Faculty Research Group status for MARG

Micro-Analysis Research Group (MARG) has been awarded Faculty Research Group status for three years (pending one year review). As most of you will know, MARG members analyse social interaction using video recordings taken from a wide range of real-life workplace and everyday settings. Group convenors from ECLS are Adam Brandt, Chris Leyland and Paul Seedhouse, with other Applied Linguistics & Communication staff and students regularly attending the weekly data analysis workshops (‘data sessions’).
MARG has been running in ALC for over 10 years, with strong ties to similar research groups across Europe, and in Japan, Turkey and the US. But this is the first time formal recognition has been received from Faculty. With this official status, MARG will be aiming to further develop cross-School and cross-Faculty collaboration, facilitated with the help of co-convenors Dr Neil Jenkings (School of Geography, Politics & Sociology) and Professor Andrea Whittle (Newcastle University Business School). There are already some exciting events and activities planned from September 2017 onwards – watch this space!
You can read about other Faculty Research Groups in the Newcastle University’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences here.

Report on ‘Intersubjectivity in Interaction’ conference (University of Helsinki)

2One of our PhD students, Yoonjoo Cho, recently presented at the ‘Intersubjectivity in Interaction’ conference, held at the University of Helsinki. Here’s what she had to say about it:

The conferences was held to celebrate the last year of the Centre for Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction, and its contribution to the EMCA field, by inviting interactionalists from a range of disciplines to present and discuss their research on intersubjectivity.

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New publication by Paul Seedhouse – the Digital Kitchen!


The digital kitchen project has recently culminated in the publication of a new book, edited by Paul Seedhouse – ‘Task-Based Language Learning in a Real-World Digital Environment: The European Digital Kitchen’. The book is published by Bloomsbury and available from February 2017.

Continue reading New publication by Paul Seedhouse – the Digital Kitchen!

Paul Seedhouse gives plenary talk on the IELTS speaking test

Last month, Paul Seedhouse gave an invited plenary talk at British Council organised conference, ‘New Directions in English Language Assessment Conference‘, held in Hanoi, Vietnam.


Paul’s talk, entitled “The IELTS Speaking Test: Interactional Design and Practice in a Global Context“, covered some of his research from recent years on interaction in IELTS speaking tests around the world. His research has led to some proposals for how IELTS speaking tests may be improved.

A video recording of the full talk is available to watch on YouTube.

More research grant success for Professor Seedhouse – Linguacuisine!

Paul Seedhouse and Rob Comber (School of Computing Science) recently received an Erasmus Plus grant of €323,886 for the Linguacuisine project, starting on September 1 2016.

Paul Seedhouse in the kitchen

Here is a summary of their new project, which brings together language learning, technology and cooking:

Continue reading More research grant success for Professor Seedhouse – Linguacuisine!

Blog post by recent MA Cross-Cultural Communication graduate!

247f42fJulia Fischill, a former MA CCC student, has recently written a blog post for WU (Vienna University) Blogs. The blog post, about European Identity and the Erasmus Experience, will be a fascinating read for many, especially current and former EU students. The blog post can be found here.

Julia is now a member of the general student consultation team and webmaster at the International Office of WU Vienna. She completed her Master’s thesis, on the Erasmus experience, as part of the MA Cross-Cultural Communication and International Relations at Newcastle University.

Another MA graduate from the ALC section who has gone on to immediate success – well done Julia!

New publication on ‘digital sensor technology’ by Paul Seedhouse and Dawn Knight

paulseedhouseThe latest article by Paul Seedhouse, co-authored with Dr Dawn Knight (Cardiff University), has recently been published by Applied Linguistics. The paper, ‘Applying Digital Sensor Technology: A Problem-Solving Approach’, is part of a special issue on ‘Innovation in Research Methods in Applied Linguistics‘.

Continue reading New publication on ‘digital sensor technology’ by Paul Seedhouse and Dawn Knight

A new appointment in the ALC team: Dr Sandra Morales!

SandraApplied Linguistics & Communication are delighted to welcome Dr Sandra Morales to the team!

Sandra is already a researcher here in ECLS, working on the VEO project with, among others, Paul Seedhouse. She officially started her role as Teaching Assistant in the ALC section as of Monday (1 February). As well as teaching on MA modules, Sandra will be tutoring and supervising MA students. She will also be involved in some other exciting projects!

For those of you who don’t her Sandra already, here is a bit more about her, in her own words:

I came to Newcastle in 2010 to start my PhD in Educational and Applied Linguistics as I have always been passionate about language studies! In Chile, my home country, I did a Bachelor’s degree in English-French and Spanish Translation (Je parle le Francais aussi!) followed by a Master’s degree in Linguistics. While doing my MA I taught communicative English in higher education. This experience made me realize how much I enjoyed language teaching so I decided to go to the United States (Boston, MA) and do a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. After that, I worked as a teacher trainer with students who were going to be English teachers in Chile. I have to admit that sometimes I miss those days! Fortunately, I have kept in touch with my old students-now colleagues- so we can share our experiences with language learners and continue learning together!

My area of research is Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and everything that is related to blended and online learning! My interest in educational technology for language learning and teaching started when I was doing my MA and learned how technological resources were being used to support Second Language Acquisition (SLA). I have conducted research about the use of blended learning and Task Based Language Teaching in the L2 classroom, as well as in CALL teacher education. I have observed how teachers develop their teaching skills when trained in online communities in order to improve models and strategies for teacher training courses. During my academic career, I have been able to present my research in prestigious conferences such as EuroCALL, BAAL and WorldCALL. I have collaborated with colleagues in the field of CALL (my most recent publication is with Scott Windeatt from ECLS) and disseminated my work in peer-reviewed journals such as the International Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALLT).

In ECLS, I am currently involved in the Erasmus+ VEO (Video Enhanced Observation) Europa project where I work alongside Professor Paul Seedhouse, Paul Miller, Jon Haines and partners in the UK, Germany, Finland, Turkey and Bulgaria. In this project I have had the opportunity to further develop my research skills and apply my expertise as an educational technologist and teacher educator.

As part of the Applied Linguistics and Communication section, I will collaborate with other members of staff in some of the taught modules (e.g. TESOL for Young Learners with Dr Chris Leyland), tutor students and supervise MA dissertations. I will also be able to use my knowledge in CALL, e-learning and curriculum design to produce online materials. This will help to enhance the learning experience of our learners across the MA programmes.

In the future, I expect to develop collaborative research projects that involve working with language teachers and technology. I strongly believe that hearing teachers’ voices is key to promote their ‘digital self-esteem’ and improve language learning and teaching with technological resources. For this purpose, I would like to take my PhD research a step forward and enhance the online teacher training model I implemented during my doctoral studies. I am also interested in the training of online tutors and the different roles they play in the development of online communities.

So far, I have really enjoyed my time in Newcastle University and life in the North East! I look forward to working with students and all my colleagues in Applied Linguistics and Communication.


PhD viva success for Aki Siegel

We are delighted to announce that Aki Siegel (Rikkyo University) successfully passed her PhD viva last week with (very) minor corrections!Aki post-viva

Having completed her MA at University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Aki enrolled as a long-distance part-time student in ECLS, working with Paul Seedhouse as her supervisor (and later adding Adam Brandt as second supervisor).

Her PhD thesis, ‘Longitudinal Development of Word Search Sequences in English as a Lingua Franca Interactions‘, examines interaction between international students in a university dorm in Japan, and brings together the research areas of ELF, conversation analysis and complex adaptive systems to examine language development over time. Her research was praised by her examiners, Salla Kurhila (University of Helsinki) and Alan Firth.

Congratulations Dr Aki!


ALC staff visit Thailand for workshop on internationalisation of HE

From 69 January 2016, Tony Young, Steve Walsh and Alina Schartner took part in a Researcher Links workshop on the Internationalisation of Higher Education in Bangkok, Thailand. Funded by the Newton Fund, the British Council, and the Thailand Research Fund, the workshop was jointly coordinated by Newcastle University and Kasetsart University. It brought together a multidisciplinary group of 30 early-career researchers from the UK and Thailand to address the challenge of promoting values-based, intercultural internationalisation.

Researcher Links 2

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Peter Sercombe presents at Hunting-Gathering conference in Vienna

Peter Sercombe recently attended the ‘Eleventh Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies’ (CHAGS), in Vienna, giving two presentations related to his interests in language and communication in hunting-gathering communities.


He presented in two panels: In the first – ‘Is hunter-Gatherer Kinship Special and (how) Does It Change? Perspectives from Anthropology, Linguistics, History and Beyond‘ – Peter’s paper (‘The Changing Face of Penan Nomenclature’), described and attempted to explain decline in the use of Penan teknonymy and necronymy.

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Peter Sercombe research grant for project on language and perceptions

Peter SercombePeter Sercombe is a recent successful co-applicant to the Bank of Sweden’s Tercentenary Foundation for a grant of around  €1.25 million. The grant will fund a large project, involving universities from around Europe and led by Niclas Burenhult (Lund University, Sweden), entitled ‘Language as key to perceptual diversity: an interdisciplinary approach to the senses’.

Continue reading Peter Sercombe research grant for project on language and perceptions

Alan Firth and Adam Brandt to present at first talk in Applied Linguistics Seminar Series

The first talk in the Applied Linguistics Seminar Series will take place tomorrow, Tuesday 13 October, at 4-5pm.

Alan Firth and Adam Brandt will be presenting their research on haggling in Bangkok. Click on the poster below for further details.

ALC seminar series - Firth and Brandt talk (photo)

The full schedule for this academic year’s Seminar Series can be seen here.


Applied Linguistics Seminar Series starts again next week!

Every year, the Applied Linguistics & Communication team organise a series of lectures from leading researchers in the field of Applied Linguistics. The series for this academic year was organised by Rachelle Vessey, and the programme can be seen below (click for larger image).

Applied Linguistics Seminar Series 2015-16 schedule

Continue reading Applied Linguistics Seminar Series starts again next week!