Bilingual Acquisition of Language and Literacy - BiALL

We are happy to announce that the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics in Berlin will host the BiALL Conference from 22-24 May, 2019. BiALL was created as an opportunity to discuss recent topics in bilingual language acquisition, heritage language acquisition and literacy.

BiALL is organized as part of the closure of the DFG-funded project DRUSLI, investigating early predictors of bilingual children’s reading and writing competence in primary school. Observing the language development of bilingual children in the transition period from kindergarten to school, we are interested in the association between the acquisition of literacy and various domains of the preschool verbal language such as lexicon and grammar. Attached to the conference will be a satellite workshop on outcomes from DRUSLI (ZAS) and our partner project SEDRiK (LMU Munich). The following competences are going to be in the focus there: (a) the phonological competence (phonological representations measured based on NWRT and on decision tasks between existing words and non-words), phonological awareness and rapid automatized naming, and (b) narrative abilities with morphological, syntactic and semantic components as well as the competence in discourse, macrostructure and microstructure. All these components are considered as being predictors for the later ability of reading, writing and spelling.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

  • Johanne Paradis (University of Alberta, Canada)
  • Bernhard Brehmer (Universität Greifswald, Germany)
  • Sharon Unsworth (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

Call for Papers

We now accept submissions for platform presentations for BiALL (there will be no posters). The submission deadline is 1 March 2019.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Bilingual child language acquisition & literacy development
  • Early bilingualism, heritage languages & cognitive development
  • Written language and bilingualism of languages with different levels of relatedness/in different modi (spoken/signed/written)
  •  Narrative ability in bilinguals
  • Transition from pre-school to school and its implications on language development
  •  …

Papers can report results from one or more of the multi/bilinguals’ languages. Abstracts reporting results from longitudinal studies are especially welcome.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts for oral presentations addressing at least one of the topics mentioned above are to be submitted until March 1st 23:59 CET. We accept a maximum submission of one abstract as first author per person. There is no limit with regards to second and last author.

Abstract guidelines:

  • Length: 300 words maximum (excluding references)
  • Abstracts must be anonymous

Deadline and important dates:

1 March: Deadline abstract submission
14 March: Information about acceptance status
22-24 May: BiALL conference, Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics, Berlin, Germany

Conference fee

Staff: 50 euro, students: 30 euros
The conference dinner is included in the conference fee.


BiALL Organising Committee: Assunta Süss, Josefin Lindgren, Natalia Gagarina