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Research in the Centre

Primary research and supervision areas within the Centre

The Centre is also active in community-based research, working with schools, school systems, and industry.

Some current projects within the Centre

Multilingualism in Australia

This includes large-scale census based and small-scale community and institution based studies comparing language practices and maintenance/shift rates across and between languages, as well as comparative studies of community languages as used in Australia including grammatical change and switching patterns. One new project conducted in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, examines endangered Sudanese languages within Melbourne.

Connecting young second language learners and elderly bilinguals (German, Mandarin, Spanish) ­interconnectedness and social inclusion

This project, conducted in collaboration with MonRAS, focuses on the use of community language resources for second language acquisition. It brings together students at Monash who are studying German, Mandarin and Spanish with older speakers of these languages. Specifically, the project explores student gains in second language acquisition, including conversational management skills, confidence and attitudes, as well as impacting on the self esteem of the older participants giving them a sense of belonging, and an understanding of young people. It is hoped to extend this project to the upper secondary level.

Communicating in English in our multicultural and globalised contexts

This project focuses on communicative styles in English as an International Language, cultural variation in academic and professional discourse, as well as intercultural communication in the medical field, in the workplace, in business communication and during meetings.

Enhancing languages-in-education policies and improved practice in primary, secondary and tertiary programs

This research examines how cognitive benefits can best be achieved in practice. It includes studies of ethnic schools, language learning and online communication, students of different backgrounds, opportunities for second language learning and the use of second languages in social and transactional networks. The project also looks at the acquisition of academic English by international students and the language socialization of second generational students into the Australian academic context.

Dimensions of Australian English

This project explores variation and change in Australian English pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and communicative styles. It examines school, gender, generation, and ethnicity as factors in generating variation. The data is based on Year 10 students across ten Melbourne schools, and includes their families and friends. Rural Australian English is also being examined using a pilot sample from the Western District. Research includes (im)politeness in language, attitudes to language, the discourse of inclusion/exclusion and the discourse of sexuality.

Aboriginal English and its implications for the education of Aboriginal children, intercultural communication, and politics

This research explores the failure of the education system in Australia to improve literacy outcomes for the vast majority of Aboriginal-English speaking students. This is a national issue of the highest priority.

Clash of political discourses

This research program examines the extent to which conflict between different nations is the result of misrepresentations in political discourse.

Cultural conceptualizations of Ageing

A national and international program of research is being conducted to explore concepts such as “successful ageing” in different languages and cultures.

English as an International Language

This research program focuses on a paradigm shift in the field English Language Teaching and the sociolinguistics of English in the light of the globalization and internationalization of the English language.

Intercultural oral examinations in medicine: Understanding the communicative skills of international medical graduates (IMGs) in Australian objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs)

This study analyses the communication skills of IMGs in selected communicative OSCE scenarios designed to replicate Australian Medical Council (AMC) examination standards. Video-recordings of OSCE performances and stimulated recall interviews constitute the corpus of this study. Following a discourse analysis approach, the data is 
analysed on both the dimensions of intra-professional and practitioner-client interactions in order to investigate the discourse difficulties experienced by IMGs.

Translation and Interpreting Studies in Multilingual contexts

The following projects are underway which focus on the following: sociolinguistic profiles of professional and lay interpreters (Chaldean-Assyrian-Arabic-English multilinguals from Iraq); translators and interpreters who work in closely-related languages and the phenomenon of accommodation and non-accommodation; multilingual clients and language shifts in interpreting situations; dialect vs. standard language speakers and their use of professional interpreting services.