Keynote Biographies

William Acton

Trinity Western University Canada


William Acton, PhD, is Director of the MATESOL, Trinity Western University. His research and publications have been in the area of second language teaching and the role of body movement and gesture in pronunciation. In 2005, in consultation with a team of counseling psychologists, he began development of the haptic pronunciation teaching model, based on the concept that strategic use of touch, when combined with systematic use of gesture and body movement, provides a powerful and accessible method for modeling, anchoring and providing in-class feedback on pronunciation. V5.0 of the system will be available by the time of the conference. His blog:

Recent publications:

  • Acton, W., Burri, M. and Baker. (2016). Anchoring Academic Vocabulary with a "Hard Hitting" Pronunciation Teaching Technique, in Jones, T. (Ed.) Pronunciation in the classroom: the overlooked essential. New York: TESOL.

  • Kielstra, N. and W. Acton (2018). A haptic pronunciation course for Freshman ESL college students, in Murphy, J. (Ed.) Teaching the Pronunciation of English: Focus on whole courses, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. (100)


Diane Belcher

Georgia State University


Diane D. Belcher, Professor and Chair, Applied Linguistics and ESL, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Former co-editor of the journals English for Specific Purposes and TESOL Quarterly, she has also guest edited three special issues of the Journal of Second Language Writing and currently serves as co-editor of a teacher reference series titled Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers. Her publications include eight edited volumes, chapters in a number of books, and articles in such journals as the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics Review, and Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Her research interests mainly focus on advanced academic literacy.

Joseph Lo Bianco

University of Melbourne


Dr Joseph Lo Bianco is professor of language and literacy education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.  He is a specialist in language policy and planning with a specific interest in social cohesion, educational equity for immigrant and Indigenous populations, multilingual education and language revitalisation.   Hisacademic analysis and theorization of language problems in education and society is complemented by extensive real world policy writing, advising and engagement.  In recent years this has included a 6 year project in Southeast Asia for UNICEF under the title of Language, Education and Social Cohesion, focusing on conflict resolution in multiethnic settings in Malaysia, Myanmar and South Thailand and as consultant to a four year project on Multilingual Cities in 12 European municipalities responding to recent inflows of immigrants. In 1987, he authored Australia’s first national language policy, between 1990 and 2002 was Director of Language Australia/The National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia.

Rhonda Oliver

Curtin University


Rhonda Oliver is a Professor of Education at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. She is widely published in the area of second language acquisition.  Internationally she is best known for her work in relation to child language learners.  As well as work within the interactionist paradigm she has also conducted numerous studies on ESL and mainstream learners in schools and universities, and more recently she has undertaken work in the area of Aboriginal education. 

Phonics Workshop


Suzy Acton

Trinity Western University


Suzy Acton, MA in TESOL, is adjunct instructor in the TESL Certificate program at Trinity Western University, specializing in teacher training and teaching English language to young children. Her career has included 27 years of teaching lower elementary and ESL to young children in the US and Japan. In addition to being Vice President of AMPISys, Inc., doing consulting and coordinating development of the AH-EPS haptic pronunciation system, she is grandmother of eight and avid Tai Chi enthusiast. The phonics training she will be presenting is based in part on the 4 Blocks Literacy© system.

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ALAA 2018