Impulse financing: the IPAC-free space
Of the annual resources allocated to IPAC for staff and operational costs, a small proportion is open to project-based use for, inter alia, curricular language teaching and applied linguistic research.
Process analysis of 'writing from external sources' in a foreign language: French and Spanish (phase 2) - 01/01/2019-30/04/2019
This is an extension of the project of the same name that ran from 1/10/2018 to 31/12/2018.
Of the objectives set in this project, the following have already been achieved:
Objective 1: Preparation of peer-reviewed journal article:
o Literature review & creation of a database of relevant literature
o Preparation of part of article (introduction, research method (experiments))
Objective 2: To actively participate in an academic event:
o Organisation of own study day 'Source-base writing in a foreign language' on 30/11/2018.
Objective 3: Data processing:
o Add to existing data and clean up new data.
o Preparation (coding) of data for analysis
In the coming period, we have set the following objectives:
Objective 1: Preparation of an application for doctoral research (FWO research project and BOF DOCPRO4)
Objective 2: Further analysis of the data
Objective 3: Preparation of a peer-reviewed journal article
o Further writing of article based on the insights gained from the data analysis
- Supervisor: Lieve Vangehuchten
- Co-supervisors: Els Tobback, Mariëlle Leijten and Iris Schrijver
- Research team members: Mieke De Clercq and Tine Verschooten
Grammatic exercise module for business French aimed at Dutch speakers (phase 2) - 01/01/2019-30/06/2019
This second part of the project (Phase 2) aims on the one hand to add to the already prepared grammar exercises package with topics that are mainly focused on the B1+ and B2 levels of the CEFR (for students of Business and Economic French 2 and 3) which were not addressed in phase 1 of the project (e.g. the subjunctive, linking words). On the other hand, a number of theoretical additions will be made to the grammar reader that will be introduced for students of Business & Economics from the academic year 2019-2020 onwards.
Process analysis of 'writing from external sources' in a foreign language: French and Spanish (phase 1) - 01/10/2018-31/12/2018
In contemporary writing skills education, 'writing based on external sources' is an important skill. In recent research, (Vangehuchten, Leijten & Schrijver, 2018; Leijten, Van Waes, Schrijver, Bernolet & Vangehuchten, 2017) the proposal applicants have investigated both the product (for Spanish as a foreign language and Dutch as a mother tongue) and the process (for Dutch as a mother tongue only).
The fundamental objective of this proposal is to extend this research to the process analysis of writing from external sources in French and Spanish as a foreign language, in order to make an important contribution to scientific research, as this field of study is currently in full development (Nas & Van Esch, 2014; Ruiz-Funes, 2015).
Grammatic exercise module for business French aimed at Dutch speakers (phase 1) - 01/08/2018-31/12/2018
The aim of this project is to develop a grammar (exercise) package as a supplement to the grammar manual that will be introduced from the academic year 2019-2020 for Bachelor students in Business & Economics. The grammar package is (partly) contrastive and the exercises will mainly be situated within business and economic contexts. On the one hand, it is aimed at filling gaps in the students' basic knowledge of French. On the other hand, the exercises will focus on the difficulties that more advanced Dutch-speaking students also continue to experience with specific grammar topics. Besides exercises, the grammar package will also contain theoretical additions to the new grammar manual. The focus will mainly be on elements that (continue to) cause problems for many Dutch language speakers. In phase 1 of the project the emphasis will be on developing exercises at B1 (to B1+) level of the CEFR.
Politeness strategies in tourism agencies. A comparative study in Flanders, Wallonia, the Netherlands and France (phase 2) - 01/01/2018-30/06/2018
In this follow-up project, the existing analysis of politeness strategies will be explored with a focus on the comparison between Flanders and the Netherlands. This cross-linguistic research aims to map certain conversational habits of both regions. The possible intra-regional variation and influence of individual characteristics will be taken into account. We look at (1) the presence or absence of certain face-enhancing acts in the opening and closing phases, (2) the concrete pragmalinguistic expressions, (3) the sequential construction and extent of the opening and closing phases and finally (4) some other forms of relational work, such as small talk and humour.
- Supervisor: Els Tobback
- Research team member: Margot Van den Heede
Language policy: Towards a dynamic model of language competences for international companies in Flanders (phase 2) - 01/03/2018-31/03/2018
This follow-up project builds on previous IPAC-funded research on language management, which led to the following research article (under review): Language Policy Evaluation in a Business Setting. Language Problems and Language Planning (R. Van Herck, D. Vermandere, L. Vangehuchten). One of the main conclusions of this state-of-the-art article is the need for more research in this domain. After all, recent studies pierce the myth of the English Lingua Franca as a uniform solution for multilingualism in the workplace and although different language policy options are available (such as language courses, hiring translators or interpreters, etc.), there is a lack of criteria to evaluate their efficiency on the one hand, and of a model that allows for systematic comparison of alternatives and the most opportune selection according to the needs of a specific company (or industry) on the other hand.
Politeness strategies in tourism agencies. A comparative study in Flanders, Wallonia, the Netherlands and France (phase 1) - 15/08/2017-31/12/2017
The aim of the broader project this IPAC project is part of, is to gain insight into the politeness strategies used in tourism offices in Flanders, Wallonia, the Netherlands and France. In concrete terms, this research focuses on the use of face-enhancing acts in the opening and closing phases of the conversation (e.g. greetings, thanks, wishes). The analysis of these politeness strategies in the corpus, consisting of about 400 conversations recorded in 13 tourist offices, allows the researchers to describe certain similarities and differences in conversation styles of Flemish and Walloons with respect to each other and with respect to their neighbouring countries (the Netherlands and France).
- Supervisor: Els Tobback
- Research team member: Margot Van den Heede
Educational innovation 'Business and Economic German' for Bachelor 2 and 3 - 01/09/2017-31/12/2017
For this purpose,
1) an extensive preliminary self-evaluation test on the grammar of German I with feedback which can be used at the beginning of the first semester was developed. This gives both the students and the teacher a good picture of the extent to which the students master the basic grammar acquired in German I;
2) the alphabetical vocabulary (including the addition of the standard times) was reworked and supplemented with a self-study module with feedback (see point 3);
3) With the support of e-campus, digital exercises (including fill-in-the-blank-exercises) were created which cover both grammar and vocabulary per chapter and provide feedback. This allows students to practice in phases, as thresholds were built in to monitor progress;
4) appropriate audiovisual material that matches the various chapters was collected and edited. The students have a written text with explanations of words and two digital exercises (one completion exercise and one combination exercise).
Language policy: towards a dynamic model of language competences for international companies in Flanders (part 1) - 01/07/2017-31/12/2017
Multinational companies operate in several countries and their employees often come from different language areas, each with their own language. It is very important for management to make sure that the communication between the employees and with the customers is as effective as possible. It is tempting to think that adopting the policy of speaking one language (mostly English) as a company language will solve all communicative problems. However, if not all employees or customers are native speakers of English, this policy can result in miscommunication for which new solutions have to be found. It is thus extremely useful to predict the potential outcomes of such a language policy. In this research, we develop a dynamic model that will allow companies to model the consequences of a language policy before making strategic choices. We examine specific factors that influence the success or the failure of a language policy and we study the internal relationships between these factors. To do this we use surveys, observations, focus groups and interviews in a multinational company in Flanders. We will analyze how the nature of the company or industry determines the relative weight and importance of the factors. The focus will be on one industry (chemical sector) and we will examine one company from this sector (BASF). The research projest is the first phase in the development of a flexible, dynamic model that captures the correlations and relationships between the different factors that impact language policy. This model can then serve as a tool for companies to predict the possible outcomes of company language policy.
Self-presentation in 150 words or less, from text analysis to Calliope module - 01/02/2016-31/08/2016
This project studies an unavoidable genre of professional and academic communication: self-presentation (Goffman 1959). The project has two objectives: scientific and educational. The scientific component includes a text analysis of professional biographies written by language- and communication professionals and MPC students. The educational component concerns the development of a bilingual self-study module on the Calliope platform developed at the University of Antwerp.
Needs Analysis and language policy in international companies in Belgium: a meta-literature review - 01/02/2016-31/12/2016
The presence of multinationals and the increasing importance of international business have created internal multilingualism in international companies located in Belgium, meaning that not all employees share the same native language. Companies want to respond to this situation by, on the one hand, recruiting multilingual staff, and, on the other, adopting multilingual policy solutions to encourage collaboration between the different language groups.
Concrete questions companies have and for which they want to develop a company language policy are:
- What are the language needs of my company?
- What is the legal framework?
- What is the language level of my staff? How do we test them? How do we differentiate?
- What are the different language management options? What are their implications?