Doctoral Candidate Receives AAAL Graduate Student Award

J. Dylan Burton, a doctoral candidate in the Second Language Studies (SLS) Ph.D. program at Michigan State University, received a 2023 Graduate Student Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL). Each year, this merit-based award recognizes 20 students from across the country based on the quality of a written proposal for a poster or a paper. 

Burton’s primary research interests center around language testing and assessment, rater cognition, and second language speech perception. He has published articles in several research journals including Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, Papers in Language Testing and Assessment, and System.  

Portrait of a person with a black shirt standing indoors, staring directly at the camera.
J. Dylan Burton

Burton is an editorial assistant for the Language Testing journal under co-editors Paula Winke, Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at Michigan State University, and Talia Isaacs, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and TESOL at University College London. He also worked with Winke and Tineke Brunfaut, Professor in Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University, as an assistant to the editors for the Routledge edited volume The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Assessment and Language Testing

Burton’s dissertation, titled The Role of Nonverbal Behavior and Affective Stances in Raters’ Understanding of Second Language Proficiency, investigates how people perceive and judge language ability when they are able to see people’s body language in online testing contexts. He will defend his dissertation on May 11, 2023.

MSU at AAAL Annual Conference

The AAAL Graduate Student Award supports the attendance of graduate student members at the annual AAAL conference. This year’s conference is March 18-21 in Portland, Oregon, and will be attended by many faculty and students at Michigan State University. 

Peter De Costa, Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at MSU, is the AAAL president and conference organizer. Winke is one of the plenary speakers for the conference. She will talk about “Opening language testing and our minds to fuller transparency.” Luke Plonsky, who received his Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from MSU and who is now an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University, also is a plenary speaker. He will talk about “Quality in quantity: Methodological reform as an intellectual and ethical imperative.” 

Shawn Loewen, Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at MSU, recently was elected to the AAAL executive board, and 15 current SLS faculty and students will present papers at the 2023 AAAL conference. Another 25 SLS graduates will be in attendance. 

Founded in 1977, the AAAL is a professional organization of scholars who are interested in and actively contribute to the multi-disciplinary field of applied linguistics. AAAL members promote principled approaches to language-related concerns, including language education, acquisition and loss, bilingualism, discourse analysis, literacy, rhetoric and stylistics, language for special purposes, psycholinguistics, second and foreign language pedagogy, language assessment, and language policy and planning.