Pedagogic Research Fund 2005/06 (Phase 2)

During the 2005-2006 academic year, LLAS funded six pedagogic research projects. Practitioners were able to bid for up to £4,000 to undertake an investigation into a facet of learning and teaching in languages, linguistics or area studies. Reports were submitted in January 2006 and are available to download.


January, 2005 - January, 2006

Key contact(s):

John Canning
Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

Funded by:

Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

Successful bidders:

  • University of Chester
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Sussex
  • University College Winchester
  • The Open University


After a competitive bidding process in Autumn 2004, the following projects received funding.

A case study of the effects on student attainment, and on retention of personal development planning (PDP) via departmental mechanisms for improving student learning and through the institutional Progress File

Susan Beigel, University of Chester

Download report: Word | pdf | Appendix 1: Excel spreadsheet | Appendix 2 | Appendix 3 | Appendix 4 | Minitab data

Summary: Over the past few years, academic staff from the Languages Department in the University of Chester (formerly University College Chester) have been involved in a variety of small projects and pilot studies aiming to enhance student learning via Personal Development Planning (PDP). With this Pedagogical Research Grant, colleagues proposed to develop this area of study further, in particular by assessing the extent to which PDP structures impact on student achievement and retention.

SS4LL (Study Skills for Language Learners): an Integrated learner training programme

Kirsten Söntgens and Juliet Laxton, University of Southampton

Download report: Word | pdf

Summary: A large-scale evaluation of explicit skills training across a whole cohort of undergraduate students (300 students of German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English as a Foreign Language) will aim to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of explicit skills training and portfolio learning to foster learner autonomy.

East Asian Learners' response to intercultural themes as part of the year abroad in the UK

Tricia Coverdale-Jones, University of Portsmouth

Download report: Word | pdf | Appendix

Summary: The intercultural experience of a year abroad can be extended as concept to East Asian students studying in the UK. This research project considered the ways in which these students can benefit from intercultural learning within the course as well as the more generalized life experience which a year abroad brings. The aim was to gather and contrast student perceptions about their own intercultural learning and the perceived benefits of a course in Intercultural Communication. Two separate cohorts of students were sampled at an early and a late stage of their course.

A survey of the ways universities cope with the needs of dyslexic foreign language learners and, in consultation with tutors and learners, the piloting of appropriate assessment methods

Jenny Hill and Jannie Roed, University of Sussex

Download report: Word | pdf

Summary: Assessing accuracy in dyslexic students of foreign languages has been a recurring problem for years in the Sussex Language Institute. Experienced as well as new lecturers are left with little central university help regarding how best to tackle the assessment of dyslexic language learners.

Investigating the pedagogical challenges and opportunities of field trip modules in Area Studies

Jude Davies, Alasdair Spark and John Bentley, University College Winchester

Download report: Word | pdf

Summary: The report reviews the role of short field trips as a means of enhancing the student experience in programmes of Area Studies. It identifies opportunities for curriculum development and the challenges of alternative strategies of teaching and learning based on fieldwork overseas. The exemplar case study is a module from an American Studies degree programme that provides a Level 2 (Year 2) optional field class in the Mojave region of the southwest United States of America . The field trip programme is described and the procedures of planning are explained.

New online learning spaces: task design and implementation for a synchronous audiographic online learning environment

Regine Hampel, The Open University

Download report: Word | pdf | Appendix: Excel spreadsheet

Summary: This project was proposed as an inquiry into task design for new synchronous online learning environments, using an Open University German beginners' course as an example. In order to set the scene, it will be useful to sketch out the areas of beginners' language learning at a distance and the pedagogical framework used as well as give a brief introduction into online language teaching.

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