Research Projects

  • CLIL for All: Attention to Diversity in Bilingual Education; 2018-21

    CLIL for All: Attention to Diversity in Bilingual Education (ADiBE); 2018-21

    ERASMUS+ project (no. 2018-1-ES01-KA201-050356); headed by María Luisa Pérez Cañado, Universidad de Jaen, Spain

    This project, which combines researchers from Austria, Britain, Italy, Finland, Germany and Spain ??, is concerned with the possibilities and challenges of offering CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) education to all learners, irrespective of their socioeconomic status, educational background, or achievement level. By focussing on inclusive CLIL settings catering for all of their diverse learners, the first aim is to gain empirical information on teacher training needs, core difficulties that need to be addressed and good practices that can be learned from. On the basis of such research-based insights, project based teaching activities will then be designed to cater to diversity in CLIL, which will, finally, feed into teacher training modules. Overall, the project pursues the overarching intention to contribute to making CLIL accessible to all learners.

  • Mediatised Lifeworlds: Young people's narrative constructions, connections and appropriations (#YoungMediaLife) 2018-2021

    Mediatised Lifeworlds: Young people's narrative constructions, connections and appropriations (#YoungMediaLife) 2018-2021

    Research Platform of the University of Vienna, headed by Susanne Reichl and Ute Smit

    Officially starting on May 1st, 2018, this research platform investigates the mediatised lifeworlds of young people from the vantage point of true interdisciplinary research, combining eleven researchers based at four different faculties of the University of Vienna. We focus on the narratives that young people use to construct identities, form social connections, and appropriate knowledge and skills. Additionally, we have a strong mission to support young researchers' projects.

  • On the implementation of the new CLIL requirements for Austrian ‘HTLs‘. Question development for quality assessment and case studies on classroom practices; 2015-2017

    On the implementation of the new CLIL requirements for Austrian ‘HTLs‘. Question development for quality assessment and case studies on classroom practices; 2015-2017

    international project team, headed by Ute Smit, University of Vienna; commissioned by the Austrian Ministry of Education and Women (BMBF)

    This educational linguistics project (2015-2016) deals with CLIL in HTLs (= Höhere Technische Lehranstalten, i.e. upper secondary colleges leading to university-entrance qualifications combined with professional training in a range of technical, industrial or craft specialisations) and aims to offer an evaluation of the implementations of the new curricular requirements for English-medium teaching, which specify that at least 72 CLIL lessons must take place for all HTL students in each of the last three school years. The first and smaller part of the project will develop themes and questions on CLIL teaching and learning that will later be used for a a quality assessment survey involving HTL management, teachers and students across Austria (part of a different project). In view of the fact that educational innovations can best be analysed ‘at the coal-face’, the main part of the project focuses on “CLIL in action”. Therefore, CLIL lessons will form the basis for investigating the ways in which the curricular CLIL requirements are put into practice across subjects, teachers and schools. More precisely, CLIL lessons will be audio and video recorded in various technical subjects and sites. In addition, the participants’ emic perspectives will be elicited in (reflective) interviews. Guided by research interests such as students’ and teachers’ (trans)languaging of classroom practices, students’ subject-specific language use, and the didactic and discursive steps taken by teachers in support of content and language development, the data base will be analysed and interpreted as regards successful CLIL practices for Austrian HTLs.

  • ‘Internationalization of Higher Education in bilingual degrees: Analysis of the linguistic, cultural and academic challenges’; 2014-16

    ‘Internationalization of Higher Education in bilingual degrees: Analysis of the linguistic, cultural and academic challenges’; 2014-17

    (Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, MINECO, REF. FFI2013-41235-R), headed by Emma Dafouz, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.

    INTER-L-ICA (The Internationalization of Higher Education in Bilingual Degrees, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness), is a 3-year project that aims to investigate English-medium undergraduate economics studies at the Complutense University of Madrid from an interdisciplinary point of view (economics and applied linguistics). As an international member I am part of the sub-project that investigates spoken interaction in business courses taught through English. More particularly, our aims are the following:
    (1) to identify the discursive characteristics and rhetorical conventions of various sub-disciplinary courses;
    (2) to exchange knowledge between content teachers and researchers so as to raise explicit awareness among stakeholders regarding these disciplinary features, and;
    (3) to aid content teachers in the design of materials and exams incorporating these disciplinary features

  • Learning disciplinary language through Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL); 2013-15 (€ 4,400)

    Learning disciplinary language through Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL); 2013-15

    Collaboration with Julia Hüttner, University of Southampton, UK; small grant provided by the Austrian Ministry of Education (BMUKK)

    Given the increasing popularity of CLIL also at the upper secondary level, this project aims to provide insights into the potential of CLIL provision for disciplinary language learning. In a qualitative case study in a Viennese business vocational college (BHS) with an explicit CLIL policy, the research focus is on classroom discourse in the English-medium subject of European economics as co-constructed by grade 12 learners of diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. By combining a multimodal analysis of video-recorded group work sessions and student presentations with a qualitative content analysis of teaching materials and participant interviews, this project will result in an integrated analysis of the learners’ discursive practices and (disciplinary language) learning trajectories.

  • Language and content integration: towards a conceptual framework (ConCLIL); 2012-14

    Language and content integration: towards a conceptual framework (ConCLIL); 2012-14

    international project team (from Austria, Canada, Finland, Spain and the UK), headed by Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland; financed by the Academy of Finland

    In collaboration with colleagues from Finland, Spain and the UK, my research aim within this project is to provide conceptual and theoretical grounding to a presently thriving area of applied linguistic research at the nexus of internationalisation in higher education and second/foreign language learning and use: the ‘Englishization’ of higher educational institutions and its implications for teaching and learning. ICLHE (Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education) practices are thriving in many countries world-wide, such as in Austria, where practically all universities have recently introduced English-medium programmes or expressed their intention to do so (for more information on my research interests within this project see my “Future research plans”).

    The ConCLIL project focuses on second or foreign language-mediated education across all educational levels. Based on their previously undertaken classroom discourse-based CLIL studies, the international project members use their research stays at the Centre for Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä to “work [in subgroups] towards a conceptual framework of CLIL by research-based problematization of its central notions language and content and especially that of their integration” (http://conclil.jyu.fi/).

  • CLIL in Austrian Colleges of Technology (HTLs); 2007–08

    CLIL in Austrian Colleges of Technology (HTLs); 2007–08

    local project team, headed by Christiane Dalton-Puffer, University of Vienna, Austria; commissioned and financed by the Austrian Ministry of Education

    This project was the first detailed nationwide study into CLIL practices at Austrian Colleges of Technology (HTLs). Its status quo report and analysis provided the ministry with recommendations, which resulted in the curriculum being amended so as to include the requirement of some CLIL teaching and learning for all students.

    In my role as scientific advisor I could bring into the project my previous experience in undertaking sociolinguistically and ethnographically informed fieldwork and in analysing quantitative and qualitative data in a mixed methods approach.

  • CLIL and immersion education: applied linguistic perspectives (CLIL ReN); since 2006

    CLIL and immersion education: applied linguistic perspectives (CLIL ReN); since 2006

    Research Network (ReN) of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) - (application renewed and reviewed every 3 years)

    The past seven years of organizing and coordinating this AILA Research Network have provided sufficient evidence for its relevance: While CLIL practices are highly contextualized and thus require situated investigative attention, there is an urgent need for exchange amongst researchers, teacher educators and teachers. By running the CLIL ReN, we have given numerous researchers an international platform for entering into exchange and co-operation, and will continue to do so in the coming years (see http://clil-ren.org/).

  • English as a lingua franca (ELF) as classroom language;<br> 2002-08

    English as a lingua franca (ELF) as classroom language;
    2002-08

    single-person project; financed by the FWF (Charlotte-Buehler Habilitationsstipendium) and by a grant from the ‘Wiener Hochschuljubiläumsstiftung’

    In this longitudinal applied linguistic study, I applied a triangulated ethnographic and discourse-pragmatic methodology in order to analyse the classroom interactive practices evolving in an international group of students. By also drawing on corpus analysis and qualitative content analysis the investigation yielded a “thick” description of the discursive developments and interactional patterns in English dynamically functioning as a lingua franca in an international classroom.

  • Corpus-based genre analysis for ESP teacher education; since 2000

    Corpus-based genre analysis for ESP teacher education; since 2000

    local project team; initial workshop co-financed by the British Council

    Motivated by curriculum development in the teacher education programme, I have been part of a team that has worked on an applied linguistic approach to ESP teacher education. By drawing on corpus analysis, genre analysis and language teaching pedagogy, we have developed a model of mediated corpus based genre analysis, which, in repeated application in teacher education, has proven itself as enlightening, supportive conceptual and methodological basis for ESP teachers pre- and in-service education. Given the dynamic nature of teacher education and the ongoing developments in corpus and genre analysis, this project cannot be considered finalised. Most recently, we have extended it in the direction of teaching materials development; our next steps will take us to enlarging it into the directions of the new media as well as of CLIL teacher education.

  • The phonetic features of Black South African English (BSAE) and their main social dimensions; 2000-03

    The phonetic features of Black South African English (BSAE) and their main social dimensions; 2000-03

    South African national project team, headed by Daan Wissing, Potchefstroom University of CHE (now: North-West University), South Africa; financed by the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa

    As primary international member of this project, I added my sociolinguistic and applied linguistic expertise to this primarily phonetic research project, which resulted in a mixed-methods spin-off study, undertaken with Marlene Verhoef, Nord-West University, focussing on the interplay of teacher language perceptions and assessment practices in relation to written and spoken English texts, produced by multilingual pupils at lower secondary level.

  • Attitudinal and motivational patterns in advanced EFL pronunciation learners; 1995-98

    Attitudinal and motivational patterns in advanced EFL pronunciation learners; 1995-98

    local project team with Christiane Dalton-Puffer and Gunther Kaltenböck, University of Vienna

    At the time of increased criticism regarding pronunciation training, motivated in part by the changing role of English in the late 20thc., we conducted a quantitative investigation into the attitudinal and motivational patterns amongst English major students at our department. By combining our different areas of expertise – pronunciation teaching / learning and language attitude research – we undertook one of the first such studies that combined native and non-native accents on an equal footing. Fitting to the applied linguistic nature of the project, I concluded the project by undertaking a follow-up study into the correlational effects on motivational patterns and student achievement.

  • English in South Africa at the time of political change: language attitudes and language planning in education; 1991-95 (ATS 35,000)

    English in South Africa at the time of political change: language attitudes and language planning in education; 1991-95

    single person project, 6-month field study financed by a research grant from the Austrian Ministry of Education and Research

    Inspired by the then on-going socio-political paradigm shift in South Africa, this project investigated the complex socio-political roles of English in education. By joining internationally established quantitative with locally established qualitative research methods, I conducted an extended language attitude study amongst upper secondary learners of all ethnic groups in the Eastern Cape, which provided valuable insights into the complex sociolinguistic situation of the country as well as of a theoretical kind regards the construct of language attitudes