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My current PhD students are working on the following topics:
Construction of Islam in the BBC sitcom Citizen Khan
Metrosexuality in Malaysia
Discourses of infertility in blogs, news and clinic websites
Representation of dialect in fiction
Children's books containing same-sex parent families
Language around schizophrenia in the British press
Previous PhDs I have supervised include:
A corpus-based examination of the concept of political correctness in British broadsheet newspapers
The language of marriage rituals in Botswana
Combining corpus approaches and CDA to examine discourses of terrorism in the British and Chinese popular press
Combining corpus approaches and CDA to examine discourses of homophobia in a right-wing political organisation
A corpus study to compare lexical bundle use of Chinese learners of English with native speakers of English
A corpus study of keywords to examine gender identity in British and Malaysian children's writing
The construction of gender identity in Iranian bloggers
A corpus-based comparison of two academic books about Wahhabi Islam
I am willing to consider PhD applications in areas coherent with my research interests. I am especially eager to supervise students in the following two areas:
- The development of new corpus-based methods, or the extension of existing methodologies;
- The application of these methods in different areas of the humanities and social sciences.
I am also interested to supervise projects that extend established corpus methods to "new" languages - non-European languages and minority languages in particular - especially with regard to topics in descriptive or theoretical grammar.
Please refer to the indicative list of topics studied by my current and previous PhD supervisees available elsewhere in my profile.
I would be happy to receive applications in any of these areas: cognitive-typological linguistic theory (especially construction grammar and the usage-based model), language change and the history of English, dialect grammar, as well as the arsenal of research methods used in all these areas of linguistics.
I am interested in supervising PhD theses in the area of second language acquisition. In particular, I would be interested in (psycholinguistic) projects about tasks, priming, learner-learner interaction, and computer mediated communication (CMC) that make use of our lab (eye tracking, E-Prime, InputLog a.s.o.). In addition to English, I may work on the source/target languages German, Dutch, French, Italian.
The role of written texts in health care contexts (including studies of patients' information searching and learning strategies via for example websites)
Ethnographic studies of literacy practices in various settings (e.g. institutions, workplaces, communities, etc.)
Linguistic landscape research: the role of writing and visual in the cultural production of space
Literacy teaching and learning in schools
Adult literacy education in the so-called developing countries
My research looks at the following six questions, so I am interested in supervising projects on the following:
1. What role do individual differences (e.g., working memory, intelligence, etc.) play in implicit and explicit learning?
2. How does explicit knowledge affect implicit learning?
3. What is the role of frequency in language acquisition?
4. What is the nature of the (implicit) learning mechanism?
5. How do we measure implicit and explicit knowledge?
6. How are implicit and explicit knowledge represented in the mind and, ultimately, the brain?
I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:
Metaphor in discourse: study of metaphor in literature, politics, science and health communication; corpus-based approaches to the study of metaphor.
Cognitive stylistics: integration of linguistic analysis with theories of cognition (e.g. Schema theory, Blending theory) in order to study literary texts; the linguistic construction of fictional text worlds; the linguistic construction of minds in fictional and non-fictional narratives.
Corpus stylistics: application of corpus methods to the study of literary texts.
Medical Humanities/Health communication: language use in communication about health and illness, including particularly metaphors and narratives.
I am now retired so am unable to take on any more PhD students, However I am still available for external examining.
Topics I most recently supervised include:
- gender and swearing in Kuwaiti Arabic
- changing gender representation in EFL textbooks in Hong Kong
- children's picturebooks featuring two-Mum and two-Dad families
- gender and language use in the Italian parliament
- the construction of middle-aged women in two Hong Kong TV series
I am interested in supervising doctoral students working in literacy studies, including workplace literacies, academic literacies, audit cultures and accountability, digital literacy practices, literacy practices in religious communities, and adult literacy; linguistic ethnography; communities of practice and situated learning; institutional ethnography; and discourse analysis.
I am particularly interested in supervising students in the areas of online political resistance, critical discourse analysis and language policy, also more broadly in the areas related to my other research interests (see 'Research Interests' on my staff profile). I am currently supervising or co-supervising students working on: parliamentary debates in Kenya, Arabic media constructions of Iraq; the cultural impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the English and German-speaking world; UK Uncut and Twitter; Latin-American identity in the UN mission in Haiti; language policy among proofreaders in Slovenia; public discourse on the financial crisis in Portugal; linguistic identities in Southern China; the construction of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the press; student academic writing.