Paul Kei Matsuda


AAAL this year was a joint conference with Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics/Association Canadienne de Linguistique Appliquée. The attendance was lower, and I didn't see many people that I would usually see at AAAL--probably because it was in June, when many people are traveling or want to focus on their research projects. But it was still a great conference--for one thing, I got to attend many sessions, which I don't get to do at CCCC or TESOL.

The highlight of this year's conference, as always, was the time I spent with colleagues and friends. I had many meals and drinks with Chris Tardy, my collaborator in the voice project, and her friends from her Turkey days. I also got to know Dwight's students from Temple University Japan, who are doing meticulous work--perhaps reflecting Dwight's tendencies.

Dwight also introduced me to Rena Helms-Parks, who collaborated with Paul Stapleton on an article critiquing the importance of voice in academic writing. Meeting Rena was interesting not only because Chris and I were responding in part to their work but also because Rena or her description of Paul Stapleton didn't match what Chris and I had imagined from their writing.

Aya, Kana and I got together with Yasuhiro Imai, a good friend of ours from TESOL Link, and Kyoko Baba, a rising star from OISE who is working with Alister Cumming. I had heard about her from Masumi Narita, whom I had met in Japan this summer. I went to Kyoko's presentation on the last day, and was deeply impressed by the quality of her research and her thorough yet concise presentation.

I also enjoyed a presentation by Mark James, another OISE graduate who had worked with Alister. I had met him at his home institution, Arizona State, when I went to give a talk at their conference. His work on learning transfer provides an important perspective that have often been taken for granted.

Joleen Hanson, one of my doctoral students, presented her research on It was a good descriptive project with many important theoretical implications. I was really pleased with the quality of her presentation--she has definitely become a confident and competent presenter. She also used PowerPoint really effectively to present both verbal and visual information--an important skill especially given her interest in technology and writing.

My own presentation with Chris on voice in academic writing went really well. It was well attended. We ran out of handouts, but managed to put together additional PowerPoint slides with all the relevant data in the last minute. Among the audience were John Swales, Ken Hyland, Brian Paltridge, Doug Flahive, and Dwight Atkinson, just to name a few. Aya and Kana also managed to stay through my part of the presentation. The questions were all predictable, and we are now thinking about pursuing other related projects.

Another highlight of the conference was the food. Everything we ate was great--even at the food court. Très bien!

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Last update: January 6, 2008