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

Registration is now open.

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).

We are going online

In view of the continuing travel restrictions and other issues associated with the global pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to move the conference from a physical, face-to-face event to an online, virtual event. We hope that this decision provides you with some certainty and that you will be able to submit an abstract in the knowledge that you will be able to participate from a distance. While an online event can never replace a face-to-face one, we will be able to charge less than we would have had to for the ‘real life’ event. In addition, we hope that this will be a ‘greener’ event without the need for airfares and hotels, as well as making it possible for more people to attend. With a bit of luck (but probably a few hiccups along the way), we hope to simulate an exciting and engaging event that results in new connections, new knowledge, and various kinds of academic 'outputs'. 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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).

Submission of Abstracts is now open: Click here to submit!

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Important Dates

9th November 2020: Extended Submission Deadline
18th January 2021: Notification of Acceptance & Early Bird 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

Click here to register for the conference.

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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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