Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University
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Template:Infobox university The Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University is a world-leading department in applied linguistics with a special focus on critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and language and gender.
In the 1980s the department rose to prominence thanks to the work of Norman Fairclough who is credited as the founder of Critical discourse analysis. In the 2000s Ruth Wodak's work on critical discourse analysis draw world-wide attention to the department. Apart from critical discourse analysis, the department is also world-famous for its contribution to the research on language and gender.
In 2004, the online diagnostic system, DIALANG, designed to assess a person's proficiency in 14 European languages, was developed by the Language Testing Research Group of the department, led by Charles Alderson. The DIALANG system, which is based on the proficiency scales of the Common European Framework of Reference, offers tests in reading, writing, listening, vocabulary and grammar. DIALANG is available in 14 languages are Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.
In 2013 Lancaster University received an award, Greater China Awards, from the Chinese government for its links with the country. The links date back to 1976 when the university first got in touch with Chinese ministry of education but now the ties are even tighter since the Lancaster university will set up an institution, the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. The institution launched an undergraduate degree in Linguistics with Chinese and all students at Lancaster University are offered the chance to study Mandarin.
In 2015 Panos Athanasopoulos's research was featured in the The Guardian. He claimed that a German speaker and an English speaker perceive the world in different ways – thanks to the grammatical toolkit they’re using.
On 8 April 2017, João Costa, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Education, visited the department to participate in a conference on bilingualism and heritage language learning. The event brought together policy makers from the Portuguese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, leading academics, journalists, school teachers and parents to discuss current trends and challenges in fostering bilingual competence in English and in the heritage language.
On 19 April 2017, Charles Alderson, Tineke Brunfaut, and Luke Harding were selected as the winner of the International Language Testing Association (ILTA) Best Article Award. The award-winning paper, Towards a Theory of Diagnosis in Second and Foreign Language Assessment: Insights from Professional Practice Across Diverse Fields, was published in 2015 in the journal Applied Linguistics. The study investigated how diagnosis is theorized and carried out across a diverse range of professions with a view to finding commonalities that can be applied to the context of second and foreign language assessment. On the basis of interviews with professionals from fields such as car mechanics, IT systems support, medicine, psychology and education, a set of principles was drawn up to facilitate inform a comprehensive theory of diagnostic assessment in a second or foreign language.
On 2 June 2017, a new laboratory, Perception and Learning Laboratory, was opened to facilitate the research on neuroscience of language. The Electroencephalography records peaks in electrical brain activity time-locked to a specific event. Consequently, it provides an extremely sensitive, and extremely accurate, measure of online processing of language in the human brain.
It was announced that the Department of Linguistics and English Language and the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science play an important role in the new Heritage Language Consortium.
On 31 October 2018, the Lancaster Phonetics research was feature on BBC Alba. Claire Nance talked about her research, collected data on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, on how Gaelic speakers produce certain speech sounds. Nance used Lancaster Phonetics Lab’s state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment for her research. She traveled to the Isle of Lewis to ask native Scottish Gaelic speakers to wear the ultrasound headset and they then read aloud a sequence of words. By using ultrasound she could track the tongue’s movements during speech production to further our knowledge of the language’s sound system, as well as the spoken variation among Scottish Gaelic speakers.
On 25 February 2018, Luke Harding and Tineke Brunfaut received the Award for Best Research at this year's International e-Assessment Awards for a joint comparison study looking into paper and online versions of Trinity's Integrated Skills in English Reading and Writing exam module.
In 2018 the department Lancaster facilitated to support the teaching of linguistics at Mosul, Iraq, providing mentoring for staff and students via video-conferencing, advice for PhD students and free access to an online course. Elena Semino, a professor and the head of the department at Lancaster, said academics at the University of Mosul are "working in conditions that we cannot even imagine".
- BA in English language
- BA in Linguistics
- MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL
- MA in Discourse Studies
- MA in English Language (Distance)
- MA in English Language and Literary Studies
- MA in Intercultural Communication
- MA in Language and Linguistics
- MA in Language Testing (Distance)
- MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) (by Distance)
- PhD in Linguistics by research only
- PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework
Apart from paid courses the department offers free online courses such as Corpus linguistics: method, analysis, interpretation and the Dyslexia and language teaching.
The researchers at the department focus on a numerous areas of linguistics such as critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, second language acquisition, language teaching, language assessment, literacy and language and gender. Since the department purchased an eye tracker (Tobii TX300) numerous studies have been conducted on the field of dyslexia. There are ten research centres at the department.
- Lancaster Literacy Research Centre
- ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science
- UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language
- DisTex - Discourse and Text Research Group
- Forensic Linguistics Research Group
- LIP - Language, Ideology and Power Group
- LTRG - Language Testing Research Group
- Phonetics Lab
- Research Group in Cognitive Linguistics
- SLLAT - Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group
The Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching or LAEL PG is organized by postgraduate students under the auspices of the Department of Linguistics and English Language. This conference, dating back to 2006, provides linguistics postgraduates from various areas in linguistics and language teaching/assessment an opportunity to present and discuss their research in an informal and intellectually stimulating setting.
Head of the department
- 1994–1997: Charles Alderson
- 2000–2005: Tony McEnery
- 2011–2014: Elena Semino
- 2015–2018: Elena Semino
- 2018–present: Uta Papen
Anna Siewierska prize
The Anna Siewierska Memorial Prize, to honour Anna Siewierska, is an award to the graduating Bachelor of Arts student with the highest overall average in the department of English Language and Linguistics.
- 2018: Emily Gorman
- Charles Alderson (1980-present)
- Paul Baker (2002–present)
- David Barton (1993-present)
- Martin Bygate (2003–present)
- Norman Fairclough
- Francis Katamba
- Paul Kerswill (2004–2012)
- Judit Kormos (2010–present)
- Geoffrey Leech (1974–2014)
- Geoffrey Sampson (1974–1984)
- Elena Semino (1992–present)
- Anna Siewierska (1995–2011)
- Michael Short
- Jane Sunderland
- Theo van Leeuwen
- Ruth Wodak (2004–present)
- Ben Crystal, BA in Linguistics (1998)
- Ali H. S. Hajjaj, PhD in Linguistics (1979)
- Rami Hamdallah, PhD in Linguistics (1988)
- K. A. Jayaseelan, MA in Linguistics (1973)
- Elena Semino, PhD in Linguistics (1994)
- Mary M. Talbot, PhD in Linguistics
- Michael Thomas
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