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Centre for Language and Literacy Research Projects

Research projects that members are involved in include:

Emergency Communication: Addressing the challenges in health care discourses

The project has two major aims: to understand the breakdowns in spoken communication that occur between health practitioners and patients in emergency departments in hospitals and to refine and extend contemporary advances in discourse knowledge. More specifically the aims are:

  • To describe the communication encounters that occur between health care practitioners and patients in hospital emergency departments in order to identify the features of both the successful and unsuccessful encounters
  • To analyse the breakdowns in communication that occur in these spoken interactions
  • To identify the cultural, linguistic and other demographic factors that contribute to both the breakdown and success of therapeutic communication.
  • To refine and extend advances in discourse knowledge in the context of the therapeutic encounter within health care services.

Funding: UTS Internal Partnership Grant
Research team: Dr Diana Slade, Dr Hermine Scheeres, Professor Jane Stein-Parbury (Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Health), Sam Choucair (SES&IAHS), Dr Helen de Silva Joyce (NSW AMES) and Maria Stephanou (HCIS).
Industry Partners: South East Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, Multicultural Health Service; Sydney South West Area Health Service (Eastern Zone) Interpreter Service; and NSW Adult Migrant English Service (NSW AMES)

A Multi-modal Analysis of Pedagogic Practice in Academic Language Programs

The research focuses on academic English language classrooms, to investigate the ways in which teachers make use of gesture, facial expression and positioning in the classroom, alongside language, as they interact with students to communicate particular kinds of meanings. The research aims to focus on three kinds of meanings: those associated with conveying content of the learning experience, those associated with establishing particular kinds of relationships in the classroom; and those associated with organizing and sequencing learning. The research explores how gesture and other non-language resources relate to the language the teachers use, eg how much meaning is conveyed in gesture? Do the gestural meanings parallel the language meanings or complement them in particular ways?

Funding: UTS ECRG
Research team: Dr Susan Hood (Chief Investigator), Melanie Brown (RA), Catherine Baird (RA).

Exploring and Supporting home literacy practices among families in the Redfern, Waterloo and Glebe areas

This project is an exploratory qualitative study of how interagency collaborations can support children's early literacy development among families with pre-school aged children. The study will explore the home literacy practices of families in Redfern, Waterloo and Glebe, with particular focus on both indigenous and non-English speaking background families and interagency collaborations. It will also investigate the ways that interagency collaborations can reach and engage with hard-to-reach families to support early literacy development.

Funding: UTS Partnership Grants Scheme
Research team: Dr Liam Morgan and Dr Pauline Gibbons

ESL Scaffolding Project

This project brings together a unique combination of researchers, consultants and teachers to address the needs of English as a Second Language (ESL) students in the transition between primary and secondary schooling in NSW. Through a two stage research design of investigation and action, it will build on, and enrich, current understanding of scaffolding in order to address the successes and frustrations that students experience in negotiating academic language and literacy demans across key learning areas. The project will result in improved educational outcomes for ESL and other students, especially in the crucial middle years of schooling. This project is funded by an ARC SPIRT Grant. The industry partner is the Department of School Education, through its Multicultural Programs Unit, Student Services and Equity Programs.

Research team: Dr Jenny Hammond. Project Coordinator Nicole Stanton.

The Post-Colonial Performativity Project

This broadly framed research project is looking at a range of interconnected domains - the global spread of English, colonial language policy, resistance theory, cultural studies - in order to develop a way of thinking about language use in the contemporary world in terms of performativity rather than essence within a postcolonial (or post-Occidental) framing of global relations, resistances, appropriations and challenges.

Funding Source: Faculty of Education
Research Team: Professor Alastair Pennycook