Faculty Research Strengths and Focus

Faculty Research Strengths and Focus

Lynn Dempsey

Research Strengths

  • Extends research on narrative comprehension from the school-age population to preschoolers and toddlers
  • Developed and utilizes innovative tools for measuring preschool children's oral story comprehension
  • Research may improve understanding of the factors that influence reading ability in young children
  • Expertise in language testing and measurement issues
  • Strong research collaborations and interdisciplinary partnerships
  • Extensive study of models of human health and disability

Current Research Focus

  • Preschool-age children's narrative comprehension
  • Developing methods of testing early story comprehension
  • Examining constructs underlying early narrative comprehension
  • Nature of the young child's early narrative representations and developmental changes
  • Clinical Issues in early language assessment
  • Examining assessment practices from perspective of a disability model
  • Measurement issues: Examining validity of tests of early language ability
  • Links between early oral story comprehension and later literacy skills

Veena D. Dwivedi

Research Strengths

  • Psycholinguistics and neurocogntion of language; examining the syntax-semantics interface, especially with regards to anaphora, quantification and modal auxiliaries in discourse.
  • Other interests: Bilingual syntactic processing; Hindi syntax-semantics; cerebral lateralization of prosody.

Current Research Focus

  • Establishing nationally funded (CFI and SSHRC awards) neurocognition of language lab
  • Investigation of quantifier ambiguity using behavioural and neurophysiological methods. Other syntax-semantics interface issues to be addressed: processing type-shifting verbs, negative polarity items
  • Extending empirical findings in the visual modality to auditory investigations
  • Hindi clause structure

Thomas S. C. Farrell

Research Strengths

  • Focus on:
    • reflective practice for language teachers
    • language teacher education
    • language teacher development
    • language teaching methodology

Current Research Focus

  • Working on several projects related to Reflective Practice for Language teachers
  • Working on Language Teacher Research project

David Hayes

Research Strengths

  • Strong international research partnerships in South and Southeast Asia, particularly Sri Lanka, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • An international reputation in implementation of systemic change in educational systems.
  • Expertise in qualitative research methods, particularly life history research.
  • Research with non-native speaking teachers of English in state educational systems in non-western countries: a counterbalance to the native-speakerism of much academic research in TESL.
  • Published edited books in the areas of teacher and teacher-trainer development for TESL; also articles in refereed journals such as ELT Journal, System, and Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice on teacher development, primary English language teaching and curriculum change, and aspects of the lives and careers on non-native speaking teachers of English

Current Research Focus

  • In-service teacher education program evaluation in Korea: a research project with the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation
  • Curriculum change and primary English language teaching: a research project with the Ministry of Education and Training/British Council, Vietnam.
  • An investigation of attitudes to and use of the English language in Thailand (a pilot project to be extended to other countries in South and Southeast Asia)
  • The lives and careers of non-native speaking teachers of English in government schools in Sri Lanka and Thailand: an ongoing life history research project

Cheng Luo

Research Strengths

  • Functional linguistic theories in syntax and semantics and pragmatics, focusing on language universals through typological studies and crosslinguistic comparison, especially that between English and Chinese
  • Application of functional linguistics to second language acquisition
  • Adoption of quantitative as well as qualitative approaches to linguistic and applied linguistic topics
  • Corpus-based research
  • Rich experience in international academic co-operation, including appointed visiting professorship in three Chinese universities, giving plenary speeches at international conferences, and collaborative research projects

Current Research Focus

  • Continued research in ESL acquisition of high- digit numerical expressions that involves investigation of the relevant linguistic structure, L2 acquisition phenomena, and pedagogic applications
  • Ethnographic research on linguistic preferism with a view to linguistic relativism, to investigate use of linguistic expressions which are sociolinguistically favoured by being homophonous with other expressions whose meanings are socio-culturally propitious
  • L2 literacy study on significant grammatical and/or discoursal features that distinguish between strong and weak ESL writers.

Hedy M. McGarrell

Research Strengths

  • Carrying out data-driven studies
  • Collaborating with Canadian and international colleagues to secure funding, develop projects and disseminate research findings
  • Working with children, adolescents and adults

Current Research Focus

  • Writing development in adolescents and adults
  • Exploiting computer technology to promote writing development and SLA
  • Teaching writing; focus on academic writing
  • ESL teacher (metalinguistic) knowledge

John Sivell

Research Strengths

  • Long-standing international and intercultural professional relationships
  • Member, Registry of CLB Experts, Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks

Current Research Focus

  • Linguistic and cultural facets of learner and teacher transitions
  • Culturally responsive teaching and professionalism
  • Freinet pedagogy and its implications for materials design, methodology, and professional development

Richard J. Welland

Research Strengths

  • Extensive clinical experience in Speech-Language Pathology from which to derive research questions
  • Broad network of colleagues with whom to collaborate
  • Expertise in Amer-Ind Gestural Code (Skelly, 1979)

Current Research Focus

  • Age-related changes to cognitive-linguistic abilities
  • Discourse comprehension skills of adults with and without a variety of neurologically-based cognitive-linguistic disorders (e.g., aphasia, Alzheimer disease, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson disease)
  • Comprehension of Amer-Ind and other gestures by older adults with Alzheimer disease
  • Influence of speech-accompanying gestures on the cognitive-linguistic skills of adults with Alzheimer disease
  • Professional preparation of Speech-Language Pathologists

Ron Thomson

Research Strengths

  • L2 speech perception and production
  • Development of L2 oral fluency
  • Professionalism in TESL
  • Data driven, empirical research

Current Research Focus

  • Interaction of L1/L2 phonological systems
  • Role of attention in L2 phonological acquisition
  • Computer-mediated approaches to pronunciation instruction

Deborah Yeager

Research Strengths

  • Qualitative research utilizing the following methodologies:
    • Life History research
    • Oral History
    • Phenomenologically oriented research involving the sociocultural and ethical dimensions associated with academic literacy/health literacy

Current Research Focus

  • Life History Research
    • Currently examining the professional development of ESL/EFL teachers;
  • Sociocultural dimensions associated with academic literacy for First Year University Students in Transition;
  • Ethical /Sociocultural issues associated with health literacy in adults with intellectual disabilites

Barbra Zupan

Research Strengths

  • Strong research partnerships and collaboration with researchers from other institutions
  • Research in areas that are just beginning to gain attention (auditory-verbal therapy)
  • Research in both normal perception and development as well as with clinical populations (hearing loss, traumatic brain injury)
  • Work with both child and adult populations

Current Research Focus

  • Modality preferences in children with hearing loss participating in different forms of therapy (auditory-verbal, auditory-oral, total communication)
  • Bimodal perception of visual and auditory cues of emotion across the lifespan
  • Developing new paradigms to examine perception of vocal affect
  • Developing treatment programs for affect recognition deficits in adults with traumatic brain injury
  • Examining whether affect recogntion treatment programs created for adults with traumatic brain injury can also be used with adults with autism spectrum disorder
  • Linking perception of visual and auditory cues to social interaction deficits experienced by various populations in various age groups