About Us

History

Group Photo from An Afternoon of Codeswitching
Group Photo from An Afternoon of Codeswitching

The UIC BilForum has its origins in a student-organized event called "An Afternoon of Codeswitching" that took place in April of 2008. This was part of a linguistics talk series, now known as UIC TiL, hosted at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. The talks were given by students in Kay González-Vilbazo's Seminar on Code-switching, based on empirical research they conducted for the class. In addition, there was also a special guest speaker, Jeff MacSwan.

The following fall, many of those same students, with the generous help of various faculty members, began organizing the first UIC Bilingualism Forum, to take place in the spring of 2009. After the first successful conference, it was decided to make the conference a biennial tradition, and the next conference was held in the spring of 2011. The organizers later decided to move the conference to the fall, bringing us to the third UIC Bilingualism Forum this coming fall 2012. In addition, the short name "BilForum" was introduced for easy reference.

UIC Bilingualism Forum 2009

The first UIC Bilingualism Forum took place April 30 - May 1, 2009. There were three keynote speakers for this conference:

  • Almeida Jacqueline Toribio (Pennsylvania State University, at the time):
    On the socio-phonetics of code-switching
  • Gabriel Rei-Doval (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee):
    Bilingualism and Language Shift in Contemporary Urban Galicia
  • Catherine A. Stafford (University of Wisconsin-Madison):
    Sifting and winnowing: The effects of attention regulation and explicitness of instruction on L3 learning by early and late bilinguals

UIC Bilingualism Forum 2011

The second UIC Bilingualism Forum took place April 14-15, 2011 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There were two keynote speakers for this conference:

  • Marcel den Dikken (City University of New York):
    The Distributed Morphology of Code‐Switching
  • Michael Ullman (Georgetown University):
    Brain, Memory, and Second Language