PhD fellowship in Corpus Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition

The Centre for English Corpus Linguistics has an opening for a PhD fellowship for a total period of four years, starting as of October 2018 (later is also a possibility).

The position is part of the UCLouvain FSR-funded research project Particle placement and genitive alternations in EFL learner spoken syntax: core probabilistic grammar and/or L1specific preferences? (Promotor: Dr. Magali Paquot). The project stems from collaborative work between the promotor, Prof. B. Szmrecsanyi (KU Leuven) and Dr. J. Grafmiller (University of Birmingham) (e.g. Paquot, Grafmiller & Szmrecsanyi (2017)).

The PhD student will investigate the extent to which English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners share a core probabilistic grammar (cf. Bresnan, 2007) with users of first and second language varieties of English by analyzing variation in grammatical constraints on the particle placement alternation (for transitive phrasal verbs) and the genitive alternation in corpora of EFL learner spoken language. Methodologically, the candidate will build on annotation guidelines developed by Szmrecsanyi, Grafmiller and colleagues to describe the predictors that may influence speakers’ choice governing the alternations; s/he will also be expected to use a range of variationist analysis techniques.

Job description:

The research project is a joint venture between the Centre for English Corpus Linguistics (CECL) at the UCLouvain and the Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL) group at the KU Leuven. The candidate will be affiliated to the Institut Langage et Communication (ILC, UCLouvain) and will also prepare a joint UCLouvain-KU Leuven PhD in Linguistics.

Activities that the candidate will perform include:

–        develop and implement (i) theoretical concepts in line with the focus of the research project and (ii) appropriate methodological procedures for investigating these concepts;

–        conduct corpus-based analyses of L1 and L2 writing and spoken samples;

–        interpret the results of the analyses and report on the project in conference presentations and academic publications;

–        carry out a research stay at the University of Birmingham (to work in close collaboration with Dr. J. Grafmiller too);

–        by the end of the four-year term, submit and defend a PhD dissertation based on the project.

Requirements and profile:

–    Master degree in Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Language & Literature, Natural Language Processing or in Language Learning and Teaching;

–    excellent record of BA and MA level study;

–    excellent command of English.

–    excellent and demonstrated analytic skills;

–    ability to work with common software packages (including MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint);

–    basic knowledge of corpus-linguistic techniques is a requirement

–    knowledge of statistics and statistical software is an asset;

–   programming skills in Perl, Python or R are also an asset;

–    excellent and demonstrated self-management skills, ability and willingness to work in a team;

–    willingness to live in or near Louvain-la-Neuve and to travel abroad (for short-term research stays and to attend international academic conferences).


Terms of employment:

–    The contract will initially be for one year, three times renewable, with a total of four years.

–    The candidate receives a doctoral fellowship grant (starting at approx. EUR 1900 net per month) and full medical insurance.

–    The candidate will be expected to apply for a FNRS position after the first year.

–    The position requires residence in Belgium.

–  Applicants from outside the EU are responsible for obtaining the necessary visa or permits, with the assistance of UCLouvain staff department.

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin on 20 August 2018, and continue until the position is filled

Please include with your application:

–     a cover letter in English, in which you specify why you are interested in this position and how you meet the job requirements outlined above;

–    a curriculum vitae in English;

–     a concise academic statement in English in which you outline your expectations about and plans for graduate study and career goals;

–    a copy of BA and MA diplomas and degrees;

–    a copy of your master thesis and academic publications (if applicable);

–    the names and full contact details of two academic referees.


Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview (in situ or via video conferencing) in September 2018 (or later).


Applications (as an email attachment) and inquiries should be addressed to:

Dr. Magali Paquot

Centre for English Corpus Linguistics

Université Catholique de Louvain




Bresnan, J. (2007). Is syntactic knowledge probabilistic ? Experiments with the English dative alternation. In S. Featherston and W. Sternefeld (eds). Roots: Linguistics in Search of its Evidential Base. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 75-96.

Paquot, M, Grafmiller, J. & B. Szmrecsanyi (2017).Particle placement alternation in EFL learner speech vs. native and ESL spoken Englishes: core probabilistic grammar and/or L1-specific preferences? Paper presented at the 4th Learner Corpus Research Conference, 5-7 October 2017, Bolzano, Italy.

IJLCR 4.1 just out!


The third Vocab@ conference will be hosted by KU Leuven from 1 to 3 July 2019.

Previous Vocab@ conferences were held at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo in 2016 and Victoria University Wellington in 2013.

The Vocab@Leuven conference aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines who investigate the learning, processing, teaching, and testing of second/foreign language vocabulary.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

  • Batia Laufer (University of Haifa)
  • Marc Brysbaert (Ghent University)

Organizing committee:

  • Elke Peters
  • Paul Pauwels
  • Maribel Montero Perez
  • Eva Puimège
  • Ann-Sophie Noreillie
  • Thao Duong

The program will consist of paper presentations, poster sessions, invited colloquia and invited plenary speakers.

Types of presentations:

  • individual paper (20 + 10 minutes)
  • poster

We invite abstracts for paper and poster presentations about any topic related to second/foreign language vocabulary:

  1. vocabulary teaching (classroom-based research, technology-based, formal/informal learning, …)
  2. vocabulary assessment
  3. vocabulary and the skills of reading, listening, TV viewing, writing and speaking
  4. formulaic language
  5. corpus approaches to vocabulary
  6. psycholinguistic approaches to vocabulary
  7. neurolinguistic approaches to vocabulary
  8. vocabulary for specialized use (academic, business, technical, etc.)
  9. vocabulary resources (word lists, dictionaries, …)
  10. vocabulary and genre/register

Submission deadline: December 15, 2018

Research Associate – Corpus-computational linguistics and second language acquisition, University of Cambridge

A Post-Doctoral Research Associate position is available at the University of Cambridge to work with Dr Dora Alexopoulou and Professor Ianthi Tsimpli on the Leverhulme Trust grant “Linguistic typology and learnability in second language”.

The project aims to measure the impact of linguistic distance between L1 and L2 on the learning success of learners from different linguistic backgrounds. The empirical research will consist of a comprehensive corpus analysis exploiting the EF-Cambridge Open Language Database (EFCAMDAT) and the International Corpus of Learner English (ICLE). The main responsibility of the postdoctoral researcher is to conduct the corpus investigation and work with the investigators for the analysis of data and research publications.

The ideal candidate will have strong background in corpus linguistics and proven ability to work with NLP tools for extracting grammatical features and structures and to apply statistical analyses to the data. Experience with learner corpora and second language learning research is particularly welcome. Candidates will have completed a PhD in a relevant field.

The postdoctoral researcher will join the EF Research Lab for Applied Language Learning, the Processing and Language Acquisition Group and the Language Technology Group and become part of a multidisciplinary research community within Linguistics, and, more widely, within Cambridge Language Sciences.

This position is 100% FTE and funds for this post are available for 30 months in the first instance, starting on 16th of July 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter. The successful candidate will be a member of the Linguistics Section of the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Language.

The closing date for applications is midnight (BST) on 31st May 2018. Interviews will be held on 18 June 2018 at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge, subject to confirmation.

For further information please visit


We are inviting applications for a three-year 0,5 PhD student position (E 13 TV-L on the German salary scale) in English linguistics the University of Bremen to be filled by 1 July 2018 or later.

Applicants have an MA in English (Applied) Linguistics (or a teacher degree with a focus on and final thesis in English linguistics) and a strong background and interest in either (learner) corpus research, Second Language Acquisition or varieties of English. Successful applicants are expected to carry out research on a dissertation in (applied) English linguistics. The teaching load comprises 2 hours per semester.

Further information about the research unit can be found online at For further enquiries write to the e-mail address specified below.

Non-native speakers of German should have at least a working knowledge of German. Detailed information about the German salary scale can be found here:

Applications deadline: 15 June 2018

Mailing address for applications (e-mail applications with letter of motivation, dissertation proposal, CV, and diplomas attached as a single PDF are preferred):

Prof. Dr. Marcus Callies
University of Bremen, Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies
English-Speaking Cultures
Bibliothekstraße 1, GW 2
D-28359 Bremen

Prof. Dr. Marcus Callies
Universität Bremen
FB 10 – Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften
English-Speaking Cultures – Arbeitsbereich Anglistik/Sprachwissenschaft
Bibliothekstraße, Gebäude GW 2, Büro A 3400
28359 Bremen
Tel.: +49-421-218-68150


Special issue of the IJLCR on Segmental, prosodic and fluency features in phonetic learner corpora

Table of Contents

Jürgen Trouvain, Frank Zimmerer, Bernd Möbius, Mária Gósy and Anne Bonneau
105 – 117
Malte Belz, Simon Sauer, Anke Lüdeling and Christine Mooshammer
118 – 148
Mária Gósy, Dorottya Gyarmathy and András Beke
149 – 174
María Luisa García Lecumberri, Martin Cooke, Mirjam Wester, Martin Cooke and Mirjam Wester
175 – 195
Ulrike Gut
196 – 222
Sylvain Detey and Isabelle Racine
223 – 249
Oliver Niebuhr, Maria Alm, Nathalie Schümchen and Kerstin Fischer
250 – 277
Erratum Vol 3, Issue 1
List of reviewers
Referees for Volume 3 (2017)
279 – 280

The IRIS Replication Award

£300 will be awarded annually to a published (or accepted) self-labelled replication* using materials held on IRIS.

Submissions must include:

i) the article/chapter (with evidence of ‘in press’ status if not already published);
ii) the materials from IRIS and any adaptations of them (adaptations should also be uploaded to IRIS, with a Note to link it to the earlier study’s materials).
IRIS now accepts data of all kinds, and we encourage applicants to submit their raw data along with their other materials.

Review Process
Submissions can be made to at any time. The first round will close 30th November 2018. The study must have been published (or in press) from 2016 onwards. All submissions will be reviewed by the IRIS directors and up to two anonymous reviewers. The first award will be announced by 1 January 2019.

Criteria for award
Submissions will be welcome from any area of second language research (broadly defined, including multilingualism, language education, research methodology). All methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives are welcome.

Submissions will be reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Strength of the justification for the replication.
  • Soundness and transparency of methods and analysis, including clarity about how these are similar/different to those of the initial study.
  • How well the discussion and conclusions are warranted by the methods, data and analysis.
  • How well the findings from the initial study are integrated into the set-up, analysis and interpretation of the replication.

Special consideration will be given to:

  • Multi-site replications
  • Open data
  • Pre-registered studies
  • Direct or partial replications (though we emphasize that conceptual replications, which change more than one significant variable, are also welcome)

Replications using materials developed by IRIS Directors are not eligible.

Please direct any questions to
*The study is labeled as a replication in the title and/or abstract.

Spanish Learner Corpus Research: Current trends and future perspectives

Edited by Margarita Alonso-Ramos
Universidade da Coruña

Just published!

The aim of this book is to present a comprehensive picture of the current state of Spanish learner corpus research (SLCR), which makes it unique, since no other monograph has focused on collecting research dealing with learner corpora of any language other than English. In addition to an introductory appraisal of current SLCR, as well as a wake-up call reminding us that learner corpus design still needs to be improved, this volume features a selection of original studies ranging from general issues concerning learner corpora compilation to more specific aspects such as phonetic, lexical, grammatical and pragmatic features of the interlanguage of learners of Spanish, as reflected in corpus data. This volume will undoubtedly be of significant interest to researchers involved in corpus linguistics, second language acquisition research, as well as to professionals in the field of Spanish as a second language, including teachers, and creators and publishers of teaching materials.

Check Spanish Learner Corpus Research: Current trends and future perspectives