The School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies has expertise in English language teaching and training and research interests in the broad area of instructed second language acquisition. Specific staff interests relate to teaching and learning spoken language, spoken corpora, computer-assisted language learning, interlanguage pragmatics, language identity, task-based learning and technology, testing and assessment and ESOL. We welcome PhD applications from students in these areas.
In 2009 a small research grant was obtained from Language, Linguistics and Area Studies (Higher Education Academy) for a study investigating pragmatic competence in Chinese EAP learners studying in the UK. This work generated £1000.
A number of contracts have been won with the British Council in China – the Cultural Section of the British Embassy.
In 2009, 10 lectures were given by two members of the Research Cluster, Christian Jones and Nicola Halenko, to around 500 teachers in each session focussing on the teaching of grammar and emphasising communicative approaches as well the link between functions and outcomes in models such as the CEFR and classroom practice. The sessions involved training the participants on how to unpack ‘can do’ statements from the CEFR, in order to teacher grammar communicatively. This work generated £2500.
In 2010, Daniel Waller won a bid from the British Council to deliver the first stage of a programme pitched at ‘researcher teachers’ in China (19th – 22nd July), the trainers in each area who are responsible for developing assessment. These sessions drew on examples from the UCLan exam board’s work and resulted in the researcher teachers developing more communicative language tests for their own areas and in cascading the training to other teachers (in this case the city of Tian Jin, with a population of roughly 13,000,000). This work generated £1,181.
In 2011, Michael Thomas was awarded two HEA grants. One grant funded an HEA Discipline Workshop/Seminar in digital language learning and teaching and the other a workshop on Open Educational Resources in Languages. This work generated £4500.
In 2011 an open-access, peer-reviewed journal was started within the School. The Journal of Second Language Teaching and Research aims to disseminate the work of early-career and established researched within the area of second language teaching and research. It has an international advisory board and has, to date, published two issues.
In 2013, Michael Thomas was awarded a grant to run a seminar on e-research by the University of Oxford/Digital Social research fund. This work will generate £4700.
School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies
There are currently six full-time PhD students working on areas of research related to instructed second language acquisition. These include guided and unguided planning in spoken tasks, language shock amongst Bangladeshi migrants in the UK and the development of a spoken exams corpus from B1-C1 levels of the Common European Framework of References for Languages.
In addition to this, the following projects are also currently underway within the cluster: