Recent activity in the Applied Linguistics & Communication section

The last couple of months has been filled with activities in ALC,  here is a little information about just a few of them.

Applied Linguistics Seminar Series:

In December we welcomed Dr Mohammad Ahmadian from the University of Leeds. He presented his research as part of our seminar series, with his talk entitled L2 pragmatics instruction through video-based focused and unfocused tasks: do working memory capacity and language aptitude play a role? His fascinating talk was very well attended by staff and students of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. mohammad-ahmadian-pic

CA Day @ Loughborough University:

The annual Conversation Analysis day, organized by researchers at Loughborough University, was very well attended by ALC members. Fresh from finishing her PhD viva, Qi Chen presented her data and impressive findings to an audience of Conversation Analytic researchers from across the globe.


Research paper published:

ALC lecturer Dr Chris Leyland recently published a paper in Pragmatic (Quarterly) entitled Pre-enactment in team-teacher planning talk: demonstrating a possible future in the here-and-now. This paper looks at multilingual interaction in a Japanese context and considers how words, objects and the body are manipulated to create a vision of a forecasted classroom scene. It can be found here.

Presentation at the University of Edinburgh:

Chris Leyland presented at the Edinburgh TESOL and Applied Language (ETAL) Research Group’s Seminar Series. His talk was entitled The uses of objects in English team teacher lesson planning meetings.





A report on attending the Arabic Linguistic Forum Conference in York 2016

The second Arabic Linguistic Forum Conference which I attended was held at the University of York on the 12-14th December 2016; and sponsored by the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex and the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York. The conference presented useful research topics on Arabic linguistics including; for example, phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, morphology, dialectology, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, etc.

Since my research is on the area of sociolinguistics, I, as a PhD student, would like to continue professional development in my field of study, as research on linguistics are changing and developing all the time. So, this conference provided me with a good opportunity to discuss and share experiences with other PhD students, researches, and education scientists in my field of study and other different fields in linguistics.

In addition, the conference was an ideal platform for me and other researchers to share our early results of our woks. The abstract which I submitted to the conference was on the area of bilingualism which would hopefully contribute to the knowledge and research on sociolinguistics. It was entitled ‘’ Bilingual Code Switching Patterns in Libyan Arabic-English School-Age Children: A Study of Code Switching Behaviour as an Indication of Linguistic and Communicative Competence’’. My abstract was published in the conference abstract booklet.

During the three days of the conference, there were am and pm sessions, each of which involved presenting different research topics on the above area of Arabic linguistics.  On the first day, I presented an oral presentation in my research for twenty minutes, followed by ten minutes questions and discussion. The discussion was in a friendly atmosphere and was successfully finished. In addition, between every am and pm sessions a cold buffet lunch was offered each day, including hot drinks during all breaks.

The conference included many participants and invited speakers from different universities from all over the world. So, it was a good chance for me to meet and build relationships with other researches and to share knowledge in different areas and get professional advice if I needed to. Moreover, this conference was my first conference to attend. It was really excellent experience, which made me looking forward to attending other organized conferences whenever possible.

Written by Gada I. B. Mahmud, PhD Student, School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences, Newcastle University. 

Applied Linguistics Seminar Series: October-November

As part of this series, held in the School of ECLS, we have so far had four talks.
They have all gone extremely well, with large audiences, insightful talks and very useful discussions! This has been a big success, and we have seven more talks to come! Here is a quick summary of the talks given so far:

  • Our first speaker was Dr Melissa Yu.


Melissa is currently teaching Cross-Cultural Communication modules at the London-based campus of Newcastle University. Her talk was entitled Invitation to a ‘potluck’ lingua-cultural party in the classroom for the international understanding of English. This talk was very well attended by staff and students from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities. Keep up the good work in London Melissa!

  • The second speaker was Dr Elaine Lopez.


Elaine has recently joined the Applied Linguistics and Communication team at Newcastle University. This was a great opportunity for her to show us what her research is all about. Her talk entitled Measuring lexical knowledge in L2 academic writing was very well attended, with local university staff and students as well as several language teachers from INTO. This was an excellent example of how applied linguistics research can easily inform the professional practices of language teachers.

  • The third talk was given by current members of the ALC team, Drs Alina Schartner and Tony Young.


This talk entitled Towards a conceptual model of international student adjustment and adaptation tapped into a very topical issue. This fascinating talk was highly informative and sparked a very lively discussion amongst the presenters and audience. Despite the cold weather around 50 staff and students attended!

  • The forth talk was given by our first ‘external’ speaker, Dr Bróna Murphy from the University of Edinburgh.


This talk was entitled British converts to Islam: constructing identity. This was probably the best attended talk of the year, with large numbers of MA Cross-Cultural Communication students, doctoral students and staff from various local universities! This corpus linguistics-based study of British female converts to Islam unearthed and discussed a ‘double frame’ facing these people as well as various familial and societal challenges. (The organizer couldn’t get a sufficiently clear picture of her talk due to low lighting and a poor flash, apologies!)

Thank you so much to the presenters and attendees for making the Seminar Series so successful so far. I am looking forward to the upcoming talks. The next will be given by Dr Mohammad Ahmadian from the University of Leeds. Details to follow soon…


Dr Alina Schartner receives prestigious award in Bangkok

Bangkok award

Alina Schartner has been awarded the highly prestigious James J. Bradac Prize, which is awarded biannually by the International Association of Language & Social Psychology, and recognises early career excellence in the field of language and social psychology by a scholar.

Alina was given the award at the International Conference on Language and Social Psychology in Bangkok in June for her collective research to date. Alina will receive funds to enable attendance at the next International Conference on Language and Social Psychology (in this case Edmonton, Canada, in 2018), and will give an invited plenary address.

ALC PhD students present their research at ‘Sociolinguistics Symposium 21’ in Murcia, Spain.


Last June, I visited University of Murcia in Murcia, Spain to present my analysis in the conference, “Sociolinguistics Symposium 21”. Sociolinguistics Symposium is one of the biggest international conferences on language in society, and over a thousand delegates from various disciplines in sociolinguistics presented their interesting studies this year. I gave a presentation entitled “Marriage immigrants in South Korea: A CA perspective on situated identities and multimodality in interview accounts” on 15th, June. Also my colleague, Kirsty Blewitt (3rd year PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics) presented her paper entitled, “Exploring interactions between the state and the individual in legal settings” on the same day. We both enjoyed thought-provoking discussion in the conference, as well as the great weather and atmosphere in the city!


About the blogger

This post written by Yoonjoo Cho who is a 3rd year PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University.



Strong ALC presence at the 15th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology

Applied Linguistics and Communication @ Newcastle was represented by two staff members and two PhD students at the 15th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP) which was held from 22-25 June at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok, Thailand.

Alina Schartner and Tony Young convened a symposium entitled ‘The internationalising university – an intercultural endeavour?’ which featured contributions from colleagues in the United States and Hong Kong. Alina and Tony’s full paper has recently been published online.

They also presented as part of a symposium on health communication, reporting on a recent study of attitudes towards person-centred dementia care of UK and Malaysian medical students.

Jaeuk Park and Fatimah Alsaadi, both PhD students in ALC, each presented their respective doctoral work. Jaeuk’s talk focused on the Korean Digital Kitchen, while Fatimah spoke about the cross-cultural adjustment of Saudi Arabian ESL students in the UK.

Braving the monsoon rains, the group also enjoyed a cruise on the Chao Praya river, taking in the views of the temples and palaces of Bangkok. Korp Kun Ka, Thailand!



‘Intercultural Communication and Engineering Education’ – ALC research trip to Tokyo

Narrowly missing the cherry blossom season, Tony Young, Alina Schartner and Adam Brandt visited the University of Tokyo in March. The research trip was linked to a collaborative project funded by the NU Internationalisation Strategic Fund. For the past year, the ALC team have been working with Yu Maemura (Tokyo University) and Mike Handford (Cardiff University) on a mixed-method needs analysis to explore how engineering students and staff in both locations approach intercultural communication.

Despite significant jet-leg, the ALC team conducted a focus group with international engineering students at Tokyo University and gave two presentations to two very different audiences. One for professional engineers, reporting on the findings from the needs analysis, and one for Tokyo University staff on the internationalisation of UK higher education. Both talks were well-received!

The team are now writing up their research findings for publication later in the year.

Tokyo trip 3Tokyo trip 2


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

Continue reading ALC staff visit Thailand for workshop on internationalisation of HE

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