constitution

(Last updated: 14 June 2017)

1. Aims

The Language Policy (LP) SIG is a Special Interest Group within the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), and it provides a forum to discuss, critically engage with, and research language policy and planning matters around the world. The SIG aims to:

    • nurture a community of practitioners and scholars interested in the theory, methodology and practice of Language Policy processes
    • create opportunities for dialogue between the research community, practitioners, policy makers and the wider public
    • stimulate critical and socially responsible enquiries into national, European and international policy issues including but not limited to examining the linguistic aspects of the pursuit of social justice
    • foster knowledge-sharing and collaboration amongst language policy scholars working within different paradigms by organising various colloquia and events
    • further the creation of research tools and resources to enhance our analyses, understanding and critiques of policy texts, discourses and practices.


2. Activity

LP SIG holds at least two academic meetings every year, including one event at the BAAL Annual Meeting (SIG track or colloquium). Although one theme may be foregrounded, each meeting seeks to include some variation in its focus, and issues arising can be developed at a subsequent event. LP SIG maintains a website, an email discussion list, and a social media presence.


3. Membership

LP SIG welcomes all researchers with an interest in language policy, and will consider all those on its mailing list as LP SIG members. Members’ email addresses will be passed on to BAAL once per year, under the BAAL regulations for Special Interest Groups. SIG members are not required to be BAAL members, but LP SIG will encourage its members to consider BAAL membership. At least the Convenor and Treasurer must be members of BAAL but we do welcome non-members of BAAL to run for other committee positions, especially those for whom BAAL membership cannot be funded. BAAL membership gives LP SIG members the right to vote at the LP SIG AGM. LP SIG membership is free of charge, but fees may apply to attend academic meetings.


4. Organisation

LP SIG is coordinated by a Coordinating Committee (CC) that consists of: a Convenor, a Treasurer, a Communications Secretary, an Events Coordinator, and a Membership Secretary. These are elected for a (renewable) period of three years at LP SIG’s annual general meeting (AGM), which is normally held during the BAAL annual conference in September. The role of Convenor can be taken up by two co-convenors.


5. Responsibilities in the Coordinating Committee

The CC is responsible for coordinating, facilitating and overseeing the activities of LP SIG (facilitating and publicising LP SIG events; liaising with the local organisers of seminars; maintaining financial accounts; servicing business meetings; updating membership list etc). It is also responsible for organising committee elections at least once every three years, while ensuring some continuity of committee membership. LP SIG is a SIG within BAAL: its activity must be broadly congruent with the BAAL Constitution, and regardful of BAAL Guidelines on the organisation of SIGs as stated in the SIG Handbook.

The CC must submit:

a) an Annual Report to the BAAL Secretary and the BAAL SIG Coordinator by August 15th every year

b) a full, accurate and auditable financial statement to the BAAL Treasurer by June 30th every year.

The CC should also ensure that all LP SIG activities are regularly publicised through the BAAL Newsletter, the BAAL Website, BAAL mail and the LP SIG website.


6. Election of the Coordinating Committee

The CC consists of the (Co-)Convenor(s), Treasurer, Communications Secretary, Event Coordinator, Membership Secretary and up to two ordinary members, and these are elected by LP SIG’s Annual General Meeting for a period of three years. Elections should be staggered so that the committee roles are held by a combination of both new and old people. Initially, the treasurer and membership secretary will hold the post for two years whilst the rest of the committee will hold their role for three years. In future, all posts will be held for three (renewable) years.

CC members are eligible for re-election but the continuous tenure of any Officer shall normally be limited to three terms of office. After the third term of office, in the event that there are no other candidates for the position, the Officer may remain in post if they are willing and have the ongoing support of a majority of the existing Committee members, this support to be verified by a vote at the AGM. Thereafter, elections will be held for that post on an annual basis. If, at that point, another candidate(s) comes forward for election to that position, the incumbent may not stand.

    • The quorum for an AGM election is eight
    • Voting at General Meetings shall be by secret ballot. In the event of an equality of votes the (co-)convenor(s) may give a second or casting vote; the two (co-)convenor(s)’ decision on the result of any vote shall be final. Subscribers who are not BAAL members do not have a right to vote.
    • If any Office falls vacant between Annual General Meetings, the remaining Officers can decide who to invite to take up the vacant post for the period until the next General Meeting. This would be a collective decision among the Committee.
    • The (Co-)Convenor(s) and Treasurer, at least, should be members of BAAL.

7. Dissolution

In the event of the LP SIG ceasing to operate, any funds held will be paid back to BAAL, unless the BAAL membership agrees at the BAAL AGM that it is unnecessary to do so.


8. Amending the LP SIG Constitution

This constitution may be amended by majority vote at any quorate Annual General Meeting, provided that written notice of the proposed amendments are given to the Convenor in good time and then relayed to the membership at least fourteen days before the Meeting. This constitution may also be amended by majority vote following online elections (via email or other online forms of communication).