Researchers in Language and Literacies recognise the centrality of language to the social and cultural contexts within which learning and language use takes place. Underpinning our work is the development of innovative research methods, including: the use of fine-grained linguistic analysis; the combining of functional and corpus linguistics; the use of multimodal analysis to capture language in interaction with sounds, images, bodily movement and gesture; the development of multimodal and linguistic ethnography; the use of discourse analysis to examine the ways in which shared understanding is developed in social context over time; and new approaches to research into second language learning and teaching, including the analysis of multimodal communication in online settings.
Our work covers a range of exciting research areas with particular foci as follows:
- Academic and professional literacies, including digital literacy development of teachers.
- English in a global context: the role, status and use of English around the world in the era of globalisation including the use of English as a language for international development, and English and the language of social media.
- Language and creativity.
- Metaphor in discourse.
- Literary reading and interpretation.
- Children's informal language and literacy practices; children's literature.
- Early literacy development in a digital age.
- Multimodal meaning making, including in early years and inclusive education, as well as foreign and second languages.
- Foreign and second language learning and teaching in a range of contexts, including independent learning, the application of new technologies, culture and language learning; learner autonomy, motivation and strategies.
- The teaching, thinking and learning that occur in educational dialogue, including face-to-face and technology mediated learning, and processes of learning and teaching in the creative arts; automated feedback systems.
Recent and current projects include:
- The sociolinguistics of writing in a global context (ESRC Research Fellowship)
- The Discourse of Reading Groups (AHRC) http://www.open.ac.uk/dorg/index.shtml
- Attitudes to English as a language for international development in rural Bangladesh (British Council English Language Teaching Research Partnership Award scheme)
- Evaluation of Vivian Gussin Paley’s Helicopter Technique of Story-telling and Story Acting (MakeBelieve Arts, London
- Evaluation of the shadowing scheme associated with the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway children’s book awards (Carnegie UK trust) – with colleague in Education Studies
- The communicative experiences of young children with learning disabilities at home and in special and mainstream nursery education (Rix, Thomson, Rothenberg Foundation (formerly Mencap)
- Transitions and Transformations: exploring creativity in everyday and literary language (AHRC-funded seminar series)
- The discipline of English language studies – a global perspective? (HEA funded)
Find out more about The Open University Languages and Applied Linguistics research degree topics.