September 2023
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Natalia Dolgova, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
Heather Weger, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC, USA

Natalia Dolgova

Heather Weger

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the summer-fall issue of AL Forum, newsletter for the Applied Linguistics Interest Section! We hope that the summer season brought you opportunities to engage with and reflect on your teaching practices. In this issue, you will find leadership updates summarizing past and future ALIS activities, and this issue provides a closer look at how educators are grappling with the impact of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology, such as ChatGPT, on our field.

Our three invited contributors eschew a commonly observed punitive reaction to AI technology, advising educators to proactively consider how to meaningfully capitalize on the strengths of AI tools in educational settings. In the first article, technology expert D. Ellery Boatright outlines how to make curricular decisions to guide students to use such technologies in an informed and ethical manner. The second article, by J Paiz, offers both an insightful review of resources on generative AI tools and explicit tips on how to use these tools in the classroom. Our third contributor, Stephen Horowitz, offers a detailed case study of his experimental use of ChatGPT to design teaching materials for a vocabulary course; his article includes examples of how to prompt ChatGPT to generate materials (e.g., quizzes and practice activities).

Last but not least, the fourth article summarizing the results of our ChatGPT/AI use survey distributed among TESOL’s ALIS community reveals how ChatGPT/GAI tools are perceived and used by researchers and practitioners in TESOL and applied linguistics. In sum, this issue provides a thought-provoking look at how this technology is impacting our learning communities.

In leadership updates, our chair Rashad Ahmed welcomes a new leadership team, including our chair-elect Muhammad Alasmari. They forecast a year that will focus on how AI might impact language education through a series of webinars and in the Academic Intersection at the 2024 TESOL Convention. Please check out their joint letter for more details on these upcoming events.

We close this letter with a farewell note. This issue is our last one as co-editors: Natalia has been in this position since summer 2016 and Heather since summer 2018. It is time for us to step down and give way to new co-editors, Raj and Andy, who will be taking over the AL Forum enterprise beginning with the Winter-Spring 2024 issue. It has been a rewarding opportunity to learn from our contributors’ insights and pass those insights along to our readers! We would like to thank the ALIS community for their engagement with and support of our efforts throughout these years.


Natalia and Heather

Natalia Dolgova is Teaching Associate Professor in the English for Academic Purposes Program at the George Washington University; her research interests address various applications of usage-based linguistics to pedagogy.

Dr. Heather Weger is faculty of Legal English at Georgetown University Law Center where she designs and delivers curriculum for multilingual students pursuing a Masters of Law (LLM) degree.
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