Call for papers


Learner Corpus Research 2011

To mark the 20th anniversary of its creation, the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics of the University of Louvain is organizing a conference entitled “20 years of learner corpus research: looking back, moving ahead” in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) on 15-17 September 2011.

Learner corpus research (LCR) is a young but vibrant new brand of research which stands at a crossroads between corpus linguistics, second language acquisition and foreign language teaching. Its origins go back to the late 1980s when academics and publishers, concurrently but independently, started collecting data from foreign/second language learners with a view to advancing our understanding of the mechanisms of second language acquisition and/or developing pedagogical tools and methods that more accurately target the needs of language learners. At first limited to English as a Foreign Language, LCR has begun to spread to a wide range of languages and as a result, the community group of learner corpus researchers is rapidly growing and diversifying. Great advances have been made in learner corpus design, collection and annotation, and the range of learner data has expanded with the addition of spoken and multimedia learner corpora. The field has also greatly benefited from growing links with related disciplines – in particular, second language acquisition, teaching methodology, contrastive linguistics, cognitive linguistics, lexicography, language testing and natural language processing.

Although twenty years after its emergence, it is too early to render a definitive assessment of the achievements in the field, it is time to take stock of the advances that have been made in methodology, theory, analysis and applications, and think up creative ways of moving the field forward. LCR2011 is meant to bring together all the researchers who collect, annotate, analyze computer learner corpora and/or use them to inform SLA theory or develop learner-corpus-informed tools (courseware, proficiency tests, automatic spell- and grammar-checkers, etc.).

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce that the following speakers have accepted our invitation to give a keynote presentation at the conference:

Prof. Angela Chambers, University of Limerick, Ireland
Prof. Nick Ellis, University of Michigan, USA
Prof. Detmar Meurers, University of Tübingen, Germany
Prof. Joybrato Mukherjee, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
Prof. Florence Myles, Newcastle University, Great Britain
Prof. Norbert Schmitt, University of Nottingham, Great Britain

Conference themes

We particularly welcome papers that address the relevance of learner corpus research to:

Cognitive linguistics
Discourse studies
Grammar and syntax
Language for academic/specific purposes
Language varieties
Lexicology and phraseology
Natural language processing
Second language acquisition
Second/foreign language teaching

We also encourage the submission of papers addressing the links between learner corpus research and other research methodologies (e.g. experimental methods) and introducing innovative annotation techniques.

There will be four different categories of presentation: 

  • Full paper (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion)
  • Short paper (10 minutes + 5 minutes for discussion)
  • Software demonstration (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion)
  • Poster

The posters are intended to present research still at a preliminary stage and on which researchers would like to get feedback.

The conference aims to be a showcase for the latest developments in the field and will feature both software demos and a book exhibition.

Theme sessions

The conference will also feature three thematic sessions, for which submissions are invited.

1. Language for Specific Purposes Learner Corpora (convenor: Magali Paquot)
The “Language for Specific Purposes (LSP) Learner Corpora” thematic session aims to bring together researchers that are particularly interested in the collection, annotation and analysis of LSP learner corpora and their practical applications.

2. Learner Corpora and Cognitivism (convenor: Fanny Meunier)
The “Learner Corpora and Cognitivism” thematic session aims to bring together researchers working with learner corpora (either as their main source of data or in combination with other data types) to help account for cognitive processes at play in second language acquisition.

3. Learner Corpora and World Englishes (convenor: Gaëtanelle Gilquin)
The aim of the “Learner Corpora and World Englishes” thematic session is to bring the fields of SLA and World Englishes one step closer to each other by examining the possible links and synergies between Learner Englishes and indigenised varieties of English, as they emerge from corpora.

Language of the conference



Your abstract should be between 500 and 700 words (+ list of references) and must specify how the paper will contribute to the theme of the conference. It should also provide a clear outline of the aim of the paper including clearly articulated research question(s), some details about research approach and methods and (preliminary) results.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to, before 27 December 2010. Under subject, please write "lcr2011 abstract". Please name the attachment as follows: lcr2011_yourlastname_yourfirstname.doc.

Abstracts will be reviewed anonymously by the scientific committee. You will be notified of the outcome of the review process by the end of February 2011.

For purposes of easy editing, please make use of the MS Word template made available here for submitting your abstract.