At their annual general meeting in Perth yesterday, the Australian Linguistics Society (ALS) awarded this year’s Talkley award to our very own Ingrid Piller. The Talkley Award recognizes the person who has done the most to increase public understanding of language.
The committee cited in particular Ingrid’s outstanding commitment to communicate applied sociolinguistics research through Language on the Move. Operating for more than three years now, Language on the Move currently hosts over 300 research blog posts, the video exhibition Japanese on the Move, conference presentations and open access research publications. Attracting around 1,000 visitors per day, Language on the Move is not only a repository of content but a linguistics community of academics, students and practitioners including our vibrant Facebook and Twitter communities.
The close intersection between research and dissemination is particularly evident in the workshop Human Sciences Perspectives on Linguistic Diversity and Social Inclusion in Australia, which was funded by Macquarie University’s Faculty of Human Sciences and held on the Macquarie University campus in October this year and simultaneously accompanied by a global live-stream, various interactive channels through social networking sites and ongoing documentation through video excerpts.
Language on the Move itself has become an object of mass media attention as evidenced by this article in Campus Review, which speaks about the use of Web 2.0 technologies to nurture students, reach out to the public and, simultaneously, enhance research productivity.
Beyond Language on the Move,Ingrid was recognized for her tireless work to promote bilingual education in Australia and to focus public attention on the challenges of language learning in the context of migration and globalization through her appearances in the mass media, some of which are collected here.
Ingrid was unable to attend this year’s ALS conference in Perth and so her former PhD student, Donna Butorac, accepted the award on her behalf. By lucky coincidence, Donna also received an award herself at the AGM, the 2012 Michael Clyne Award for the best research thesis in the area of immigrant bilingualism and language contact in Australia.
The Language on the Move team is delighted about the recognition of our work under Ingrid’s leadership. Ingrid’s acceptance speech is reproduced below. In addition to her thanks, we would also like to add that our ability to do sociolinguistics in style is due to our fantastic web designer Marcin Debski from Espider Australia and to our fashion sponsor Yaccomaricard.
Ingrid’s acceptance speech of the Talkley 2012 Award
I am delighted and honoured to accept the Talkley 2012 Award! It is wonderful to see our work, particularly on the sociolinguistics portal Language on the Move, recognized in this way! Our research and dissemination efforts are concerned with the ways in which linguistic diversity intersects with some of the big issues the world is facing today: migration, multiculturalism, globalization and social justice. These issues find broad resonance with a wide public and with the experience of many.
I am particularly encouraged to receive this award – and, indeed, to see that this award exists – because engaging in public debates is often frowned upon in the academy and seen as somehow detracting from the value of “pure” and “objective” research. However, in reality all research is public and our work circulates into the world in often unexpected ways. In the words of Michael Burawoy: “What we write circulates into the world we seek to comprehend and from there sprays dirt in our face.” So, this award is an encouragement for all of us who get out there and who get dirty on occasion.
While I’m sad that I cannot be in Perth today to accept the Talkley 2012 Award in person, I am delighted that Dr Donna Butorac is able to accept it in my stead. Donna is a former PhD student of mine and winner of this year’s Michael Clyne Award. This is double recognition of the work we do on Language on the Move. Indeed, disseminating research for positive change is very much a team effort. Impact only happens with many people multiplying our messages and so this award really goes to everyone on the Language on the Move team and I would like to mention particularly my co-editor Dr Kimie Takahashi of Assumption University of Thailand in Bangkok.
Language on the Move is an open forum and I would like to extend a warm invitation to all members of the Australian Linguistics Society to join us as guest-bloggers or in other ways!
Thank you again for presenting me with the Talkley 2012 Award! I’ll close with special thanks to the postgraduate committee for their efforts, particularly to Piers Kelly, who took time out of the crazy pre-submission time of his PhD thesis to administer the award. Thanks, everyone!