The first ISB conference was held at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1997. Since then ISB has been organised every other year. At ISB6 in Hamburg, bylaws for ISB conferences were approved.

ISB1 and ISB2
Newcastle upon Tyne 1997 and 1999 The International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB) began at the initiative of Li Wei and Nick Miller of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, who organized ISB1 in 1997 and ISB2 in 1999. Keynote Speakers for ISB1 included Peter Auer, Pieter Muysken, Michel Paradis, and Shana Poplack. ISB2 featured Keynoters Michael Clyne, Francois Grosjean, Monica Heller, and Carol Myers-Scotton.

ISB3 – University of the West of England (Bristol) 2001
The event moved to the University of the West of England (Bristol) in 2001, where Jeanine Treffers-Daller served as the chair of the organizing committee for ISB3. Keynote Speakers included Jim Cummins, Ton Dijkstra, Nancy Hornberger, Jürgen M. Meisel, Thomas Roeper, and Suzanne Romaine.

ISB4 – Arizona State University (Tempe) 2003
ISB4 took place at Arizona State University (Tempe) in 2003, with Jeff MacSwan chairing the organizing committee and Fred Genesee, Bernard Spolsky, Loraine Obler, and Ana Celia Zentella as Keynoters.

ISB5 – Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona 2005
In 2005, ISB5 was organized in Barcelona with Melissa Greer Moyer of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona as the chair of the organizing committee. Keynote Speakers where Suzanne Flynn, Judith Kroll, Ignasi Vila, Jef Verschueren, and Li Wei.

ISB6 – University of Hamburg 2007
The Research Centre on Multilingualism and the University of Hamburg hosted ISB6 in 2007 with Jürgen Meisel chairing the organizing committee. The Keynote Speakers were Ellen Bialystok, Sascha W. Felix, David W. Green, Kenneth Hyltenstam and Virginia Yip.

ISB7 – Utrecht University 2009
In 2009 the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS at Utrecht University, the Netherlands, hosted ISB7 with Jacomine Nortier heading the organization. The Keynote Speakers were Shyamala Chengappa, Guus Extra, Pieter Muysken, Núria Sebastión-Gallés, Antonella Sorace, and Sarah Thomason.

ISB8 – University of Oslo 2011 
In 2011 the University of Oslo hosted ISB8 with Professor Elizabeth Lanza as the Chair. The city of Oslo celebrates its 200th anniversary in the same year and ISB8 is part of the program for a celebration that will last throughout the entire year. The Keynote Speakers were Jannis Androutsopoulos, Ceil Lucas, Sari Pietikäinen, Annick De Houwer and Kees de Bot.

ISB9 – Nanyang Technological University 2013 
Nanyang Technological University in Singapore organized ISB9, with Professor NG Bee Chin as the Chair of the committee. The theme of the 9th ISB was ‘Multilingualism’, reflecting Singapore’s status as a thriving language hub. The keynote speakers were Nick Evans, Ofelia García, Monika S. Schmid and Lionel Wee.

ISB10 – Rutgers University 2015
Jose Camacho chaired ISB10 in Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey with the theme “Uncovering Multilingualism”. New Jersey is home to a large number of multilingual speakers who speak a variety of native languages of the Americas in addition to Spanish and English, often only used among close networks of speakers ina a complex world of linguistic diversity and potential resources. The keynote speakers were Helen Kelly Holmes, Juana M. Liceras, Luis Enrique López, Jeff MacSwan and Lee Osterhout.

ISB11 – University of Limerick 2017
The University of Limerick, Ireland organised the ISB11, with Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin as the Chair of the Organising Committee. The theme of the 2017 gathering was ‘Bilingualism, Multilingualism and the New Speaker’. The plenary speakers were Ana Deumert, Alexandre Duchêne, Tina Hickey, Elizabeth Lanza, Lisa Lim and Jean-Marc Dewaele.

ISB12 – University of Alberta 2019
The current edition of the conference, ISB12, is being held in June 2019 at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. The theme is ‘The Next Generation’ and the Chair of the Organising Committee is Elena Nicoladis (