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2017 BC TEAL Lower Mainland Regional Conference

The 2017 BC TEAL Lower Mainland Regional Conference will be held on Saturday, November 18th, 2017 at Columbia College. The conference theme is “Rethinking Communication: Trends, Tools and Strategies”, and we are honoured to have Dr. Maite Taboada, Professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University, as the plenary speaker. See ‘Latest Updates‘ for more information.

Where:  Columbia College | 438 Terminal Avenue | Vancouver, BC
When: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Early Bird Pricing:  $60 for BC TEAL Members, $50 for Discounted Members, and $75 for Non-members. Lunch is included. The early bird deadline is Wednesday November 1, 2017.

BC TEAL is now accepting proposals. If you would like to present at the conference, please fill in the online proposal submission form. The deadline for proposal submission is Monday October 9, 2017.

Proposal Submission Form

We look forward to welcoming you to this exciting event!


There is no schedule for this conference now.

Plenary Speaker: Dr. Maite Taboada, Simon Fraser University

Maite Taboada  is Professor of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University (Canada). She works in the areas of discourse analysis and computational linguistics. Ongoing research includes opinion and sentiment in text, with a special focus on opinion and evaluative language in social media.

Language and social media: Opportunities for the EAL classroom

This talk will try to answer some frequent questions about language use in social media:

• Why are people so nice on Facebook, so nasty on Twitter, and so ‘braggy’ on Instagram?
• Do we use different forms of language across those social media sites?
• Why is it so hard to be sarcastic online, and so easy to be misunderstood?

I will describe the language of social media, but also of online communication in general, and explore how we have adapted our language to the online medium, developing a new form of communication, with characteristics from both oral and written language. This requires a new level of communicative competence, both for fluent speakers of English and for those learning English as an Additional Language.

Taking as point of departure the notion of register, the idea that language varies according to situation and social purpose, I will examine how linguistic characteristics change across online registers. Special attention will be given to the opinionated nature of much online interaction, and the role that figurative language (metaphor, irony, sarcasm) plays in conveying opinion.

The talk will include suggestions for how to use natural language data from social media in the classroom, and how to engage students through social media to increase their awareness of online language.

Columbia College, 438 Terminal Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V6A 0C1

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