4 full-time PhD positions Assessing Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Linguistic, cognitive and educational perspectives

General job description

The Institute for Language and Communication (IL&C) and the Psychological Sciences Research Institute (IPSY) at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL; Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium), in collaboration with the research group on Multilingualism (Pluri-LL) of the University of Namur (Belgium), are seeking four highly motivated PhD candidates within the framework of the research project “Assessing Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Linguistic, cognitive and educational perspectives”.

The central aim of the research project is to investigate CLIL education in French-speaking Belgium from a multidisciplinary perspective. CLIL is a didactic method, comparable to immersion education, in which school subjects are taught in a different target language than the mainstream school language. The project will focus on primary and secondary school CLIL education in Dutch and English and examine by which cognitive (memory, attention,…) and socio-affective (motivational, attitudinal,…) factors the potential linguistic differences (with respect to pronunciation, lexis and grammar) between pupils in CLIL education and their pairs in non-CLIL school environments, can be accounted for. The methodological approach will combine corpus-based longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses, together with experimental research designs.


Prof. Philippe Hiligsmann – Spokesman (UCL / IL&C / Valibel): philippe.hiligsmann@uclouvain.be

Prof. Benoît Galand (UCL / IPSY / Girsef): benoit.galand@uclouvain.be

Prof. Laurence Mettewie (UNamur / Pluri-LL): Laurence.mettewie@unamur.be

Prof. Fanny Meunier (UCL / IL&C / CECL): fanny.meunier@uclouvain.be

Prof. Arnaud Szmalec (UCL / IPSY / IoNS): arnaud.szmalec@uclouvain.be

Prof. Kristel Van Goethem (F.R.S.-FNRS / UCL / IL&C / Valibel): kristel.vangoethem@uclouvain.be

PhD projects

Each selected candidate will be engaged in a 4-year full-time PhD project (2-year renewable contract), with focus on one (or more) of the following research lines:

-          Linguistic research goals:

  • Examine the relationship between the learning environment and the acquisition of spoken skills and oral proficiency in Dutch and English (i.e. the perception and production of target language vowels and/or word stress) by using qualitative classroom observations, spontaneous speech production and quantitative experimental methods.
  • Analyze the relationship between the learning environment and the acquisition of lexical and grammatical proficiency in Dutch and English, by using both corpus-based and experimental methods. Focus will be on:

overall phraseology

specific lexico-grammatical constructions (i.e. expression of intensification).

-          Cognitive research goals:

  • Analyze the cognitive demands of CLIL, by experimental research designs
  • Gain understanding of how bilingual education affects overall cognitive functioning (with a focus on executive control) in CLIL learners and increase scientific knowledge about the cognitive basis of bilingualism in general
  • Investigate how the cognitive profile of CLIL learners relates to their linguistic profile and how this relation is moderated by individual socio-affective variables and learning environment

-          Socio-affective research goals:

Explore the dynamic relationships between the socio-affective variables (social interactions in the classroom, background, motivation, attitudes) on the one hand, and language acquisition and cognitive functioning on the other hand.

The candidates will obtain a PhD degree in linguistics or psychology, depending on the area of research. Each PhD candidate will work on the joined supervision of some of the promoters of the project, depending on the PhD topic addressed. In addition, a postdoctoral researcher will be involved in the daily supervision of the projects.


-          Master in linguistics or modern languages, with honours, for the PhDs in the linguistic / socio-affective domains

-          Master in psychology / psycholinguistics / logopaedics / educational sciences, with honours, for the PhDs in the cognitive / socio-affective domains

-          For the PhDs in the linguistic domains, native or near-native proficiency in French, English and/or Dutch is required;
for the PhDs in the cognitive / socio-affective domains, knowledge of the three languages is an asset

-          High level of academic English, both written and spoken

-          Good knowledge of statistics or commitment to acquire it

-          Familiarity with corpus linguistic methods and/or experimental research designs

-          Dynamic and motivated

-          Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team

We offer a motivating research environment with many opportunities for in-house, national and international collaborations and with access to state-of-the-art research equipment. The salary is according to standard Belgian regulations: +/- 1800 EUR net/month.

Start of grant: October 1st, 2014

Deadline: Interested candidates should send a CV, motivation letter including research interests (in English, French or Dutch) and contact information (email) of two potential references to Philippe.hiligsmann@uclouvain.be before June 30th 2014. Review of applications will continue until the positions are filled.

Additional information:

Do not hesitate to contact the promoters to obtain more information on the linguistic (Prof. Ph. Hiligsmann, Prof. F. Meunier, Prof. K. Van Goethem), cognitive (Prof. A. Szmalec) and socio-affective (Prof. L. Mettewie, Prof. B. Galand) research lines.

More information on the research institutes and centers can be found on the following websites:

-          Institute for Language and Communication (IL&C): http://www.uclouvain.be/ilc.html

-          Psychological Sciences Research Institute (IPSY): http://www.uclouvain.be/ipsy.html

-          Valibel: http://www.uclouvain.be/valibel

-          CECL: http://www.uclouvain.be/en-cecl.html

-          Girsef: http://www.uclouvain.be/girsef.html

-          IoNS: https://www.uclouvain.be/ions.html

-          Pluri-LL: http://www.unamur.be/lettres/pluri-ll




TOC: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 19/2 (2014)

Publisher: John Benjamins


Journal Title: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics
Volume Number: 19
Issue Number: 2
Issue Date: 2014
Main Text:

2014. iii, 137 pp.

Table of Contents


Focus on learner writing at the beginning and intermediate stages: The ICCI corpus
Yukio Tono and María Belén Díez-Bedmar
163 – 177

Adverb use and language proficiency in young learners’ writing
Pascual Pérez-Paredes and María Sánchez-Tornel
178 – 200

Interactional metadiscourse in young EFL learner writing: A corpus-based study
Huaqing Hong and Feng Cao
201 – 224

The acquisition of formulaic language by EFL learners: A cross-sectional and cross-linguistic perspective
Agnieszka Lenko-Szymanska
225 – 251

A corpus study of most frequently used English verbs by Chinese beginner learners from a conceptual transfer perspective
Zhang Huiping and Liu Yongbing
252 – 279

11th Teaching and Language Corpora Conference (TaLC 11)

July 21 - 21

The TaLC series of conferences was inaugurated in 1994. For this 20th anniversary event, we are delighted to welcome the eleventh TaLC back to Lancaster, the original host institution.

TaLC 11 will run from Monday 21st to Wednesday 23rd July (inclusive), with a pre-conference workshop day on Sunday 20th July.

We are pleased to announce that the following scholars have agreed to give plenary talks at TaLC 11:

* Laurence Anthony (Waseda University, Japan)
* Nick Ellis (University of Michigan, USA)
* Agnieszka Leńko-Szymańska  (University of Warsaw, Poland)
* Paul Thompson (University of Birmingham, UK)
* Yukio Tono (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan)

This conference is hosted by the UCREL research centre <http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk>, which brings together the Department of Linguistics and English Language <http://www.ling.lancs.ac.uk> with the School of Computing and Communications <http://www.scc.lancs.ac.uk> at Lancaster University.


Email:      talc2014@lancaster.ac.uk
Web:        http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/talc2014

Organising committee:

* Mark McGlashan
* Andrew Hardie (chair)
* Tony McEnery

Programme committee:

* Guy Aston (University of Bologna, Italy)
* Alex Boulton (Université de Lorraine, France)
* Lynne Flowerdew (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China)
* Ana Frankenberg-Garcia (University of Surrey, UK)
* Bernhard Kettemann (University of Graz, Austria)
* Natalie Kübler (Université Paris Diderot, France)
* Agnieszka Leńko-Szymańska (University of Warsaw, Poland)
* Ute Römer (Georgia State University, USA)
* James Thomas (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
* Yukio Tono (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan)
* Chris Tribble (King’s College, London, UK)

Key dates

* 31st October 2013 – abstract submission opens via conference website
* 12th January 2014 – EXTENDED deadline for abstract submission (including pre-conference workshops)
* 24th February 2014 – notification of the outcome of peer review; early-bird registration opens
* 14th April 2014 – early bird registration closes
* 29th June 2014 – final deadline for registration
* 29th June 2014 – final deadline for cancellation with refund of registration fees
* 20th / 21st July 2014 – pre-conference workshop day / main conference begins

Learner Corpus Studies in Asia and the World (LCSAW) 2014

We are pleased to announce the Learner Corpus Studies in Asia and the World 2014 (LCSAW2014) to be held from May 31 to June 1, 2014 at Kobe, Japan, following our successful meeting in 2013. It is a great pleasure for us to have Dr. Tony McEnery and Dr. Andrew Hardie, who are known to be the authors ofCorpus Linguistics: Method, Theory, and Practice (CUP, 2012) as well as Dr. Tomoko Kaneko, a leader of LINDESI-JP (Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage, Japanese Module) Project as our keynote speakers.

The LCSAW Symposiums are held as a part of the ICNALE (The International Corpus Network of Asian Learners of English) Project led by Dr. Shin Ishikawa, Kobe University.

The aim of the LCSAW2013 was to discuss varied aspects of learner corpus studies especially in Asian contexts. The LCSAW2014 focuses on the relationship between general corpus studies and learner corpus studies, and on the expanding possibilities of spoken learner corpora. The LCSAW2014 also commemorates the publication of Gaisetsu: Kopasu Gengogaku (2014, Hitsuji Shobo), which is the Japanese version of Corpus Linguistics: Method, Theory, and Practice (CUP, 2012).

This symposium is supported by the MEXT’s Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), April 2013 to March 2016, No.25284104.


PhD openings in research at the intersection of linguistics, computational linguistics/NLP and education

The LEAD Graduate School invites applications for up to six three-year doctoral positions or stipends starting October 2014

We welcome applications from students interested in research at the intersection of linguistics, computational linguistics / NLP and education.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- language technology and educational assessment
- language complexity in educational contexts, for instance language learning or domain-specific discourse, for instance math education
- NLP and clinical psychology, such as analyzing linguistic correlates of ADHD
- intelligent tutoring systems (extending activity types, feedback, learner modeling)
- linguistic analysis and/or computational modeling of learner language in Second Language Acquisition Research (SLA)
- SLA-motivated input enhancement and ICALL
- integrating cognitive and linguistic modeling in educational contexts

- Successfully or nearly finished MA or MSc or equivalent degree in linguistics, computational linguistics, language technology,
computer science, cognitive science, psychology, or a related field - excellent grades and a strong interest in conducting research from an interdisciplinary perspective
- ideal candidates bring in linguistic and computational background, programming experience, and strong interest in educational science and applications

The interdisciplinary Graduate School “Learning, Educational Achievement, and Life Course Development” (LEAD) is situated at the University of Tübingen. LEAD PhD candidates benefit from:
- A prestigious, internationally focused and interdisciplinary PhD program funded by the German Excellence Initiative;
- Regular thesis discussions with peers and supervisory teams, plus retreats, lectures and workshops by international guest researchers
- Individual and project funds to support research and training
- Training and research support from the LEADing Research Center
- LEAD support systems for families, equal opportunity, and diversity

Applications should include a completed application cover sheet, a CV, degree certificates and transcripts (or documentation of degree about to be obtained), two letters of recommendation, a statement of research interest and experience, and a motivation letter describing your interest in obtaining a PhD in LEAD. The related forms can be found at: http://purl.org/lead/apply

Application deadline: June 22, 2014

Please contact potential advisors from the LEAD faculty to discuss your interests and potential PhD projects before applying. The faculty members in the “Language” intersection of LEAD can be found at http://purl.org/lead/language

For informal inquiries contact:

Dr. Magdalena Wolska <magdalena.wolska@uni-tuebingen.de>


Prof. Dr. Detmar Meurers <dm@sfs.uni-tuebingen.de>


Send all application documents in one single pdf attachment via email to the Director of the LEAD Graduate School, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Trautwein, at ulrich.trautwein@uni-tuebingen.de, no later than June 22, 2014. Applications beyond this date are welcome and may be taken
into account as further positions become available. Note that interviews will be scheduled for July 15/16, 2014.

The University of Tübingen is an equal opportunity employer regarding professional opportunities for women and men. Equally qualified candidates with physical challenges will be given preference.
Employment will be conducted by the central university administration.

Summer School on Learner Corpus Research: Corpus approaches to phraseology

From 8 to 12 September 2014, the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics (University of Louvain, Belgium) will be organising a Summer School on Learner Corpus Research: Corpus approaches to phraseology.

The aim of the Summer School is to introduce learner corpus research through a series of lectures, workshops and hands-on sessions, with a particular focus on phraseology, i.e. the study of word combinations and its links with grammar and discourse.

The Summer School is intended both for researchers who have recently embarked on a learner corpus project and those who simply want to know more about this exciting field of research.

It will take place at the University of Louvain (UCL), in the elegant and modern city of Louvain-la-Neuve, 30 km south of Brussels. The number of participants is limited to 30.

Course director: Sylviane Granger, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, Director of the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics

Teaching staff: Sylvie De Cock, Gaëtanelle Gilquin, Sylviane Granger, Fanny Meunier and Magali Paquot, all active members of the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics

The following topics will be covered:

- General introduction to learner corpus research
- Learner corpus annotation
- Interpreting learner corpus data (developmental vs L1-induced factors)
- General introduction to phraseology
- Variationist approaches to phraseology
- Automatic extraction of multiword units
- Applications of learner corpus research (teaching and reference materials, spell- and grammar-checking, L1 identification, etc.)

The hands-on sessions will help participants familiarize themselves with a range of software tools for linguistic analysis and native and learner corpora, in particular the International Corpus of Learner English and the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage.

Participants will have the opportunity to give a brief presentation of their project at the Learner Corpus Colloquium which will take place on the first day.

The Summer School will also feature one-to-one sessions with members of the CECL team to answer questions related to the design of individual projects.

Additional information about the Summer School can be obtained from the following website: http://www.uclouvain.be/en-cecl-lcr2014.html

Professor Sylviane Granger
Director of the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics
Université catholique de Louvain
Place Blaise Pascal 1, bte L3.03.33
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)



Interlanguage annotation (ILA): from SLA research to learner corpus research

Workshop at the SLE 2014 meeting
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
11 – 14 September 2014

Much of the annotation undertaken in learner corpora to date has been error annotation and has had a pedagogical orientation. This thematic session focuses, however, on a type of learner corpus annotation which does not describe errors but learners’ interlanguage, that has recently been referred to as “InterLanguage Annotation (ILA)” (Díaz-Negrillo & Lozano 2013), and which is defined in the terms described below.

Grounded on common annotation practices in LCR, as well as SLA hypothesis-driven rich annotation schemes used in corpus-based L2 studies (e.g., Gudmestad et al. 2013, Lozano 2009, inter alia), ILA is a type of annotation that is designed to test specific features of learners’ interlanguage and, therefore, that can serve to answer questions formulated in SLA research. It is a type of tagging that (i) is purpose-oriented, (ii) is fine-grained, (iii) describes learners’ interlanguage by covering both learners’ errors and also their correct uses, and that (iv) is theory-motivated.

This type of annotation can help answer SLA theoretical questions in more sophisticated ways than previous error annotation research, because it is designed to investigate a specific interlanguage phenomenon (purpose-oriented), and to answer specific research questions/hypotheses (theory-motivated) about what cannot be acquired and also what is actually acquired (learners’ interlanguage). This is done so by taking into account previous L2 findings before constructing the tagging scheme and by categorising subtle linguistic properties in the annotation scheme (fine-grained).

We invite submissions of papers covering the following:

  • Purpose-oriented annotation schemes/tagsets for the analysis of SLA research questions.
  • Architectures used for fine-grained learner corpus annotation.
  • SLA studies based on finely-grained annotated learner corpora.

Keywords: learner corpora, SLA research, interlanguage grammars, fine-grained annotation schemes, purpose-oriented annotation, theory-motivated annotation, annotation architectures, hypothesis-testing corpus approaches.

Submission guidelines: abstracts should be of max. 300 words (excluding references) and they should clearly specify the research questions, the method and the expected results. Please, send your abstract in an attached modifiable file to the following address: interlanguageannotation@gmail.com

Please note that if the workshop is selected for SLE2014 Conference, 500-word abstracts will have to be submitted to the conference scientific committee by 15 January 2014.

Submission deadline: 20 November 2013

Notification of acceptance: 30 November 2013

Workshop organiser:

Cristóbal Lozano



Díaz-Negrillo, A. & Lozano, C. (2013). Using learner corpus tools in SLA research: the morpheme order studies revisited“, Paper presented at Corpus Linguistics 2013, University of Lancaster (UK).

Lozano, C. (2009). Selective deficits at the syntax-discourse interface: Evidence from the CEDEL2 corpus. In: Snape, N., Leung, Y.I., & Sharwood-Smith, M. (eds). Representational Deficits in SLA. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Gudmestad, A., House, Leanna, and Geeslin, Kimberly L. (2013). What a bayesian analysis can do for SLA: New tools for the sociolinguistic study of subject expression in L2 Spanish. Language Learning 63(3): 371-399.