School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics & Communication Research

Overview of Research

The work of the Applied Linguistics & Communication Research Group encompasses a range of research interests related to language and communication and the application to professional and everyday contexts.

Areas of Research

 

Our main areas of research expertise are:

Our researchers draw upon a wide variety of research approaches, including various forms of discourse and interaction analysis, corpus linguistics, multimodality, social psychology, quantitative statistical analysis, interview-based research, mixed methods, interventions and ethnographic fieldwork.

Within Newcastle University, the expertise of our staff is utilised in a number of research groups, such as, iLAB:learn, the Multimodal Analysis Research Group (MARG), the Language and Cognition group, Pro-Com and the Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT).

Outside of Newcastle University, our staff are active in a range of national and international research and professional networks. We have research collaborators in Austria, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and the United States. We are part of formal international research groups. These include the British Association of Applied Linguistics and International Association of Language and Social Psychology.

Our staff have published very widely in terms of journal articles, books and other media; details can be found on individual staff webpages below.

Current and recent large grants include:

  • Linguacuisine, a €324K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education grant 2016-18 (Seedhouse).
  • Critical Skills for Life and Work (CSLW) cslw.eu Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly-Skilled Refugees £125K Erasmus Plus-funded project 2017-19 (Young).
  • Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home (ATIAH) https://research.ncl.ac.uk/atiah/ Erasmus Plus-funded project 2016-18 (Schartner).
  • Video Enhanced Observation Europa, a €270K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for School Education grant 2015-17 (Seedhouse).
  • Propic, a €76,780 Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education grant 2017-20 (Seedhouse) http://www.propiceuropa.com/
  • Assistive communications technology for people living with dementia and their carers.  www.demtalk.org.uk. Economic and Social Research Council 2016 – 18 (Young) £25K.  
  • Communities, Languages and Activities App (ENACT), a €270K Erasmus Plus grant 2019-2021 (Satar).
  • Language as key to perceptual diversity (LANG-KEY), a Swedish Foundation grant 2016-2021 (Sercombe). 

 

Applied Linguistics & Communication Research Group Staff

Dr Adam Brandt
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5273

Sal Consoli
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

Email:

Dr Sara Ganassin
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Comm

Email:

Dr Spencer Hazel
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication

Email:
Telephone: 0191 2086374

Dr Christopher Leyland
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 6000 (ext. 7384)

Dr Mei Lin
Senior Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5070

Dr Elaine Lopez
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6564

Dr Müge Satar
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7797

Dr Alina Schartner
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 6593

Professor Paul Seedhouse
Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8873

Dr Peter Sercombe
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5657

Dr Navaporn Snodin
Lecturer in Cross-Cultural Communication

Email:

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5094

Dr Alison Whelan
Research Associate

Email:
Telephone: 0191 208 5284

Dr Tony Young
Reader in Applied Linguistics and Communication

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7515

Language Education Research

We are interested in the acquisition, learning and teaching of second/additional languages.

We do this by advancing theory-grounded practical outcomes for second-language use, both in the classroom and outside it. Our research explores a range of topics, including how to inform teaching practice through models of second language/bilingual development, improving second language teacher education by using reflective practice, and understanding patterns of language use in learners and teachers through corpus and discourse analysis.

In our research, we make use of a variety of quantitative and qualitative data, methods and analyses, including experimental designs, classroom interventions and video recordings of language teaching and learning activities, such as classrooms, student group work, online chat, lesson planning, and innovative technologies like the digital kitchen. Members work in these research groups: the Multimodal Analysis Research Group (MARG), the Language and Cognition group, Pro-Com.

Our work looks at phenomena such as:

  • second language acquisition, learning and assessment
  • language teaching and teacher education
  • classroom discourse
  • the language of classroom management and language teaching
  • multilingualism
  • critical and creative thinking in foreign and second language education
  • language learning and migration
  • classroom interactional competence
  • language planning and policy

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Digital kitchens for language learning (Seedhouse) 
  • Video Enhanced Observation Europa, a €270K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for School Education grant (Seedhouse).
  • cslw.eu Critical Skills for Life and Work (CSLW) Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly-Skilled Refugees Erasmus Plus-funded project 2017-19 (Young, Schartner, Ganassin)
  • Which English?, with a focus on language varieties around the world.  British Council English Language Teaching Award  (Young, Schartner and Walsh)
  • Reflective practice in English Language Teaching (Walsh) Pro-Com
  • An examination of experienced online language teachers’ multimodal instruction-giving practices (Satar) Faculty Research Funding (2018-19)
  • The acquisition and instruction of the English article system (Lopez)
  • Bilingual cognition (Lin)
  • Integration of teaching critical and creative thinking into English curriculum in higher education and primary schools (Lin)

Language Education staff

Language Education Research

Dr Spencer Hazel
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication

Email:
Telephone: 0191 2086374

Dr Christopher Leyland
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 6000 (ext. 7384)

Dr Mei Lin
Senior Lecturer

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5070

Dr Elaine Lopez
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6564

Dr Müge Satar
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7797

Professor Paul Seedhouse
Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8873

Dr Peter Sercombe
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5657

Dr Navaporn Snodin
Lecturer in Cross-Cultural Communication

Email:

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5094

Intercultural Communication Research

Our research interests lie in challenging ‘essentialist’ notions of culture. We see ‘culture’ as fluid, not tightly bounded, as well as being contestable and dynamic.

Much of our teaching and research adopts post-structural, interpretive perspectives on ‘culture’. This necessitates detailed, contextualised investigations of how cultural groupings are socially accomplished. Members work in these research groups: the Multimodal Analysis Research Group (MARG), and Pro-Com.

We look at this through the actions and interactions of:

  • professionals and their various types of clients
  • groups coalesced around ethnicity, gender or social status, for example
  • those from multilingual backgrounds

We are interested in communication in intercultural and international settings; sociolinguistics, with a particular focus on code-mixing processes; language maintenance and change among minority groups, and the causes of these; and language policy in Southeast Asia.

We do this by exploring intergroup and interpersonal communication from intercultural perspectives, and investigating video recordings of interactions in institutional settings such as international business and other workplaces. Members of our group have also conducted research among ethnically minor groups in insular Southeast Asia, particularly (but not only) on the island of Borneo, to try and understand the processes that uphold maintenance of groups’ languages and cultural practices, as well as those that stimulate language and culture change, along with describing forms of adaptation that occur.

Our work looks at phenomena such as:

  • English as a lingua franca, or global language of communication
  • Language attitudes and ways in which these are encoded, informally and / or through official discourse, and how these stimulate processes of maintenance and change
  • The internationalisation of higher education, in particular the student experience
  • Intercultural transitions, and the social psychology of communication
  • The interactions found in culturally and linguistically dynamic settings such as international workplaces, Higher Education, the Arts etc., especially in multilingual and lingua franca settings.

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Language as key to perceptual diversity: An interdisciplinary approach to the senses (Sercombe) (http://www.rj.se/en/) .
  • the Erasmus+ funded project Approaches and Tools for Internationalisation at Home (ATIAH) (Schartner) (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/atiah/)
  • cslw.eu Critical Skills for Life and Work (CSLW) Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly-Skilled Refugees £125K Erasmus Plus-funded project 2017-19 (Young)
  • Person-Centred Communication and the care of people living with dementia:  Exploring the perspectives of medical students in the UK and Malaysia.  Economic and Social Research Council and International Partnership Fund £14K 2017 – 19 (Young). 
  • Enhancing the Quality of the International Student and Staff Mobility Experience: A Multiregional Enquiry in Thai Higher Education. £68K Newton Fund Advanced Fellowship 2016 – 18 (Young)
  • Transient Multilingual Communities and the Formation of Social and Linguistic Norms (TMC), The Danish Council for Independent Research, Humanities https://tmc.ku.dk/ (Hazel)
  • Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the International University http://calpiu.dk/ruc/Home.html (CALPIU) (Hazel)
  • An International Partnership funded project exploring attitudes towards dementia and person-centred care in the UK and Malaysia (Schartner, Young)

Intercultural Communication staff

Inter-Cultural Communication Research

Dr Adam Brandt
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5273

Dr Sara Ganassin
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Comm

Email:

Dr Spencer Hazel
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication

Email:
Telephone: 0191 2086374

Dr Alina Schartner
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 208 6593

Dr Peter Sercombe
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5657

Dr Tony Young
Reader in Applied Linguistics and Communication

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7515

Social and Professional Interaction Research

We look at social and professional interaction in institutional and non-institutional settings.

We are interested in understanding – and improving – communication in language learning, intercultural and professional contexts.

We do this by examining how language and social interaction is managed in order to perform social and professional activities, to achieve understanding, and to deal with miscommunication. We examine interaction in a wide range of real-world settings such as workplaces, clinical settings, interactions involving people living with dementia, the Arts, educational settings, counselling services, business meetings, call centres, shops and markets, and on the telephone.

For example, within professional settings we uncover how the organisation of interaction is related to the institutional goals. Close examination of the detail of the interaction can reveal issues and problems which can then be tackled through policy or training. Another area of interest is the rich multimodality of face-to-face interaction, and we are particularly interested in international settings, where people come from different language or cultural backgrounds.

We examine these issues and settings through the naturalistic observation of human social interaction, using video recordings of real-life communicative events as data, and analyse data using a range of micro-analytic research methodologies, including interaction analysis, ethnomethodological conversation analysis, membership categorisation analysis, discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics. Members work in these research groups: the Multimodal Analysis Research Group (MARG), and Pro-Com.

Our work looks at phenomena such as:

  • second language learning and use
  • professional and interactional competence
  • English as a lingua franca
  • multilingualism
  • professional interaction

Current and recent research projects include:

  • Multilingual theatre rehearsals  (Hazel)
  • Language and Interaction in the Internationalised Corporation (LINGCORP) (Hazel)
  • Interaction in IELTS Speaking Tests  - 4 research reports (Seedhouse) 
  • Haggling in tourist marketplaces (Brandt)
  • Language classrooms (Seedhouse, Walsh)
  • Language speaking tests (Seedhouse, Leyland)
  • Lesson planning meetings (Leyland)
  • One-to-one writing tutorials at a university (Leyland, Brandt)
  • Multilingual university meetings (Hazel, Brandt)
  • Grant of £26.5K from British Council IELTS Research Programme on ‘Which specific features of candidate talk do examiners orient to when taking scoring decisions?’ Paul Seedhouse PI; Muge Satar Co-I: 2018-20.
  • Creative arts interventions for people living with dementia (Brandt, Leyland, Hazel)

Social Interaction staff

Social and Professional Interaction Research

Dr Adam Brandt
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5273

Dr Spencer Hazel
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication

Email:
Telephone: 0191 2086374

Dr Christopher Leyland
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 6000 (ext. 7384)

Dr Müge Satar
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7797

Professor Paul Seedhouse
Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8873

Dr Peter Sercombe
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5657

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5094

Language & Technology Research

We have a long history of research in the area of language learning and teaching using technology.

The iLab:Learn initiative is a long-term joint venture started in 2009 between Applied Linguistics specialists in ECLS and the Newcastle School of Computing Science, designed to develop the next generation of educational technology.

 

ECLS and the HaSS Faculty contributed funding for space and installations whilst Computing Science contributed digital technology and expertise. The facility and the collaboration that it supported were instrumental in attracting the following significant grants: the initiative was selected for an EPSRC impact case study and won the European Language Label award in 2012:

The main focus has been on exploring ways in which technology can help effective language learning; describing and analysing the language promoted by the use of technology; studying foreign language learning and teaching in technology enhanced and online environments; and investigating issues in second language learning.

We do this by collecting multiple sources of data such as recordings of language learners’ and pre-service teachers’ online communication, interviews and questionnaires, video- and audio-recordings of classrooms and other professional settings and helping teachers to analyse these recordings using a range of tools and procedures. Analytical techniques include multimodal analysis, content analysis, social network analysis, thematic analysis, VEO (Video Enhanced Observation), stimulated recall, interaction analysis, discourse analysis and quantitative methods. We also examine how languages are learned and taught via computer-mediated communication, telecollaboration, blended learning and distance education.  

Through dialogic reflection and using technology, teachers (and other professionals such as doctors, engineers and architects) gain closer understandings of their professional communication and improve their workplace practices.

Our work looks at phenomena such as:

  • collaborative online interaction and language learning
  • second language learning and teaching in technology enhanced environments
  • reflective practice for second language teacher education
  • social presence
  • multimodality and digital literacies

Current and recent research projects include:

  • SETTVEO, looking at communication and reflective practice in global English language teaching contexts (Walsh)
  • An examination of experienced online language teachers’ multimodal instruction-giving practices (Satar) Faculty Research Funding (2018-19)
  • Robotics and Social Interaction Expertise (ROSIE) (Hazel, Leyland, Brandt)
  • Virtual exchange for teacher education; a focus on critical digital literacy (Satar)

Language and Technology staff

digital kitchen
Digital Kitchen

Language and Technology Research

Dr Adam Brandt
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5273

Dr Spencer Hazel
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication

Email:
Telephone: 0191 2086374

Dr Christopher Leyland
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0)191 222 6000 (ext. 7384)

Dr Müge Satar
Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7797

Professor Paul Seedhouse
Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8873

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics

Email:
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5094

Research Impact

Applied Linguistics impact strategy

 Applied Linguistics impact strategy is primarily delivered through ilab:learn, an 11-year collaboration with Computing Science. ilab:learn (Seedhouse, Satar, Ganassin) is a physical laboratory for developing appropriate educational and applied linguistic applications of digital technology. Digital equipment is located in the lab for active, creative use by staff and pgr students. We host visits from local schools and refugee groups and deliver events in the community. The lab has delivered 4 EU-funded grants and technologies (LancookLinguacuisineVEO EuropaENACT) and 4 PhD students (Park, Ren, Tasdemir, Trang) have employed the technologies and contributed to publications. The book ‘Task-Based Language Learning in a Real-World Digital Environment’ presents research studies on the Lancook project, and the impact case study ‘Learning Languages As You Cook’ describes how the Linguacuisine app has provided free digital infrastructure on a worldwide scale for using and exchanging language learning recipes.

 

Fostering Social Connections through Dementia Communication:  The DemTalk project.

 

The DemTalk Project has been active since 2009 demtallk.org.uk.   It has involved multidisciplinary researchers and lay stakeholders in projects led by Tony Young of Newcastle University working together to develop tools to improve communicative practices involving people living with dementia (PLWD), family members, and social care and health professionals.  This ongoing work has been carried out with the collaboration of the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia, University of Malaya Medical School, NUMed Malaysia, Open Lab,  and Youth Focus North East, in website development and in an ESRC-funded Impact Acceleration  project.  Medical schools in the UK and Malaysia are also currently involved in assessing the model underlying DemTalk as an example of how to apply person-centred care in clinical contexts.  It has been interculturally adapted and translated into 6 languages to date, most recently Chinese, Tamil and Malay demtalk-my.com.

Research for the project has been supported in the following ways. 

A £1,000 grant from the NISR to fund a pilot study for the phone app (2014); £1,000 from the CRiLLS Strategic Development Fund to develop the website (2013); £14,700 from the ESRC IAA to co-produce assistive dementia communications technologies  (2015 – 17, and 2018 - 19), and £8,900 from the International Partnership Fund (2016 - 18) to fund the DemTalk a comparative cross-cultural case study. 

 

The original research projects involved:

  1. Observation of communicative practice in hospitals and care homes.
  1. Seeking the views of stakeholders into current communicative practices in contexts they are familiar with. 

Participants were a spectrum of people involved in delivering health and social care, and (unusually) lay stakeholders (PLWD and family members) via focus group and individual interviews.

Findings indicated:

  1.  A lack of familiarity among a large majority of stakeholders with any available advice involving communication with PLWD. 
  2. Extant advice, where accessed, had been found by potential users to be either minimal, patronising, over-technical for application by non-experts, overly context-specific and/or hard to apply to the specific needs of individuals, tending to a ‘one size fits all’ approach.  It was rarely theoretically-based or empirically supported.  It was rarely applied. 
  3. Communication by professionals in interactions with PLWD and family members was inadequate for purpose, with key communicative episodes (such as notification of diagnosis and its implications) being handled particularly badly.

In response, with both professional and lay stakeholders we co-developed and co-produced a Dementia Toolkit for Effective Communication (DemTalk).  The project’s conceptual basis is a Dementia Model for Effective Communication, developed from theory related to the social psychology of language. This model is the basis for open-access, free-to-users web-based advice which is adaptable to individual PLWD and to a range of health, care and sociocultural environments.   It is the basis for online guidance to PLWD and their family members, and it a component in the training of care workers, nurses and medical undergraduates.  Feedback from users has indicated that the advice offered is helpful and makes a real difference.    International partners are working with us to further extend reach through further translation and intercultural dialogue, focused on the DemTalk materials. 

To date, around 30,000 people around the world have accessed the free online materials on the DemTalk website.  Feedback from users has been highly positive.  Some examples:

In response to the question How useful was the Demtalk website to you?  Modal and median response were 5/5 (‘very useful’), mean 4.7.

How effective was the DemTalk advice for your situation?  - Modal and median response 5/5 (‘very effective’), mean 4.8.

Example qualitative feedback in response to ‘how useful were’, and ‘what was useful about’ the materials:

‘… wonderful… hit the mark. I will be using them to train staff. Thank you and God bless from Canada!’

‘The stories were good - to get others' perspectives and experiences, this is really helpful to me’.

 

‘It is great to have this information written down to explain to others what I have learnt and now do intrinsically’.

 

‘I found the care professional section really good. In addition, my mother is in the later stages of dementia so I found the family section very useful as well’.

 

 

DemTalk is also a centrally important component of Newcastle University’s free, online Massive Online Open Course ‘Dementia Care:  Stay Connected and Living Well’.   This award winning learning opportunity has been taken up by many thousands of people worldwide and has also been widely praised.

  • ALC Seminar Series - Dr Christina Gkonou University of Essex, 18 February

    Date/Time: 18th February 2020

    Venue: Lecture Theatre 1 KGVI

  • Book Bonanza

    Applied Linguistics Book Bonanza!

     

    Between 2014 and 2020, staff in Applied Linguistics and Communication at Newcastle University have published 8 books covering a wide range of areas and issues around the world. Find out more about the books by clicking on their titles.

     

    More books are in the pipeline, so keep checking this page!

     

     sara

     

    Sara Ganassin

    Ganassin, S. (2020). Language, Culture and Identity in Two Chinese Community Schools. More than One Way of Being Chinese? Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

     

     

     alina

     

    Alina Schartner and Tony Young

    Schartner, A., & Young, T.J. (2020). Intercultural Transitions in Higher Education. International Student Adjustment and Adaptation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

     

     

     steve1

     

     

    Steve Walsh

    Walsh, S. and Mann, S. (2019) The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teacher Education. London and New York: Routledge.

     

     

     paul1

     

     

    Paul Seedhouse

    Seedhouse, P. & Nakatsuhara, F. (2018). The Discourse of the IELTS Speaking Test: Interactional Design and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

     

     

     

     

     paul2

     

     

     

    Paul Seedhouse

    Seedhouse, P. (Ed.) (2017). Task-Based Language Learning in a Real-World Digital Environment: The European Digital Kitchen. London: Bloomsbury.

     

     

     

     steve2

     

     

    Steve Walsh

    Mann, S. and Walsh, S. (2017)Reflective Practice in English Language Teaching: Research-based Principles and Practices. London and New York: Routledge.

     

     

     

     peter

     

     

    Peter Sercombe

    Sercombe, P. and Tupas, R.  (2014) Language, Education and Nation-building : Assimilation and Shift in Southeast Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

     

     

    steve3

    Steve Walsh

    Walsh, S. (2014) Classroom Interaction for Language Teachers. New York: TESOL Press.

     

    The video explains how the Linguacuisine app works