Subject Centre Mini-Projects (2007/8)

The Subject Centre funds a small number of mini-projects every year on a number of topics. Details of the latest phase of mini-project funding are given below.


January, 2007 - December, 2008

Key contact:

Alison Dickens
Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

Funded by:

Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

Successful bidders:

  • Dr Judith Baxter and Dr Denise Santos
    Dept of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading
  • Dr Barry Heselwood
    Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, University of Leeds
  • Séverine Hubscher-Davidson
    School of Languages, University of Salford
  • Ann Jeffery
    Modern Languages, University of Southampton
  • Mr Charlie Mansfield
    University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Emily Salines
    Middlesex University
  • Dr J L Milton
    School of Arts, Swansea University
  • Dr Pamela Rogerson-Revell
    School of Education, University of Leicester

Project aims:

Projects funded under this scheme cover a wide range of topics, methodologies and outcomes.

Projects and outcomes:

English Language at undergraduate level: its place within UK Higher Education in the 21st century

Dr Judith Baxter and Dr Denise Santos, Dept of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading

The purpose of this mini-project was to conduct a mapping exercise of the current status and identity of undergraduate English Language. This involved gathering the facts and figures to provide an overview of all the HE institutions in the UK which provide the subject by surveying the following:

  • How English Language programmes are officially named and labelled
  • How these programmes are constituted in terms of rationale and subject content
  • The relationship of English Language with other associated disciplines within the degree programme, e.g. Linguistics, English Literature, Applied Linguistics, Communication
  • Increases or decreases in recruitment during the past 5 years
  • How programmes are structured in terms of progression between year groups
  • How they are assessed in terms of the balance between coursework and examination
  • How they are marketed to prospective students.

Download: Project report

Assessing and marking students’ productions of IPA consonants and vowels

Dr Barry Heselwood, Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, University of Leed

The aim of the project is to investigate whether an examiner knowing what sound a student is aiming to produce in a practical phonetics oral assessment influences his/her judgment as to the accuracy of the student’s production, and consequently the mark awarded to the student. The results of the project will be used as a basis for discussing how practical phonetics oral tests should be conducted to balance the students’ interests and the maintenance of standards of achievement. It is hoped that the study will be able to recommend further ‘best practice’ procedures for assessment of these important phonetic skills, and provide evidence as to whether two examiners are required for this form of assessment.

Download: Project report

Using think-aloud protocols (TAPS) in the teaching of translation

Séverine Hubscher-Davidson, School of Languages, University of Salford

This project developed a method used by the author to study translator behaviour in her doctoral research. Think Aloud Protocols, or TAPS is a process which consists of filming students while they translate aloud, saying everything that goes through their mind as they work. The TAPS research method focuses on the student, the learner, in order to shed light on the process of translation, and the purpose of study was to evaluate ways in which this research method could usefully be adapted as a pedagogical tool.

Download: Project report

Cardenio: the intercultural experience

Ann Jeffery, Modern Languages, University of Southampton

The internationalisation of learning has been the focus of a recent publication by the HE Academy, (Academy Exchange, Winter 2006). In contemporary education and society, it is evident that there is a need for greater intercultural communication. The disciplines of the humanities offer an invaluable opportunity to investigate the intercultural experience through areas of culture, identity, community and belonging. The Second Life virtual environment enables exploration and research of these issues in an environment developed outside the traditional boundaries of the formal education system. This study followed a group of Second Life residents from different cultural backgrounds as they engaged in cultural exchange activities within and beyond the Second Life environment.

Download: Project report

French urban space – a materials development project

Mr Charlie Mansfield, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and University of Edinburgh

The project work produced a set of resources to encourage undergraduates to engage with area studies through French language and through literary studies. The materials developed do not simply use web technologies to add interactivity to the learning objects (LOs) but also equip humanities students with skills in the emerging technologies of XML and handling digital archives.

Course activities are available from the Materials Bank.

Download: Project report

The use of Podcasts in French politics and society courses at university level.

Dr Emily Salines, Middlesex University

This project builds on an experiment by the author in 2006-2007 in the use of podcasts in a second year French Politics and Society module – which made extensive use of podcasts from Radio-France, and, more specifically, France-Inter and France-Culture. It explores further the pedagogical opportunities arising from the development of this medium and reports on the development of a resource for University lecturers which is presented as a model for others wishing to support their teaching through the use of podcasts.

Download: Project report

Who’s who in linguistics – heroes of linguistic thought

Dr J L Milton, School of Arts, Swansea University

This project developed a website timeline to show and illustrate the development of ideas linguistics, the emergence of the subject areas we now recognise, and to illustrate the characters who played important parts in the development of these ideas and the texts they wrote. The website also hosts forums in this area and is intended to act as a node for research networks.

The site can be visited at:

Download: Project report

Leading innovation in distance teaching and assessment: developing online multimedia activities for MA phonetics and phonology students.

Dr Pamela Rogerson-Revell, School of Education, University of Leicester

This project aimed to enhance the teaching and assessment of phonetics and phonology for distance MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL students by developing a set of innovative online multimedia activities. The activities were developed with the author’s own distance MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL students in mind but are relevant to a range of linguistics, English language or ELT students, working either at distance or autonomously.

The project builds on the national e-learning strategy to promote the use of digital technologies to support teaching and learning. In particular, it is based on the increasing recognition of the need for innovative online pedagogy to direct online technologies, rather than vice versa. Focusing on the goals of reusability, modularity and a constructivist view of learning, it is in line with current thinking in teaching and learning, especially in the field of e-learning.

Course activities are avaible from the Materials Bank

Download: Project report