

  1. Title
  2. Type of presentation: paper / poster
  3. The (first) author’s postal and e-mail address
  4. Names and affiliations of any other authors
  5. Short abstract of no more than 300 words


EMAIL abstracts to

The preliminary programme will be available on the LaDeLi website by 15 March, 2016.

Proposals will be evaluated by a team of reviewers according to the following:

  • Appropriateness and significance of the topic
  • Clarity of organisation and presentation
  • If an empirical study, soundness of research design, stated questions, data sources and data collection procedures, as well as analytic approach
  • In the case of theoretical papers, theoretical/conceptual framework, relevance of topic into current thinking and strength of contribution to the field

Key dates:

  • Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 15 Feb 2016
  • Notification of acceptance: 29 Feb 2016
  • Workshop: 26 April 2016