20052021

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Biography

I am a sociolinguist/ applied linguist based in Melbourne, Australia. I am deeply interested in how multlicultural societies responds to linguistic diversity. I work with mainstream institutions such as schools, hospitals and libraries in Australia to explore better ways of engaging with clients from non-English speaking backgrounds and developing multilingual language proficiency. As part of this I has an abiding interest in the relationship between language, identity and social cohesion and the ways that people's attitudes about languages contribute to broader inclusion and exclusion.  Much of my recent work looks at Deaf sign language users, but I also have a strong interest in migrant languages, especially for small and newly-arrived migrant groups.

A theme running through my work is how language and identity are intertwined and how linguistic practices emerge from social interactions and institutions. I am particularly interested in the adolescent life-stage and have conducted and supervised numerous research projects on language behaviour and language attitudes among groups of teenagers.

I believe strongly in the importance of researchers building links with policy-making organisations in order to allow insights from research to flow in to policy and vice versa. I have a track record of over 10 years of research consultancy with government and non-government agencies, including the Victorian Deaf Education Institute (a branch of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development), Department of Human Services (Victoria), Victorian Multicultural Commission and Australian Federation of Deaf Societies.

Research area keywords

  • Multilingualism
  • Language and Identity
  • Deaf studies
  • Sign language
  • Adolescence
  • Migrant languages

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