Our Department has ten research groups covering a wide variety of
areas in language and linguistics research. All research students join the
group which is most closely aligned to their interests, providing a valuable
opportunity to discuss and present their work in progress.
Arabic Sociolinguistics Research Group
The Arabic Sociolinguistics Research Group meets every two weeks to
discuss articles in sociolinguistics and dialect variation. Members of the
group have the opportunity to give a talk or an oral presentation of what
they are up to in their fieldwork.
Conversation Analysis Research Group
The Conversation Analysis (CA) Research Group is co-ordinated by Dr
Rebecca Clift and meets weekly during term-time. It is a forum for the
technical, conversation-analytic examination of interactional data, and
discussion of current research in conversation analysis. Our members are
current PhD students and they bring a number of native languages to the
group. Currently we have speakers of Arabic, Japanese and English, and past
members have been native speakers of Greek and French. We also invite
leading CA researchers to lead data sessions and present work-in-progress;
past visitors have included Paul Drew, John Rae, Celia Kitzinger and Ray
Corpus Linguistics Collective
In the Department of Languages and Linguistics at the University of
Essex, natural data and corpus linguistic approaches are a part of our
research, our teaching, our professional development of postgraduate
research students, and are explored within our seminar series. We use
language corpora to explore second language acquisition & development,
English and Arabic dialectology & grammar, language & aging, and as a
pedagogical resource for the EFL classroom.
ELT Research Group
The English Language Teaching Research Group will be of interest to any
students currently carrying out or intending to carry out research focused
on English language teaching or teaching English for specific or academic
purposes, taking a qualitative or a mixed-methods approach. The group is
co-ordinated by Dr Christina Gkonou and Dr Sophia Skoufaki.
There are three main formats for meetings:
- Students may present their work for about 20-30 minutes, and then the
group provides comments or questions. For instance, students may present
draft research questions or some of their findings for feedback and
discussion. Students who are in the earlier or later stages of their
research are encouraged to present: it's never too early to make a
- Students or staff may practise a conference presentation, with the group
- The group may read an agreed article in advance, and meet to discuss it.
Language and Asylum Research Group
Language analysis for determination of origin (LADO) is a new branch of
applied linguistics, used by governments in processing asylum seekers who
are applying for refugee status. Applicants are interviewed by government
agencies seeking to ascertain whether they speak the language of a group
they say they belong to, as part of testing their claim to come from a
certain nation, region or group.
The primary mission of the Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG) is
to stimulate research, contribute to the further development of guidelines,
and promote best-practice for practitioners working in the field of LADO,
through exchange of informed views.
The group is convened by Professor Peter L. Patrick and Dr Diana Eades.
Language and Computation Group
Because of the growing availability of large amounts of natural language
data in electronic format, computational methods are playing an increasing
role in linguistic research. Simultaneously, natural language engineering
(NLE) techniques are becoming more widespread in areas such as data mining
and web search. As the problems tackled in the scientific study of language
and by developers of NLE applications are often the same, interaction
between researchers using computational methods to study language and those
interested in NLE applications is beneficial to both. The University of
Essex has a long tradition of research in the area of language and
computation (which has a variety of names, including computational
linguistics and natural language processing), starting with work on machine
translation and parsing in the 1980s, as well as work on formal semantics.
The Language and Computation group is an interdisciplinary group created
to foster such interaction between researchers within the University, and
includes staff and students from the Department of Languages and
Linguistics, the Data Archive and the Language, Logic and Information group
in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.
Lexical Functional Grammar Research Group
This research group brings together members of our Department and
research students who are working on a variety of topics in Lexical
Functional Grammar (and especially its application to Arabic). The group is
co-ordinated by Professor Louisa Sadler and meets on a regular basis
throughout the academic year.
Phonology Research Group
The Phonology Research Group is interested in the investigation of
theoretical and descriptive phonology, first and second language phonology
The group is co-ordinated by Dr Wyn Johnson and meets on a regular basis
throughout the academic year.
Psycholinguistics Research Group
The Psycholinguistics Research Group at Essex investigates grammatical
processing in adult native speakers and language learners, child language
acquisition, as well as neurolinguistic topics including developmental and
acquired language disorders.
Second Language Research Group
The Second Language Research Group provides a forum for students and
staff to exchange ideas about and discuss current issues in second language
learning/acquisition, language development, language attrition (i.e. loss)
and language teaching. Second language (L2) is used as an umbrella term to
include L3, L4, etc. In our meetings, group members present work in progress
such as plans for a PhD project or results from a pilot study, we try out
data collection instruments or language teaching materials designed by group
members, or members may give presentations on completed studies, e.g. to
practise for a conference. In addition, we read and discuss recent research
papers that are of interest to group members in order to stay up to date
with the latest developments in our field and to encourage an exchange of
ideas between different theoretical perspectives (e.g. usage-based and
generative) and different sub-areas (e.g. L2 and L1 learning).