News and blog

Mainly research-related (as opposed to teaching-related) events listed backwards, with occasional ramblings about other things. I started it at the end of March 2016 but it made sense to take it back to the beginning of the year, so the first part is blurrily retrospective; maybe I’ll do better in the future. Or maybe not.

The usual disclaimer of nobody’s fault but my own, with a proper list of CV-compatible events on, well, my CV. For the ATILF, see the lab’s homepage (new page due 01/04/20!); for my research group Didactique des langues et sociolinguistique (Crapel), see our incomplete page of events.


There is no future tense in English, so this first section is unreal to the English half of me. The French half will have to take the strain. Main events only.

2024 July. TaLC should be in Manchester this year, largely organised by Niall Curry.

2024 May. Nancy is hosting the annual SAES (Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur) conference this year, a fairly major event co-organised by the ATILF and IDÉA.

2023 November. Invited to a journée d’études in Paris on the topic of Corpus d’apprenants / corpus d’experts : quels enseignements pour la caractérisation du discours scientifique?

2023 November. Atheena Johnson should be defending her PhD in Paris but so far I only have the title: Étude de l’impact de l’utilisation des nouvelles technologies sur l’apprentissage de l’anglais langue étrangère à des francophones : le cas de l’expression écrit.

2023 September. Yazdan Choubsaz defending his PhD at the Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz (I’ll be online only): A corpus analysis of the evolution of high-impact CALL papers: A narrative synthesis. Good luck!

2023 September. Phew, we finally managed to get the doctoral contract signed for Warren Bonnard on the ANR project. Another 2-pronged PhD, part moves analysis and part pedagogical implementation: Intégration de l’analyse du discours dans un programme d’apprentissage en anglais de spécialité.


A bit realler from here on in back down. Nearly 2 years have gone by since the last update so not everything included. I ought to do this every month.

2023 September. Another « repyramidage » position, this time at the UL; difficult when it’s people you know, and both very able. Still, we just have the applications and do the interviews to write a report, but we don’t make the final decision or even a recommendation, that’s for the university president.

2023 September. Submitted paper with Virginie André, Maud Ciekanski and Clara Cousinard; I won’t say what or where so as not to compromised the double-blind reviews! But it’s not been a restful summer (I did promise my wife we’d have a proper holiday, perhaps next year…).

2023 August. Not really me but my doctoral student, Jarvis Looi, wanted to add his supervisors’ names to a paper at the AFLS in Lille (Association for French Language Studies)… and he won the first prize for a doctoral presentation, congratulations!

2023 August. EUROCALL in situ for the first time since 2019! In Reykjavik, co-presenting with Yazdan Choubsaz who’s now finished writing his PhD. If it was just a paper, but 8 separate meetings etc. I had to go to, notably for ReCALL and an editors’ workshop.

2023 July. I have a short piece in the Lettre du GERAS about the importance of online presence.

2023 July. AILA in Lyon (and what a struggle that was at the start!). Nina Vyatkina did make it over for a joint presentation.

2023 July. This year’s IFs are out, ReCALL is now 4.5 (which sounds huge in linguistics but my daughter just published a paper as lead author in Nature Microbiology, IF 30!). With such low numbers in linguistics, things tend to fluctuate quite drastically, but being ranked 7th in linguistics is still pleasing.

2023 July. An invitation for an online conference thanks to Yazdan (contacts, people!) at the University of Texas Permian Basin.

2023 July. Submitted paper with Nina Vyatkina; I won’t say what or where so as not to compromised the double-blind reviews!

2023 June. Internal promotion committees for lecturers and professors. Always a bit delicate.

2023 June. A PhD defence for Lily Schofield in Paris: « L’intégration de la sphère informelle à un contexte formel comme levier de la compétence de médiation et du rôle d’apprenant·e-expert·e : Cas d’un dispositif en ligne et asynchrone en anglais de spécialité ». 589 pages in the main volume!

2023 March-April. On committees for 2 lecturer positions, one at the UL and the other in Boulogne-sur-Mer; funny how cultures can be so different, even in France where so much is centralised.

2023 March. Nina gave a joint paper without me at the AAAL conference in Portland (OR), lack of funds. Plus there were several other things this month, and it’s a long way for a short paper – ecology!

2023 March. An invitation from Cornelia Tsischold to Swansea University where my PhD hero Paul Meara works (now retired but lovely to talk to him there, sharp as ever!).

2023 March. An invited conference online at Farhangia University, thanks to Alireza Jalilifar and Yazdan Choubsaz. This was the 2nd International Virtual Conference on Narratives on Teaching/Learning Language [NTLL2].

2023 March. The annual GERAS conference, this year at the ENS Paris Saclay. A joint paper with Mary Lavissière and Carmenne Kalyaniwala based on initial needs analysis for Lexhnology.

2023 March. Another interesting event, this time organised by CorpusCALL, a kind of online « in conversation with » thing featuring Maggie Charles, Ana Frankenberg-Garcia, Harry Tyne and me. Good fun.

2023 March. A novel format for me, a podcast organised by José Luis for ELT Chile. I enjoyed that.

2023 January. On the HDR panel for Philippe Millot in Lyon, titled Approche empirique des discours spécialisés en contexte anglophone. Well done Philippe!

2023 January. An ANR project officially launched today in Nantes with Mary Lavissière as PI; 3 other labs, including Carmenne Kalyaniwala and me for the ATILF. Potentially a lot of work but hopefully worth it, and including a doctoral contract to start in September, and an M2 recherche for 6 months with Catarina Mosca working on needs analysis. It’s called Lexhnology: Joint linguistic and NLP discourse structure modeling of legal texts for language pedagogy.

2023 January. Ça y est, I’m no longer director of the ATILF! In the 9 months since then I don’t seem to be working any less partly as I thought to myself last year that I could accept other things in 2023… and this is now. Still, all those meetings and HR issues are a thing of the past.

2022 December. A ceremonial passing of the direction of the ATILF to Mathieu Constant. Thank you everyone who contributed, who came, who made speeches, etc. – a day I won’t forget!

2022 November. On a panel for an HDR by Julia Putsche from Strasbourg, titled L’interculturel contextualisé : franco-allemand, frontalier, transculturel – Une approche sociodidactique.

2022 November. Invited by Catherine Colin to give a class on corpus linguistics at ENS Paris Saclay, bright and motivated Master’s students in applied linguistics / ESP.

2022 November. As if regular recruitments weren’t complicated enough, there’s now an initiative for « repyramidage », ie promoting some lecturers to professorships within their own university when there aren’t enough in that discipline. A first one this year, in Bordeaux.

2022 October. The last « journées de rentrée de l’ATILF » for me as director! At the museum-aquarium in Nancy, all went well, I think.

2022 September. Alessandra Cacciato managed to get a doctoral contract, well done! Provisional title: Apprentissage sur corpus mobile : styles d’apprentissage et assimilation pour l’apprentissage de l’italien dans des lycées français.

2022 September. The official Hcéres visit – online only in the new format, which hasn’t pleased everyone. We got the final report quite quickly, largely positive so I’m very pleased and relieved about that!

2022 August. In the end, the EUROCALL committee decided to host the annual conference online only, in Reykjavik. A paper with Yazdan Choubsaz and Alireza Jalilifar, plus various things EUROCALL, ReCALL, etc.

2022 July. The next TaLC conference (Teaching and Language Corpora) was in Limerick, Ireland – close to my heart! BUT… my wife caught Covid and I tested positive the day before due to depart. Didn’t feel poorly, but clearly not a good idea to be on trains, planes and buses with other people, let alone at a conference. Typical!

2022 July. I’m a member of the scientific committee for the APSCE (Asia Pacific Society of Computers in Education) conference: Future Language Learning (ICFULL). Co-hosted by the Education University of Hong Kong and National Central University, Taiwan.

2022 June.  In Nantes for a conference organised by the CRINI on « Crises, Défis, innovations« .

2022 June. Internal promotion committees for lecturers and professors. A lot this year but fortunately the powers that be reassigned some.

2022 June.  A seminar for master’s students in Perpignan on research methods in applied linguistics. Good to see Harry Tyne and others.

2022 May. Jarvis Looi who was over for a study visit from Malaysia has finally had is joint degree application approved, back-dated to September 2021. Codirecting with two colleagues at the Universiti Malaya, it’s going to be complicated as it involves a heavy linguistic and corpus element, but should be fun: The effects of data-driven learning on French as foreign language learners’ acquisition.

2022 April-May. Recruitment time again, this year for Professor’s posts at the Universités Sorbonne Nouvelle and Lorraine, and lecturer’s ones at Bourgogne and Lorraine. Also one at Trento in Italy, which is rather a different matter.

2022 April. The final Hcéres report to be handed in. We’re lucky to have Mathieu Constant lined up to take over on 1st January next year, he should be an excellent head!

2022 April. Szilvia Szita defended her PhD in Paris all good! Nice to have someone working on another language: Nouvelles technologies, nouvelles méthodes ? Création et analyse de corpus au service de l’enseignement des langues : le cas du hongrois

2022 March. AAAL conference (American Association of Applied Linguistics) in Pittsburgh, PA, for a paper with Nina Vyatkina.

2021 December. Our university wanted our Hcéres report in early so the outgoing presidential team could take credit or blame for the past 5 years. Unfortunately, that meant us using the old system… Fortunately, the Hcéres made some allowances for this so we don’t have to do the whole thing over again. It still leaves a lot of work which I hadn’t been counting on, I’m afraid I may have taken on more other things than I can reasonably deal with.

2021 December. A short paper from EUROCALL 2021 co-authored with Yazdan Choubsaz & Alireza Jalilipar: Laying the groundwork for a historical overview of high-impact CALL papers; in K-M. Frederiksen, L. Bradley, & S. Thouësny (eds), CALL for Widening Participation (

2021 December. Delighted to be involved (albeit in a minor role with funding from the MSH-Lorraine) in Fleuron – Français langue étrangère universitaire : ressources et outils numériques. This is an online tool including a concordancer for spoken corpora aimed at students coming to a French university.

2021 November. A chapter titled « Research in data-driven learning » out in Pascual Pérez-Paredes & Geraldine Mark (eds.), Beyond the concordance: Corpora in language education (John Benjamins).

2021 November. Peter Crosthwaite invited me to give a talk in his seminar series, International Perspectives on Corpus Technology for Language Learning at Queensland University, Australia. Some illustrious names!

2021 November. Virginie Privas-Bréauté is editing a volume in French titled Du recueil de données à l’analyse des corpus en didactique des langues : éthique, procédure, outils, moyens (Presses Universitaires de Rennes), which I have a conclusion to.

2021 November. Two colleagues over from Malaysia: Jarvis Looi and Laxmi Annamalai.

2021 November. Evaluating a fellowship proposal at the Université Louvain-LaNeuve (hope it comes off).

2021 November. A day trip to Paris for EDUCATICE, as the ATILF is involved in the LyText and CoText (forthcoming) projets to help lycée and collège students with set texts for French.

2021 November. On the scientific committee for ICCE 28 (International Conference on Computers in Education) in Bangkok.

2021 November. Apparently I’ve been promoted to « professeur classe exceptionnelle ».

2021 October. Delighted to see our paper out with Nina Vyatkina in Language Learning & Technology: « Thirty years of data-driven learning: Taking stock and charting new directions. »

2021 October. Kindly invited by the Second language Studies Corpus Lab to give a talk at Michigan State University. Distance, of course.

2021 October. The biennial AFLA conference in Toulouse titled Outils et Nouvelles Explorations de la Linguistique Appliquée (ONELA). A night train down (really? at my age?) but good to go to an actual face-to-face conference again.

2021 October. I’ve been involved in 2 ANR applications this year, we’ll see if either is successful.

2021 September. A chapter accepted with Peter Crosthwaite titled « DDL is dead? Long live DDL! Expanding the boundaries of data-driven learning », in Henry Tyne et al. (Eds.), Discovering language: Learning and affordance (Peter Lang).

2021 September. Alessandra Cacciato is back for another visit working on DDL, this time for 11 months.

2021 August. Nina Vyatkina talked me into co-organising a symposium at AILA in Groningen, NL, on « Data-driven learning: Expanding corpus-based applications and evaluating their effectiveness ». I’ll also be giving one of the invited talks (in the symposium, not for all of AILA!) on « Empirical evaluation and research methodology in data-driven learning. » This was put back a year due to Covid.

2021 August. EUROCALL in Paris, entirely online. A paper with Yazdan Choubsaz and his PhD supervisor, written up as a short paper here.

2021 August. Involved in a PHC Procore with the Education University of Hong Kong, along with Dominique Macaire and Maud Ciekanski at our lab.

2021 July. Invited plenary in Hong Kong at the International Conference on Technology-enhanced Language Learning and Teaching & International Conference on Corpus-based Language Learning and Teaching 2021 (TeLLT&CoLLT 2021). Covid permitting.

2021 June. Research teams are evaluated every 5 years, our report having to be submitted this month. 50 pages in the main document, plus appendices for our scientific output and other activities.

2021 June. We hosted this year’s NeQ (notions en questions) event for the ACEDLE, titled « L’autonomisation en didactique des langues et des cultures. »‘ First event with people in the same room since Covid!

2021 May. Recruitment season, on committees for posts in Bourgogne and Strasbourg.

2021 May. Consultant for an award at the Education University of Hong Kong.

2021 March. On the scientific committee for the Language & Technology strand of AAAL 2020 to be held in Texas. A big event but I’ve only been once or twice, maybe in the future.

2021 March. We hosted this year’s GERAS (Groupe d’Études et de Recherches en Anglais de Spécialité) conference at the UL, on the theme « Culture(s) littéraire et scientifique : Ruptures et continuités en anglais de spécialité. » I’m on the organising committee for this one, but in a very minor role. Unfortunately this all had to be done entirely on line.

2021 January. On the scientific committee for the Forum Observatoires de Langues, Travail et Formation (OTF) in Toulouse.

2021. This year marks the 20th anniversary of my research group, the ATILF. Lots of events in place, from questionnaires and interviews to seminars and conferences, a bimonthly newsletter, but all covid-dependent. A special webpage for all of this.

2020 December. On the HDR jury for Séverine Wozniak in Aix Marseille: « Anglais de spécialité et mondes professionnels : Contribution des langues spécialisées à la construction de la composante discursive de l’expertise professionnelle. » This is a kind of (very) post-doctoral qualification which allows you to organise research, supervise PhDs and apply for professor’s posts.

2020 November. Anaïs Carnet successfully defended her doctoral thesis titled « L’utilisation de séries télévisées dans l’apprentissage de la consultation pour les étudiants de médecine français. » She has since been recruited to a lecturer’s (MCF) post. Well done Anaïs!

2020 November. On the scientific committee for the 28th International Conference on Computers in Education. Darwin, Australia.

2020 October. Covid back again but a 9pm–6am curfew won’t interrupt my office hours. Let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse. Good luck to everyone – stay safe, stay sane.

2020 October. Invited talk for a symposium in Sweden: Incorporating Corpora in Teaching. I really enjoyed this event (online, in the end), some practical stuff and all great speakers!

2020 October. Harry Tyne invited me to give a plenary at Baby-TaLC (some of us have a sense of humour) in Perpignan, a kind of pre-TaLC event turning into a post-TaLC event, and online only. Very chuffed.

2020 September. Co-supervising new doctoral student with Virginine Privas-Bréauté. Eulalie Lomon, provisional title « Les TICE pour surmonter l’anxiété langagière lors des interactions orales en classe d’anglais. »

2020 September. Submitted a paper on the history of data-driven learning with Nina Vyatkina.

2020 September. President of the defence panel for Eva Schaeffer-Lacroix’s HDR, « Approche interdisciplinaire de la didactique de l’allemand langue étrangère » with Thierry Grass in Strasbourg. This is a kind of (very) post-doctoral qualification which allows you to organise research, supervise PhDs and apply for professor’s posts. Delayed and online only, in the end, due to Covid.

2020 September. Invited to an online event by the Ambassade de France en Chine, participating in one of the round table sessions.

2020 September. Reka Jablonkai, Pascual Pérez-Paredes, Nina Vyatkina and I submitted a proposal for a symposium at AACL in Flagstaff, AZ. I’ve been to several AACL events (American Association of Corpus Linguistics), including one in Flagstaff, but not in recent years. I was looking forward to it but of course covid delayed.

2020 September. I’ve had quite a lot of experience with distance teaching since about 1994, but covid means it’s all online this semester as we can’t mix groups.

2020 August. Very sad to see Yazdan Choubsaz leave after a year with us at the ATILF, working on his PhD « The evolution of CALL in published research articles: a research synthesis of high-impact papers. »

2020 August. This year’s EUROCALL conference was supposed to be in Copenhagen, but was a much reduced event online only. I was course involved for the executive committee and for the ReCALL editorial board meeting, and giving a paper with Yazdan Choubsaz (an Iranian doctoral student over for a year) and his supervisor, Aliresa Jalilifar. This will be written up in the volume of short papers.

2020 July. The biennial TaLC (Teaching and Language Corpora) conference was back in France for the first time since 2006. I’m on the committee, and it’s really my favourite event as closest to my interests and always great people there. Well organised, even if entirely on line, of course.

2020 July. Untold years in the making, the new ATILF website was finally launched this month.

2020 July. On the scientific committee for Jozef Colpaert’s 21st International CALL conference: Smart CALL, to be held in Tokyo. I’d love to be there in person, but so would everyone else – Covid delay.

2020 July. The first meeting for the Hcéres – we have to prepare a hefty dossier justifying what we’ve been doing for the past 5 years, and line up a project for the next 5 with a new director. I have to say I’m dreading this more than a bit.

2020 June onwards. I’m afraid covid started to take its toll from June onwards; these have not been good months for me for all kinds of reasons, and for many others too. Fortunately there are good people you can count on.

2020 June.  A member of the French evaluation committee (Hcéres) for the Centre d’Études Linguistiques in Lyon. I don’t think this is a state secret. Delayed and entirely online due to Covid.

2020 May. On the recruitment panels for 3 lecturers positions, two at the Université de Lorraine, one in Aix-Marseille.

2020 April. On the scientific committee for the one-day conference « Social Studies of the English Language in France and the French-speaking World », at the UL in Metz. Delayed due to Covid.

2021 March. On the scientific committee for the Language & Technology strand of AAAL 2020 to be held in Denver, CO. Delayed or cancelled due to Covid, not sure which.

2020 16th March to 11th May and beyond. Of course, everything is shut down due to Covid-19. Going in twice  a week, mainly to check the AC is working and the servers not overheating. As « travail isolé » is strictly forbidden even in present circumstances, there have to be two of us at all times. Then opening up 2 days a week, still a lot of people working from home.

2020 February. On the scientific committee for VALS-ASLA in Neuchâtel Switzerland: « La linguistique appliquée à l’ère digitale – Applied linguistics in the digital age. »

2020 February. On the scientific committee for a conference in Grenoble held by RADELAS (Ressources linguistiques, méthodes et Applications Didactiques En LAngues de Spécialité).

2020 February.  In Paris for the AFLA annual event, giving a talk on « Apprentissage sur corpus : entre idée et réalité… et vers l’avenir. » Assuming the strikes don’t interfere.

2020 January.  On the scientific committee for VALS-ASLA, « La linguistique appliquée à l’ère digitale – Applied linguistics at the digital age » in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Nope, I can’t get to that one either.

2020 January.  On the scientific committee for the RADELAS (Ressources linguistiques, méthodes et Applications Didactiques En LAngues de Spécialité) conference in Grenoble. Another one I won’t be able to go to, unfortunately.

2020 January.  I gave a plenary for this year’s ARDAA conference here in Nancy, titled « Trente ans de recherches en apprentissage sur corpus. »

2020 January.  I haven’t mentioned the effects of strikes from last year, especially on transport, related to the government’s proposals for pension reform. But with the long-awaited (anticipated? dreaded?) LPPR (law for the pluriannual programming of research), things are coming closer to home. There may be some good things in it, but by no means all and there is serious cause for concern among the research community here.

2019 December. Also submitted a paper loosely based on the plenary from last year’s TaLC for a book edited by Pascual Pérez-Paredes and Geraldine Mark, « Beyond the concordance: Corpora in language education »; to be published by John Benjamins. Fingers crossed…

2019 December. Ooh, a rare event these days since being head of the ATILF takes so much time. Just a short paper arising from EUROCALL this year, titled « First contact with language corpora: Perspectives from students. » You can get it here.

2019 December. In Paris for the second PERL conference, giving a talk on « Listening to students: feedback from novice corpus builders ». Also a round table on the « Impact du numérique dans le champ du savoir » with Eva Guerda Rodriguez, Natalie Kübler, Catherine Loisy and Eric Bruillard. I enjoyed this one, but could have been better in the round table.

2019 December. Invited to the scientific committee of the 27th International Conference on Computers in Education, Taiwan.

2019 November. In Lyon on the panel for Virginie Andrés HDR jury, a kind of rite of passage for lecturers who have an eye on a professorship. Titled « Sociolinguistique des interactions verbales et exploitations didactiques », linking sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics and DDL – excellent stuff!

2019 November. Tom Cobb came to Nancy to give a talk on « Word families vs. lemmas as the counting unit in text coverage research – summary of the debate and resolution », good to see him again. He stayed with us and I took him to dinner with an over-awed Yazdan.

2019 November. I got the PEDR (a kind of award / bonus / recognition for research) this year, which I was very pleased with but kind of surprised about.

2019 November. On the scientific committee for this year’s Journée  internationales de la Linguistique de Corpus (JLC) organised by Lidilem in Grenoble.

2019 November. Apparently I’m an « expert » for Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University and its Institute of Humanities.

2019 October. I don’t usually talk about teaching here, but I gave a series of 3 video-lectures on publishing in applied linguistics for the Université Estadual de Campinas – Unicamp (Brazil), and a couple of talks to master’s students in linguistics about corpora and teaching. Fun!

2019 October. In Paris for an AFLA one-day conference, but glad I didn’t talk – just too tired!

2019 October. Invited to be on the committee for a conference in Clermont-Ferrand, Les corpus écrits et oraux pour approcher les domaines spécialisés (droit, santé, etc) : vers une linguistique d’intervention ?

2019 September. The yearly promotion committee for all the CNRS research labs in the « Centre-Est » region; this time just for doc-com.

2019 August. Yazdan Choubsaz arrived for 6 months to work on his doctoral dissertation on « Identifying Computer Assisted Language Learning Evolution through Published Research Articles in CALL-oriented Journals: A Chronological Study. » I’m « advisor », with Alireza Jalilifar at Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran. Lovely chap and really competent!

2019 August. This year’s EUROCALL conference was in Louvain la Neuve (Belgium). Hosting the usual ReCALL editorial board meeting, giving a paper, and organising an editors’ panel workshop with some of the biggies in CALL journals: Muriel Grosbois, Bryan Smith, Jozef Colpaert, Jesús García Laborda, Ana Gimeno, Nobue Tanaka-Ellis, Phil Hubbard & Ursula Stickler.

2019 July. Something I hadn’t done before, participating in the selection process for promotion among professors. Hmm.

2019 July. Small things can bring joy at times. The Trésor de la Langue Française was the huge founding project for the lab several decades ago, and two electronic versions of the dictionary are available on line (here and here). Some of the entries are officially registered trademarks, so large companies spend a fortune on lawyers to get us to change things – even though this dictionary describes actual use. Happy to report that we managed to sort things out, thanks to them too.

2019 July. On the committee for a strand of this year’s Corpus Linguistics conference in Cardiff. I haven’t been for years, but it’s not for lack of interest – just time.

2019 June. In Lyon for this year’s AFLA conference, partly as they’re hosting the AILA congress there in 2023 (sh, don’t tell anyone). Gave a talk on « Citing science in applied linguistics: The case of data-driven learning », and participated in a round table / panel thing with Henry Tyne, Françoise Olmo-Cazevieille, Denyze Toffoli, Martin Howard, Maï Leray and Shona Whyte on « Cross-linguistic perspectives on second/foreign language education: challenges and opportunities. »

2019 June. In Paris for a meeting of the INSHS; in Brabois to be filmed en masse doing silly things in a field by a drone for the 80 ans du CNRS. Don’t try and spot me!

2019 May. Invited to write the forward to a book edited by Pete Crosthwaite, « Data-driven learning for the next generation: Corpora and DDL for pre-tertiary learners. » There’s some really interesting stuff in there.

2019 May 17. In Nantes on the PhD panel for Thi Phuong Le Ngo, « Development and evaluation of a virtual resource center in a blended language learning environment in a university context. » Thanks to Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes for inviting me.

2019 May. Alessandra Cacciato arrived to work on her master’s dissertation « Scusa, devo andare via: L’insegnamento dei verbi sintagmatici in italiano L2 attraverso il Data-driven Learning », from the university in Rome. Successful defense later in the year – well done!

2019 May. In Epinal for the annual APLIUT conference (language teachers in technical colleges is a very rough gloss). Some friends but didn’t give a talk.

2019 April. That time of year, so on recruitment panels for lecturer posts (UL and Paris 7 – though only as an external there) and a professorship in Toulouse. Also for a temporary ATER post in linguistics at the UL.

2019 March. Welcoming Elen Le Foll as visiting researcher from the Universität Osnabrück.

2019 March 29. In Perugia, Italy, mainly for the PhD defence panel for Luciana Forti, « Data-driven learning and the acquisition of italianverb-noun collocations » (directed by Stefania Spina). This coincided (not entirely fortuitously) with a conference titled Discovering data-driven learning: How corpora can help translators and learners of a second language, so invited to give a talk on Data-driven learning in a nutshell: What, how why… and does it work?

2019 March. Elected to the conseil of our teaching department, the UFR Lansad (languages for specialists of other disciplines).

2019 March. Pilot testing of CollocAid for Ana Frankenberg-Garcia. It looks really good and looking forward to its official launch.

2019 January. ReCALL published issue 31.1, marking a full 30 years of the journal. Quite a responsibility as editor!

2019 January. In Paris for the official launch of the 80 years of the CNRS; also present Antoine Petit (head of the CNRS), Frédérique Vidal (minister) and Édouard Philippe (prime minister); surprised that everyone applauded and stood, but that’s not a comment on my own position.

2018 December 7. Member of the defence panel for Carmenne Kalyaniwala « Émergence de l’autonomie sociale soutenue par le numérique dans une formation pré-professionnelle en didactique des langues. » Directed by François Mangenot and Thierry Soubrié at the Université Grenoble-Alpes. Well done Carmenne!

2018 November. Hosting Karina Menegaldo (Unicamp, Brésil) for a 3-month internship, and external garantor for her doctorate on publishing in applied linguistics.

2018 November. We launched a major review of « risques psychosociaux » at the ATILF, with all the support staff being interviewed. Not sure how much use it is in most cases, but some interesting results. Thanks to all who helped.

2018 November 26-30. Invited to the scientific committee for the 26th International Conference on Computers in Education at Metro Manila, Philippines.

2018 November 15-16. On the scientific committee for Corpus sur objectifs spécifiques at the Université Lyon 3.

2018 October. A paper out in Langues Modernes titled « Les corpus et les TIC comme aide à la découverte des langues ». A bit thanks to Myriam Pereiro!

2018 October. The final farewell to the Institut de Linguistique Française (ILF) at a meeting in Paris.

2018 September 27-28. An invited conference on « Data-driven learning: past, present, and future between ‘hard and soft’ practices » during an event in Turin titled Data-driven learning as a scaffolding methodology for foreign languages and CLIL classes.

2018 September. Yearly meetings for promotions in two branches of the CNRS, IT and doc-comm.

2018 September. The annual « journées de rentrée de l’ATILF » at the headquarters of the regional CNRS this year.

2018 September 3-4. I was asked to be on the committee of the CoNLP4LTL (International Workshop on the Integration of corpora and NLP in Language Teaching and Learning) in Cairo. Shame I couldn’t be there too.

2018 August 20-25. This year’s EUROCALL conference was at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. I chaired a publishing workshop with members of the ReCALL editorial team and board, and of course participated in the EUROCALL executive board meeting as well as the ReCALL board meeting earlier in the week, with other events to celebrate ReCALL’s 30th birthday.

2018 July 18-21. This is a pinnacle for me: invited to give a plenary at the 13th Teaching and Language Corpora conference (TaLC) in Cambridge, UK! Another great conference in the series. Also on a round table there with Angela Chambers, Lynne Flowerdew, Ana Frankenberg-García, Costas Gabrielatos, Susan Hunston and Anne O’Keeffe – I feel so small in an all-star cast like this.

2018 July. Supervising a month’s internship for Elena Khomiakova, a Russian student in EMLex.

2018 July 2. Not only is the new-look Frantext now online, but the old one has also been retired from service. 250 million words from over 5000 texts, mainly 20th century but some going back as far as the 9th. A good job jobbed!

2018 July 4-6. An invitation to the 19th International CALL Research Conference: CALL your Data at KU Leuven in Bruges. Delighted to be in a beautiful place with a wonderful sense of community among the participants – and actually thinking about research for once!

2018 June 26. A meeting of the Conseil de laboratoire, mainly to hammer out the fine details of the Règlement intérieur. A weight off my mind.

2018 June 19. A two-and-a-half-hour drive to Basel, Switzerland, with Yan Greub for a meeting of the FEW (Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch) and the Fondation von Wartburg. A huge project started nearly a century ago.

2018 June 13. I won’t tell you about the mess and stress with the national online system for uploading reports on all the admin and technical personnel (22 full-timers here), following interviews with their heads of department, along with recommendations for promotions and bonuses.

2018 June 4. A prize-giving at the Hôtel de Ville for the « Nouvelles de la Classe », a story-telling competition for primary-school children organised by the Académie Française partnered by the ATILF and others. The 2nd and 3rd prize winners get to visit the ATILF!

2018 May 31. In Paris for an open meeting of directors in the InSHS (Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales, CNRS). Mainly the same talks as for the CNRS induction day for new directors.

2018 May. On a recruitment panel for two ATER (temporary research) posts in applied linguistics and distance English degrees at the UL.

2018 May 18. Patrick Hanks was in Nancy today, so good to see him again!

2018 May 18. There are 3 faculty posts coming up this year for the ATILF: in teacher education, linguistics, and Lansad (languages for specialists of other disciplines); I’ll be on the recruitment panel for the latter with interviews on this date.

2018 May 2-6. I’ve been invited to Taiwan for the 2018 Hwa Kang International Conference on English Language & Literature. I’ll also be giving a workshop on academic publishing in CALL.

2018 April 25. Student strikes over new laws on admission led to the president of the university closing down our campus entirely, which includes our ATILF building even though it’s CNRS and not university. This lasted until exams started in early May, when some gates were opened but all access was checked for ID and bags searched. There was very little real trouble though the riot police were called in.

2018 March. Co-authored a paper in the European Journal of Applied Linguistics with Grégory Miras, Natalie Kübler and Jean-Paul Narcy-Combes about the Association Française de Linguistique Appliquée (AFLA).

2018 April 4. The ATILF is hosting the Erasmus Mundus EMLex programme this year, with students from the 8 countries in the consortium coming to Nancy for the summer term.

2018 March 28. In Chicago for an invited symposium by the IRIS initiative on Open Accessible Summaries in Language Studies (OASIS), as editor for ReCALL along with editors of 14 other journals in applied linguistics.

2018 March 14-17. In Mons (Belgium) for the GERAS conference to host the doctoral session.

2018 March 2-4. In Finland for the EUROCALL executive committee meeting, warming up for the conference in Finland in August.

2018 February 22. In Paris for the national HCERES evaluation of the DILTEC research lab.

2018 February 19. My research group is organising a one-day conference: « Autour de Francis Carton : l’éclectisme en Didactique des Langues ».

2018 February 16. I’ll be in Paris for the general assembly of the AFLA. I’m currently vice-president, which sounds grander than it is.

2018 January 30. A meeting in Paris for the new directors of CNRS labs. We’re thanked for a thankless task, for giving up research and moving into admin for human resources, and putting up with the « emmerdes » that go with it.

2018 January 11. The first general assembly of the ATILF in the new 5-year project.

2018 January 1. I’ll be moving office as I become director of the ATILF research lab. Now in the ATILF building (CNRS, 44 avenue de la Libération, BP 30687 – 54063 Nancy Cedex, France). Email and telephone will also be changing; I’ll post details on the first page here once I know.

2017 November 16-18. Plenary 2017 November 16-18. Plenary conference and member of the scientific committee for the international conference at Paris 7 – Paris Diderot: Entre Présence et Distance: Accompagner et Découvrir des Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues à l’Université.

2017 November 10. A meeting of our research group – Didactique des langues et sociolinguistique (Crapel) – elected Maud Ciekanski as our new head. I’ll be helping her until the end of the year when an official assistant head is appointed.

2017 October. The special issue of Language Learning & Technology 21(3) on Corpora in language learning and teaching should be out, edited by Nina Vyatkina and me.

2017 October 5-7. Rome for meetings of EMLex – the Erasmus Mundus European Master in Lexicography.

2017 September. The annual journées de rentrée at the ATILF, which I viewed with some trepidation this year as I’m due to be director as of 1st January 2018 for a five-year period.

2017 September 3. A PhD jury in Strasbourg for Meryl Kusyk’s doctorate: Les dynamiques du développement de l’anglais au travers d’activités informelles en ligne : une étude exploratoire auprès d’étudiants français et allemands.

2017 August 21-25. Eurocall was in Southampton this year, with the regular exec meetings, ReCALL editorial board meeting, presentations, plus a workshop with Sylvie Thouësny, David Barr & Brian Stone: Inside ReCALL – How CALL publishing works; and a symposium with James Thomas, Sharon Hartle & Francesca Coccetta: Integrating corpus use and classroom practice.

2017 July 24-28. Member of the scientific committee for the international conference Corpus Linguistics 2017. In Birmingham again, a shame I won’t be able to make it.

2017 July 23-28. At AILA in Rio for a paper, and to represent the AFLA on the EBIC. We’re delighted that France’s bid to host AILA 2023 in Lyon has been accepted.

2017 July 3-6. Member of the scientific committee for JLC’17 (9e Journées Internationales de la Linguistique de corpus) organised by Lidilem in Grenoble.

2017 July. ReCALL, a journal I edit with Françoise Blin and published by CUP,  just received its 2016 impact factor of 2.333, placing it in the top 10 linguistics journals worldwide. If you believe such things, of course…

2017 July 1. A surprise visit from Tom Cobb,  creator of the Compleat Lexical Tutor website. Nice to see an old friend!

2017 June. Alex Boulton & Tom Cobb. Corpus use in language learning: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 67(2): 348-393. DOI 10.1111/lang.12224. Very proud of this one!

2017 May 31 – June 2. Member of the scientific committee for CILC2017  (9th International Conference on Corpus Linguistics) in Grenoble. There are too many great things to go to!

2017 April 7. Alain Polguère and I gave a workshop on publishing at the ATILF, with special focus on international peer-reviewed journals and publishing practices in English.

2017 April-May. Four (down from an original six) recruitment panels this year at different universities : Université de Lorraine, Paris 8, Strasbourg, CNAM. This is really too much as they’re all at the same time, which can mean 3 different cities in as many days.

2017 March. A handbook chapter published in Springer’s Encyclopedia of Language and Education. See my Publications page.

2017 March 21 – April 1. I was invited for a 2-week research visit to the PUC Minas in Brazil on the topic of Littératies universitaires, internet et mondialisation. With workload, though, I had to turn it down. Sad.

2017 March 18-21. Discussant in a colloquium (Corpora in language learning and teaching) convened by Nina Vyatkina at AAAL, which is in Portland OR this year. a good opportunity to meet some of the contributors to the forthcoming SI of LLT (see October 2017), plus many other colleagues. Unfortunately it overlaps with the GERAS conference which I really wanted to go to for the theme this year (I’ll just be on the scientific committee for this, although I’ve completed my maximum 3-term mandate on the association committee).

2017 February 26. Preliminary meetings in Southampton ahead of this year’s Eurocall conference there.

2017 February 17. A general meeting at Paris 7 of the AFLA to decide the future of the association. Re-elected VP with Natalie Kübler, Grégory Miras as president.

2017 January 14. Invited to give a plenary at the Conference Science in Public Dialogue: values, communications, organisation to be held in St. Petersburg in April, 24-25. Assuming it would involve considerable organisation like last year, and with the current workload being what it is, I declined.

2016 December. I’ve been invited to the join the editorial board of Language Learning & Technology, effective next February. An honour!

2016 December. Actually I don’t know what the date was, but the proceedings have been published from the conference in St Petersburg in May, available on line here.

2016 December. Publication of short papers from Eurocall 2016 in Cyprus, including my « Quantifying CALL: significance, effect size and variation ».

2016 December 8. The official 5-yearly visit from the HCERES, the French evaluating body for research and higher education. Everything seemed to go smoothly, we’ll see what the final report has to say.

2016 December 7-8. An invitation back to the Center for English Corpus Linguistics in Louvain la Neuve, to talk to the team and the students had to be cancelled due to the HCERES visit (entry above).

2016 November 24-25. A plenary at Langues sur objectifs spécifiques : perspectives croisées entre linguistique et didactique hosted by ILCEA/LIDILEM in Grenoble.

2016 October 15. I officially became the assistant director of the ATILF today, with a view to becoming director on 1 Jan 2018. Close translations between gulp and gloups. Between now and then though who knows what will happen?!

2016 September. The latest issue of ALSIC has a book review by Maud Ciekanski and me of Geoff Sockett’s « The Online Informal Learning of English ».

2016 September 8-9. This year’s Journées de rentrée de l’Atilf, because of a tradition or an old charter or something, or else because of the transperambulation of pseudocosmic antimatter. Fun and games anyway, though unfortunately without our director Eva Buchi this year.

2016 September 1-3. The annual BAAL conference (British Association for Applied Linguistics), in Cambridge this year. Just managed to combine it with our annual UK trip to see family.

2016 August 22-27. The annual Eurocall conference in Cyprus, with a paper, exec meeting, ReCALL editorial board meeting among other things (including an extremely warm sea…). Next year will be in Southampton, UK; CfP shortly.

2016 July 20-23. My favourite conference series, Teaching and Language Corpora (TaLC), was at Giessen in Germany this year. A pair of papers with Tom Cobb on our meta-analysis of data-driven learning. Good to meet up with a lot of friends.

2016 June 22-26. A plenary at the Asociación Europea de Lenguas para Fines Específicos conference in Guadalajara, Spain. Thank goodness they’re acronymisable (AELFE).

2016 June 29. With Yan Greub and Michel Musiol, presentation of the new project for the Atilf 2018-2022 to the other research units in our « pôle », the vice-president and some members of the Comité Scientifique. I think it went well enough.

2016 May 24-25. Marathon session with 6 dissertation vivas in the M2 MEEF (teacher qualification master’s degree).

2016 May 19-21. An invited workship in Lille organised by Manue Canut with Henry Tyne, Virginie André, Christophe Benzitoun, Maï Leray and Juliette Delahaie: Quelle(s) utilisation(s) des corpus pour la didactique des langues? Most of the Musketeers are back together, so fun should be had.

2016 May 10-15. A short research visit to Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia; originally invited for 2 weeks but it’s just too much at this time of year in particular. The trip includes a plenary at a conference on Humanitarian Educational Environment in Technical Universities, a masterclass on publishing in applied linguistics, and who knows what else.

2016 April 12. A trip to Paris (a) to apply for a visa to Russia, which I’m a bit annoyed nobody will help me with in St Petersburg or in Nancy, and (b) to discuss the future of AFLA with Jean-Paul Narcy-Combes; Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes and Dominique Macaire representing the Acedle.

2016 April. Examining applications for the yearly recruitment process in Nancy and elsewhere. No fun for anyone – least of all the poor candidates. So many with PhDs in literature or cultural studies applying for jobs oriented towards ESP and research in applied linguistics.

2016 March 31. Submitted a proposal to the International Association for Applied Linguistics (Aila 2017) in Rio on the meta-analysis of DDL I did with Tom Cobb. I’ve no idea if I’m likely to get funding but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Tom and I were invited to a research synthesis symposium at Aila 2014 in Brisbane, so it would round things off nicely. Also it would be good so that AFLA could represent France.

2016 March, and several times a year. HAL ought to be great as a national repository for making research available, but you can never do what you want. They have their reasoning, I have mine, but past correspondence shows that some people aren’t able to admit they might have got it wrong and there’s no point insisting. Hint: I know I’m sometimes wrong.

2016 March 17-19. To the Université Paris 8 in St Denis outside Paris for the annual GERAS conference. Took the early train to arrive on time only to find the campus barricade by striking students. Fortunately the organisers were able to get us in to the Archives Nationales just down the road – thanks to all. I just gave a regular paper, but it was meaningful for me as I stood down at the end of my maximum third term on the exec.; I’ll miss it, but good to hand over to Geneviève Bordet at Paris 7. Also a meeting with my doctoral student, Anaïs Carnet.

2016 March 16. A meeting at the Atilf to see if we’ll be affected by the LUE ISITE thing. Apparently there’s money to be had, but probably not much coming our way.

2016 March 11. Note to self: try to avoid trips away 4 weeks in a row in future.

2016 March 8-10. A visit to the Center for English Corpus Linguistics in Louvain la Neuve (not Leuven), mainly for a PhD defence by Verena Möller who produced a really excellent piece of work: The Impact of Educational Setting: A Study of the English Passive in German EFL and CLIL Learners. I found it odd though to have a private defence in the morning and a public one in the afternoon. The next day I presented my work to CECL and vice versa – they’re such a dynamic team with so many great projects it’s incredible!

2016 March 4. Received the final prints of a paper for ASp from Monique Mémet; it’s printed but won’t be available in full on the website until next year. Boulton, A. 2016. Integrating corpus tools & techniques in ESP courses. ASp, 69: 111-135

2016 March 2-3. An invitation to the ILCF at the Université de Neuchâtel in Switzerland by Alain Kamber, with Carine Skupien, Maud Dubois and colleagues. Lovely place, lovely people, lovely fondue! Plus a bit of snow. Some good discussions with them and their FLE students about uses of corpora and DDL techniques.

2016 February 25-28. To Cyprus for the Eurocall meeting as I’m on the exec.; the annual conference will be there in August. Lovely place, but to keep costs down I had to arrive a day early (oh shame!) and visit the town with Sake Jager from Gröningen University, and then get a taxi back to the airport at 3am on the Sunday. Still, it’s shaping up to be a great conference in a wonderful place, everything on site in a well equipped resort rather than university premises.

2016 February 24. Completed my reviews for this year’s Eurocall conference.

2016 February 18. Tom Cobb and I finally submitted our meta-analysis of data-driven learning, having had to cut the text by 30% as the first version was too long. But meta-analyses are always too long – they’re meta! Anyway, now waiting for reviewer feedback.

2016 February 15. Nina Vyatkina and I are editing a special issue of Language Learning & Technology on « Corpora in language learning and teaching » for 2017. Having received 67 short proposals, we had to turn down a lot of excellent work today as we can only invite a small number of papers – probably only half a dozen will appear in the SI itself.

2016 February 12. All the directors + assistant directors of the research groups at the Atilf had a day out in the country to work on the 5-year plan. Fun and games was had by all, especially after wine with lunch (of course).

2016 February 11. Completed a review for Recherche et Pratiques Pédagogiques en Langues de Spécialité (RPPLS). There are so many reviews though that I probably won’t list them systematically, if at all.

2016 February 5 & 11. We had two ‘scientific’ meetings at the Crapel where each member had an opportunity to present and explain their work, the objective being to find links, imagine new projects and contribute to the prospective part of the new 5-year plan. We now need to think what to do with all this.

2016 February 1. Esma Aboudi arrived from the Université Constantine 1 in Algeria, she’s doing her PhD on La dimension culturelle en classe de FLE, and used the Crapel’s resources (including us) for a week.

2016 January 29. Completed a review for the International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).

2016 January 15. A meeting in Paris for the Acedle with some great talks from Wander Lowie, Heather Hilton, Joëlle Aden and Marjolijn Verspoor. Also some discussion of the future of AFLA, which I’m vice-president of.

2016 January – February. The UL has to produce its 5-year plan, so we’ve been busy trying to produce a synthesis of research activity since Jan 2011 for the Atilf and for the Crapel. Many thanks to everyone who contributed, especially Maud Ciekanski who’s assistant director of the Crapel, and Cornelia Comsa our documentalist.