Second Language Acquisition & Teaching GIDP
American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
Attending the 2018 American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference in Chicago provided numerous opportunities for professional development and furthering my research. This was my first time presenting my research during a poster session, and I very much enjoyed the one-on-one interaction with visitors to the session. I found it much easier to receive feedback on various elements of my research design and ideas for next-steps for this particular project. One of the most beneficial professional development opportunities was participating in “Conference Connections”, a mentorship program designed to pair graduate students with faculty members of AAAL. I was paired with a professor heavily involved in language program administration, and was able to discuss my own job prospects based on the kind of experience I’ve gained throughout my time as a graduate student. I also took advantage of a handful of professional development events that AAAL organized specifically for graduate students. The most memorable of these was a roundtable dinner during which graduate students met with recently hired faculty members and other experienced graduate students to discuss topics such as publication and how to approach the academic job market. I left this roundtable with valuable tips and ideas for searching and applying for academic positions; information that will prove vital as I prepare to enter the job market this fall. AAAL was one of the most positive conference experiences I have had thus far, and I am grateful for the financial support from Carter Travel Award that allowed me to participate in this event.