AELFE2017:Editor's Preface

AELFE, the European Association of Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP), turned 25 years old in its 16th International Conference, held in Mérida, Spain (June, 2017). Several conferences, publications, projects, and collaborations with other associations in Europe have been held throughout the years. Many members have joined our association over the past decades, and others have sadly, and logically, left, coming their academic retirements. One important and positive note is that those retired teachers and researchers have left their good imprint in AELFE by means not only of their productive work, but of their inherited focus on the breadth and diversity of linguistic / socio-cultural aspects related to multilingualism and multidisciplinary scopes.

That reality is inherently felt in the international projection of our association today. Our association’s journal Ibérica, published since 1999 (with a previous volume sample issued in 1996), is a firm proof of that academic excellence, attesting to both the high quality research done throughout the years and wealth of LSP topics and approaches being explored. Also, since 2009, in honor of Dr. Enrique Alcaraz, a pioneering researcher in the field of LSP in Spain, an award is bi-annually bestowed upon published or unpublished work that receives high scores from recognized scholars.  

AELFE also reaches out now to a wider range of universities in Spain and others across Europe. The year 1992 was indeed its initial step, but soon innovative teaching and research developments took place and were shared. That enthusiasm, effort, and good-doing opened new lines of work and paved the way for interdisciplinary projects and consolidated research. The celebration of conferences outside of Spain and Portugal, such as Hamburg (2010), Stockholm (2014), and Bucharest (2015), has also contributed to more international visibility. AELFE evolves as a “glocal” body, embodying shared values of interdisciplinary work in which LSP research, carried out locally, can grow, be validated, and consolidated via international cooperation.

The present on-line publication of selected papers from AELFE’s 2017 Conference held in Mérida, Spain (June 14-16), contributes to the display of flourishing and on-going LSP developments across Europe. The works definitely convey updated information and clearly define research directions and concerns in present-day analyses of LSP and academic / professional communication. The volume contains 22 papers that summarize seven thematic and / or methodological proposals presented in the conference: 1) LSP and CLIL (Content and Language  Integrated Learning), EMI (English as a Medium of Instruction), and ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)—where seven papers have been included--; 2) Issues on specialized terminology and translation (with five papers presented); 3) Tele-collaboration and virtual communities (two papers); 4) LSP and ICT applications (two papers); 5) Discourse and genre studies (two papers); 6) Intercultural approaches (two papers), and 7) Translation and interpretation in specialized settings (two papers). Most authors work at Spanish universities (15), while two do so in Portugal, two in Romania, one in the U.S.A, and one in Italy. Most papers are written in English, and some are in Spanish.

As co-coordinator of the 2017 conference and current president of AELFE, I would like to take the opportunity by thanking all the AELFE members who could attend the conference at such busy times (during the end of the semester). I am convinced that all the AELFE members would have enjoyed such an event, where we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the association with the company of past members. As already mentioned, our now retired colleagues from Extremadura, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha, Alcalá, and Evora universities, enabled the emergence of humble and creative work that led to consolidated cooperation. Thank you, Marinela, Mª Angeles, Margaret, Eugenio, and Patricia, and to other retired members with whom I spoke but who could not possibly attend: Guadalupe, Lina, and Jordi.

Last but not least, to the authors of this volume, in the name of the scientific committee and external reviewers, I thank you for your patience and dedication to the reviewing process and final editing of the volume. We hope to continue working in the lines established and suggested, attempting to encompass current topics of interest and methodological scopes whose exploration, argumentation and development constitute today one of the pillars for the prevailing practice of LSP communities. The future of LSP, indeed, is the future of our joint effort to continue strengthening research approaches to linguistic-discursive, cultural, and social diversity.


Alejandro Curado Fuentes
President of AELFE
November, 2017