The Asian Conference on Language (ACL2021)


  • Andy Curtis
    Andy Curtis
    University of Anaheim, Canada
  • Stuart Rees
    Stuart Rees
    University of Sydney & Sydney Peace Foundation, Australia
  • Dexter Da Silva
    Dexter Da Silva
    Keisen University, Japan

Join us online for ACL2021!

March 25–27, 2021 | Held online from Tokyo, Japan

Welcome to The Asian Conference on Language (ACL), held in partnership with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan.

The Asian Conference on Language (ACL) is an interdisciplinary conference that explores the many fields, theories and practices of the study of language, from questions of language acquisition, psychology and linguistics, through those of culture, communication, and technology, to the teaching and learning of language.

In its written and spoken forms language dominates and shapes our lives. Far from just being the tool of communication, language can be beautiful or ugly, sparse and succinct, or overblown, technocratic; direct or obfuscatory; it can be mediocre, lazy, hurtful, spiteful, libellous, slanderous, or false, but it can also be uplifting, joyous, salutary, truthful, and even divine. Language brings us our first and dying words, and accompanies our journeys, helping us to formulate concepts, sentences, and lives, and helps us negotiate meanings, ideas, and each other.

The study of language and languages is an immense opportunity to engage with international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary content and issues that lie at the heart of the IAFOR mission. Since its founding in 2009, IAFOR has brought people and ideas together in a variety of events and platforms to promote and celebrate interdisciplinary study, and underline its importance. Over the past year we have engaged in many cross-sectoral projects, including those with universities (the University of Barcelona, Hofstra University, UCL, University of Belgrade, Moscow State University and Virginia Tech), think tanks/research centers (the East-West Center, APHERP, The Center for Higher Education Research), as well as collaborative projects with the United Nations in New York, and here in Tokyo, with the Government of Japan through the Prime Minister’s office.

With the IAFOR Research Centre at Osaka University’s Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), we have engaged in a number of interdisciplinary initiatives we believe will have an important impact on domestic and international public policy conversations. It is through conferences like these that we expand our network and partners, and we have no doubt that ACL2021 will offer a remarkable opportunity for the sharing of research and best practice, and for the meeting of people and ideas.

At the intersection of theory, pedagogy, and praxis the Asian Conference on Language invites researchers and teachers to submit proposals in the following areas:

  • Language Acquisition
  • Language and Communication
  • Language and Culture
  • Language and Psychology
  • Language and Technology
  • Language Learning and Teaching
  • Linguistics

We look forward to meeting you online!

– The ACL2021 Organising Committee

Steve Cornwell, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) & Osaka Jogakuin University, Japan
Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Donald E. Hall, University of Rochester, USA
Barbara Lockee, Virginia Tech., USA
Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Japan
Diane Hawley Nagatomo, Ochanomizu University, Japan
Dexter Da Silva, Keisen University, Japan

This conference is associated with the Scopus and DOAJ listed IAFOR Journal of Education. Authors need to submit their manuscripts directly to the IAFOR Journal of Education for the normal review peer-review process. Please note that papers already submitted to, or published in IAFOR Conference Proceedings are not accepted for publication in any of IAFOR’s journals. IAFOR's Conference Proceedings are not Scopus listed.

Key Information
  • Location & Venue: Held online from Tokyo, Japan
  • Dates: Thursday, March 25, 2021 ​to Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: October 30, 2020*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: January 08, 2021
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: February 16, 2021

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.

Our Response to the Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Present, Publish, Participate On-site or Online

Continued excellence in service, wherever you are

Our commitment to you; academics, scholars and educators around the world, is to continue to run conferences where and how possible, but in the full knowledge that in these unprecedented and changing times, we must engage as much as is possible online, allowing those who choose not to travel, or who cannot travel, opportunities to present, publish and participate online.


Given the uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and related and evolving government responses, we understand that potential delegates’ plans may be subject to change beyond their control, and indeed many people may not be able to travel to our conferences. We will be as flexible as we can our side to allow delegates to switch registration types between “on-site” and “online” depending on their circumstances, up until one month before the conference, so that you can be assured that whatever your situation, you can still present, publish and participate.

About IAFOR’s Education Conferences

IAFOR promotes and facilitates new multifaceted approaches to one of the core issues of our time, namely globalisation and its many forms of growth and expansion. Awareness of how it cuts across the world of education, and its subsequent impact on societies, institutions and individuals, is a driving force in educational policies and practices across the globe. IAFOR’s conferences on education have these issues at their core. The conferences present those taking part with three unique dimensions of experience, encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness and they promoting international exchange. In short, IAFOR’s conferences on education are about change, transformation and social justice. As IAFOR’s previous conferences on education have shown, education has the power to transform and change whilst it is also continuously transformed and changed.

Globalised education systems are becoming increasing socially, ethnically and culturally diverse. However, education is often defined through discourses embedded in Western paradigms as globalised education systems become increasingly determined by dominant knowledge economies. Policies, practices and ideologies of education help define and determine ways in which social justice is perceived and acted out. What counts as "education" and as "knowledge" can appear uncontestable but is in fact both contestable and partial. Discourses of learning and teaching regulate and normalise gendered and classed, racialised and ethnicised understandings of what learning is and who counts as a learner.

In many educational settings and contexts throughout the world, there remains an assumption that teachers are the possessors of knowledge which is to be imparted to students, and that this happens in neutral, impartial and objective ways. However, learning is about making meaning, and learners can experience the same teaching in very different ways. Students (as well as teachers) are part of complex social, cultural, political, ideological and personal circumstances, and current experiences of learning will depend in part on previous ones, as well as on age, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, varying abilities and more.

IAFOR has several annual conferences on education across the world, exploring common themes in different ways to develop a shared research agenda which develops interdisciplinary discussion, heightens intercultural awareness and promotes international exchange.


Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research centre is in the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan.

Andy Curtis
University of Anaheim, Canada


After some years of working in UK hospitals, as a clinical, medical biochemist, Dr Andy Curtis finally found his true passions: teaching and learning; languages and cultures. Having no background of any kind in language studies or linguistics, in his 20s, he started over, from the beginning. First, with mail-in distance learning education courses, then a science teaching degree, then a Master’s in Applied Linguistics and Language Education, and eventually a PhD in International Education. That journey has enabled him to take an interdisciplinary approach to language education, that breaks down barriers and builds bridges between hitherto disconnected domains of knowledge. His recent work, at the forefront of the field of the New Peace Linguistics, is an example of that scholarly and academic interdisciplinary bridge-building.

Dr Curtis was the Director of the English Language Teaching Unit at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Executive Director of the School of English at Queen’s University, Canada. In 2015, Dr Curtis was elected to serve as the 50th President of the world’s largest professional body of language educators, the TESOL International Association, representing 11,000 language teaching professionals in 150 countries. He has published more than 150 articles, book chapters and books, and presented to more than 50,000 language educators in nearly 100 countries. He is currently a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Anaheim, and he is based in Ontario, Canada, from where he works with language teaching and learning organizations all over the world.

Keynote Presentation (2021) | The New Peace Linguistics – Because Nice Is Not Enough
Panel Presentation (2021) | A Language for Humanity
Stuart Rees
University of Sydney & Sydney Peace Foundation, Australia


Stuart Rees is Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney, founder of the Sydney Peace Foundation and a human rights activist in several countries, in particular in Palestine. He has taught at major universities In the US and the UK and was Professor of Social Work at the University of Sydney. He is the author of books on social justice, on evaluations of economic policies, on health care, on empowerment in social policy and social welfare and on links between the arts, poetry, music, personal biography and courage in public life. He holds the Order of Australia for service to international relations and an honorary doctorate from Soka University, Japan. His most recent book, Cruelty or Humanity, Challenges, Opportunities, Responsibilities Bristol:Policy Press, addresses ways to promote social justice in post COVID-19 societies.

Panel Presentation (2021) | A Language for Humanity
Dexter Da Silva
Keisen University, Japan


Dr Dexter Da Silva is currently Professor of Educational Psychology at Keisen University in Tokyo. He has taught EFL at junior high school, language schools, and universities in Sydney, Australia, and for more than two decades has been living, and teaching at the tertiary level, in Japan. Professor Da Silva was educated at the University of Sydney (BA, Dip. Ed., MA), and the University of Western Sydney (PhD). He has presented and co-presented at conferences in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States, co-edited two books on Motivation in Foreign Language Learning, and written or co-written articles and book chapters on education-related topics, such as trust, student motivation, autonomy, and content-based language teaching. He is a past editor of On CUE Journal, past president of the Asian Psychological Association, regular reviewer for conferences, proceedings, journal articles and book chapters, and regularly co-chairs and participates in the Organising Committee of conferences on Motivation, Language Learning and Teaching, and Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences.

Professor Dexter Da Silva is a member of IAFOR’s Academic Governing Board. He is Chair of the Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences section of the International Academic Advisory Board.

Panel Presentation (2021) | A Language for Humanity