Introduction

What is CILAP (CRAL)?

CILAP is the Spanish acronym for Centro de Investigation en Lenguas Aplicadas or Center for Research in the Applications of Language (CRAL), which gives name to a new research centre with a philological character and a primarily applied orientation based at the University of La Rioja (http://www.unirioja.es). In recent decades, studies on language have gradually acquired a solid applied orientation in many different areas. Currently, there are studies on literacy, second language teaching, modes of communication and discourse analysis with institutional applications, multilingualism, language and education policy, translation and interpretation, treatment of language for specific purposes, linguistic engineering and language industries. The importance of these research areas is supported by the establishment of scientific committees and international networks within the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) (http://www.aila.info) and its affiliates such as the Spanish Applied Linguistics Association (AESLA) (http://www.aesla.uji.es).

What are the goals of CILAP (CRAL)?

CILAP (CRAL) is born with the overall purpose of promoting research and offering qualified training in three of the applied fields mentioned above:

  1. Language teaching, with emphasis on the implications of new findings on language acquisition in the development of teaching materials as well as in new contexts such as bilingual modules of primary and secondary education and high school.
  2. The scientific processing of languages for specific purposes by means of the appropriate theoretical foundations from the fields of communication theory, discourse analysis, lexicology, terminology, and the development of computer management tools.
  3. Language industries, particularly those associated with the creation and management of corpora, computerized databases, and electronic text editing.

The specific objectives of CILAP (CRAL) are:

  • Promoting interdisciplinary research lines within the scope of language acquisition and teaching, and the study of language for specific purposes and language industries.
  • Promoting the organization of multidisciplinary research projects, of both a theoretical and an applied nature.
  • Encouraging collaboration and the transfer of results from university research to private companies.
  • Enhancing relationships with other research groups.
  • Organizing scientific research activities: conferences, scientific meetings.
  • Organizing training and specializing courses and activities that broaden the professional horizons of linguists.
  • Providing expert advice for the academic community and other external institutions.

The objectives of CILAP (CRAL) are interrelated and are in keeping with key guidelines of the National Plan for Scientific Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RDI) 2004-2007:

  • Increasing scientific knowledge and its transfer to various social and business sectors.
  • Improving the integration of international research and promoting the international diffusion of results.
  • Encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to research.
  • Increasing qualified human resources.
  • Supporting coordination, mobility and the sharing of resources among different research centers and institutions.

What kind of work does CILAP (CRAL) do?

To achieve its global aims, CILAP (CRAL) is divided into three areas:

  • Basic research, essentially directed to language acquisition and language teaching, discourse analysis and communication theory, and the creation and use of electronic tools for linguistic research.
  • Applied research, the goal of which is to develop, on the basis of the groundwork created by the basic research, technologies that are useful in the areas of education, economics, and the whole of society.
  • Training courses and related activities, with an emphasis on the popularization of research results.

What are the main research lines of CILAP (CRAL)?

Among them, we can mention:

  • Business terminology and lexicography.
  • Study and translation of specialized lexicon.
  • Computer resources for language teaching.
  • Computer resources for translation.
  • Term extraction and management.
  • Teaching of common and specialized vocabulary.
  • Literature and its relation to education, communication and new technologies.
  • Discourse analysis, pragmatics and communication.
  • Audiovisual rhetoric.
  • Electronic editing and publishing.

These lines of work are suited to several of the priorities of the RDI plan mentioned above:

  • Interpersonal, mass, and institutional communication.
  • Applications of linguistics and language industries.
  • Development and application of new technologies in the humanities.