LSPPC6: 6th International Conference of Asia-Pacific LSP & Professional Communication Association (Online Conference)

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In collaboration with the International Society for Gesture Studies – Hong Kong

Multimodality and Beyond:
Addressing complexity and emerging needs in LSP

3rd to 5th June, 2021
Department of English
City University of Hong Kong

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The Asia-Pacific Languages for Specific Purposes & Professional Communication Association is pleased to announce the 6th International Conference of the LSPPC on the theme of Multimodality and Beyond: Addressing complexity and emerging needs in LSP

The study of Languages for Specific Purposes and Professional Communication has progressed rapidly over the past thirty years. Recent developments suggest emerging needs for English language learners that require more sensitive conceptual frameworks and methodologies. The pervasive use of digital media has led to the development of academic and professional practices that are multimodal, plurilingual and often seek to engage diversified audiences. At the same time, technology and new methods have become readily available to study LSP and Professional Communication in a widening range of settings from increasingly diverse angles, shedding light on complexity that understandably once lay beyond the standard analytical purview. The use of digital technologies along with theoretical and methodological developments in areas including multimodal discourse analysis, multimodal interaction, gesture studies, and embodied cognitive science have revolutionized our understanding of specialized language and communication.  

The 6th international conference of the Asia-Pacific LSP & Professional Communication Association aims to develop a high resolution picture of how our field is dealing with these scientific and technological advances. To help achieve this aim, five scholars who are renowned internationally for their work related to the conference themes have been invited to deliver plenary lectures and run hands-on workshops for the conference participants. Additionally, the conference program will feature three invited panels on the themes of the conference, convened and chaired by specialists in this area. Given the importance of gesture to multimodality, we are pleased to be organising this conference in collaboration with the regional hub of the International Society of Gesture Studies (ISGS Hong Kong).

Plenary and Workshop Speakers

Diane Belcher

Professor Diane Belcher
Professor and Chair, Applied Linguistics and ESL, Georgia State University

Plenary lecture: Defining the elusive “digital genre” and contemplating implications for LSP research and pedagogy

Workshop: Leveraging digital multimodality in the teaching of all linguistic modalities for academic purposes (Places are limited)

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Kay O'Halloran

Professor Kay O’Halloran
Chair Professor and Head of Department of Communication and Media in the School of the Arts at the University of Liverpool

Plenary lecture: Multimodality and Beyond

Workshop: Multimodal Approaches to Language, Image and Video Analysis (Places are limited)

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Guangwei Hu

Professor Guangwei Hu
Professor of Language and Literacy Education in the Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Plenary lecture:  What surprises academic writers: A diachronic perspective

Workshop:  Publishing LSP research in academic journals: Processes, practices, and strategies (Places are limited)

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Diane Belcher

Professor Jürgen Streeck
Professor of Communication Studies, Anthropology, and Germanic studies, the University of Texas at Austin

Plenary lecture: The Emergence of Conceptual Actions

Workshop: Interactive Gestures (Places are limited)

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Li Wei

Professor Li Wei
Chair of Applied Linguistics, UCL Institute of Education, University College London

Plenary lecture: Rethinking LSP, Academic Language and Professional Communication from a Translanguaging Perspective

Workshop: Translanguaging: what is it about and why is it necessary? (Places are limited)

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Invited Panels, Convened and Chaired by:

Sue Starfield

Professor Sue Starfield
Professor in the School of Education, University of New South Wales

Panel: English for Research Publication Purposes

Prof. Brian Paltridge (The University of Sydney)
Dr. Pascal Patrick Matzler (The University of Auckland and Universidad Católica del Maule)
Assoc. Prof. Leigh McDowell (Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST))
Dr. Becky Kwan (City University of Hong Kong)

Christoph Hafner

Dr. Christoph Hafner
Associate Professor, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong

Panel: Specialized Genres Online

Dr. Ron Darvin (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Dr. Sylvia Jaworska (University of Reading) 
Professor Rodney Jones (University of Reading)
Professor Carmen Pérez-Llantada (University of Zaragoza)
Dr. Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher (University of Waterloo)
Prof. Paul Prior (University of Illinois)

Renia Lopez

Dr. Renia Lopez
Assistant Professor, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Panel: Gesture in Teaching and Learning

Dr. Tetyana (Tania) Smotrova (National University of Singapore)
Prof. Elena Nicoladis (University of Alberta) 
Prof. Marianne Gullberg (Lund University)
Dr. Simon Harrison (City University of Hong Kong)
Dr. Catherine So (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Prof. Gale Stam (National Louis University)


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Call for Papers

We are pleased to invite abstracts that address any aspect of LSP and Professional Communication research including but not exclusively limited to the following themes of the conference:

  • Multimodality/multisensoriality in language, communication and interaction 
  • Methods, frameworks, and theories of multimodality in LSP and professional communication 
  • Multimodal transcription / multimodal representation of data 
  • Digital genres and practices in LSP and professional communication 
  • Research methods in LSP and professional communication 
  • Needs analysis in LSP and professional communication 
  • Genre pedagogy in LSP and professional communication 
  • Digital literacies pedagogy in LSP and professional communication 
  • Course/materials design in LSP and professional communication 
  • Testing and assessment in LSP and professional communication 
  • Teacher training in LSP and professional communication 
  • Language as embodied activity: gesture, languaging, and translanguaging 
  • Emotion and affect in LSP and professional communication 
  • English for research publication purposes: Genres, data, resources, and platforms 
  • Academic and professional practices: Language and genre analysis

Authors are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 300 words excluding references. Contribution as first author is limited to one paper. The deadline for abstract submission is 31st October 2020.

Paper presentations: Each paper presentation will be allotted 25 minutes (20 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for discussion). 

Poster presentation: The poster sessions at LSPPC6 will be allocated a specific time slot in the program to maximize the opportunities for extended interactions that the poster format allows.

Thematic Panels: We invite proposals for in-depth treatments of a common topic for thematic panels lasting 2 hours with 4-6 speakers including an optional discussant if desired. Depending on numbers of panel members, each presentation should be between 15-20 minutes in length. As the aim of the panel format is to encourage discussion, the convenor of the panel should ensure that a generous amount of time is left for discussion among participants. The panel proposal should include an abstract describing the overarching theme and rationale of the panel (300 words) and one abstract for each paper presentation to be included in the panel (maximum 300 words).

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Important Dates

9th November 2020: Extended Submission Deadline
18th January 2021: Notification of Acceptance & Registration Opens
20th March: Presenter registration deadline
3rd – 5th June 2021: Online Conference

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Registration fees:
Full fee (non-LSPPCA member): HK$450
Special fee for LSPPCA member: HK$250
Student: HK$100

Registration is closed.

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Practical Information

For information about the conference platform, click here.


Online conference model  

As soon as we committed to holding LSPPC6 online, we decided to design a conference that would: 

  • Include as much live interaction as possible; 
  • Respect the important and pleasurable experience derived from people engaging with each other at traditionally run conferences;  
  • Ensure that participants joining the conference from time zones different to ours would not be disadvantaged by being unable to access the online sessions, which are being scheduled live between 8.30am and 6pm in Hong Kong (GMT+8).  

For these reasons, sessions during the conference will be: 

  • A mixture of live presentations and pre-recorded ones by participants who cannot be present; 
  • Live-recorded and made available shortly after they finish through privately accessible links on the conference platform Sched (except for the hands-on workshops).   

Attending the conference

The entire conference will be run through Zoom rooms that provide registered participants with access to:  

  • Plenaries; 
  • Workshops; 
  • Invited panels; 
  • Parallel sessions; 
  • The poster session. 

These Zoom rooms are: 

  • Scheduled to open according to a three-day conference program based on HK time (GMT+8);  
  • Accessible to all registered participants through private web links provided via the online platform of the conference Sched.  

Presenters have been given the option to either: 

  • Present in person (over Zoom); 
  • Submit a pre-recorded presentation that will be shown on their behalf at the allocated time in the conference program.  

All Zoom rooms will be recorded live (except for the hands-on workshops and and poster sessions) in their entirety and links to these recordings will be made privately available to all registered participants through Sched shortly after each room closes (and will remain available for a short period of time following the conference).

Workshops capacity is limited. Places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

In order to respect the privacy and intellectual property of presenters, please do not share videos or screengrabs of presentations unless you have the express consent of the presenter to do so. 
Online conference etiquette 

As with in-person conferences, participants of online conferences need to respect the intellectual property rights and ownership of material being shared at the conference. The same standards and practices apply, namely:  

  • You should request authors’ permission to share images of their presentation and credit them appropriately with standard referencing conventions; 
  • Any links to either live presentations or recorded sessions or screenshots/recordings of presenters and their slides should not be shared outside of the conference without the presenter’s consent;  
  • Online communication should likewise maintain standards of behavior appropriate to the conference setting. 

Information about pre-recorded presentations   

General information

Even though you are choosing to pre-record your presentation, we would like to reassure you that:  

  • Your talk will still be allocated a slot in the conference program (i.e., in a coherently themed parallel session taking place June 3rd to 5th between 8:30am and 6:00pm Hong Kong time (GMT/UTC+8));  
  • If you are unable to be present during the scheduled time, the moderator of the session will play your pre-recorded presentation for the audience and then open and moderate a 5-minute discussion (instead of a Q&A);  
  • The discussion will be recorded and notwithstanding any technical problems will be made privately available to registered participants through the conference platform Sched soon after the parallel session and for a short period of time following the conference.    

Preparing your pre-recorded presentation  

Please use standard video and audio recording technology to ensure the video is of excellent quality in terms of sound and image.  

Common ways for recording presentations include using: 

We kindly ask that participants who have opted for pre-recorded presentation:  

  • Respect the 20-minute time limit; 
  • Include the name and dates of the conference among the details on your Title slide;  
  • Once you are satisfied with your recording, please upload the file to the conference OneDrive folder, which you can access through a link to be provided shortly;  
  • Submit by May 10th 2021; 
  • Note that your video must meet the following technical requirements:  
    • File type: mp4
    • Maximum file size: 1GB  
    • Maximum length: 20 minutes (we reserve the right to trim presentations where necessary)   

Conference Platform

Click here to visit the conference platform. 

The conference platform is Sched. Some basic information about Sched is available here:

Before the conference, after receiving the event invitation email:

  • Download the Sched mobile app (iOS and Android)
  • Alternatively login from the web version
  • Personalize your profile:
    • Set the profile to ‘public’ so that it can be viewed by all attendees 
    • Update personal information, contact information, and bio
    • Connect your social network profiles
    • Add a photo
  • Personalize your schedule by adding the sessions you want to attend
  • Register for workshops (capacity is limited and assigned on a first come, first served basis)

Scientific Committee 

Dr. Helen Basturkmen, The University of Auckland
Professor Vijay Bhatia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dr. Christine Feak, University of Michigan
Professor Yueguo Gu, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Dr. Christoph Hafner, City University of Hong Kong
Dr. Simon Harrison, City University of Hong Kong
Professor Azirah Hashim, University of Malaya
Dr. Jenifer Ho, City University of Hong Kong 
Dr. Irene Kimbara, Kushiro Public University
Dr. Kevin Knight, Kanda University of International Studies
Dr. Becky Kwan, City University of Hong Kong
Professor Heng Li, Southwest University
Dr. Jack Pun, City University of Hong Kong
Dr. Graham Smart, Carleton University
Dr. Tetyana Smotrova, National University of Singapore
Professor Sue Starfield, University of New South Wales

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Local Organising Committee

(Department of English, City University of Hong Kong)

Dr. Simon Harrison (Chair)
Dr. Christoph Hafner (Co-Chair, President of Asia-Pacific LSPPC Association)
Dr. Becky Kwan
Dr. Jenifer Ho

Conference Secretariat
Ms. Hemans Wong
Ms. Cecilia Chan

Any enquiries may be addressed to  

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About the conference

Brief introduction of LSPPC
The Asia-Pacific LSP & Professional Communication Association is an association of researchers and practitioners specializing in languages for specific purposes and professional communication. Its main objective is to promote research and practice of language teaching and training for professional communication. It also aims to help interested individuals and institutions develop individually or in partnership a range of curriculum models, provide access to resources, and encourage partnered research.

For more information about the Association please visit

Given the focus of LSPPC6 on multimodality, this year’s conference is being run in collaboration with the International Society for Gesture Studies – Hong Kong.

Conference Language

The language of the conference will be English.

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