Staff research updates! (Autumn 2023)

[Note from editor (Ben): Unfortunately, technical issues with WordPress service led to a delay of all blogposts. This is now resolved!]

As we now move into the autumn, teaching is underway and the months grow colder, Ben asked his fellow Applied Linguistics colleagues to reflect on all they got up to in the very busy summer and autumn. What research have they conducted, what have they published and what conferences have they recently attended? Here’s what they have to say.

Jill Boggs & Cornelia Tschichold

Dr Jill Boggs at the SALT conference

Dr Jill Boggs says: “One highlight was the co-presentation at Swansea University’s SALT conference with Dr. Cornelia Tschichold. Our discussion focused on AI, exploring its implications and applications. It was an inspiring opportunity to engage with fellow scholars and share insights.

Another accomplishment was the successful completion of a journal article with Professor Rosa Manchón, who is based at the University of Murcia, Spain. Our work focused on the concept of feedback literacy. The article has been accepted for publication in the journal Assessing Writing, marking a significant milestone in our research journey.

I enjoyed travelling to York to present our journal article at the international BAAL (British Association for Applied Linguistics) conference. Here, I emphasized the importance of understanding students’ first- and second language writing experiences and their readiness to receive and apply feedback.

Now term has started again, and I’m very much looking forward to inspiring — and being inspired by — our students.”

Dr Cornelia Tschichold says: “Jill and I presented at this year’s SALT conference: A double-bill on “AI, ChatGPT and us”, with the first part on background and the second part on examples of what ChatGPT can do. I have used a version of that for a workshop on AI (for the students) during Study week.”

Alexia Bowler

Alexia presented her poster ‘The Flexible classroom’

Dr Alexia Bowler says: “I presented at the Teaching and Learning Conference 2023: Shaping the Future of HE at Keele University in July 2023. The international annual conference is part of Advance HE which is a sector-leading body committed to promoting excellence in teaching in HE and which ‘advocates for evidence-based’ pedagogic methods. As well as teaching English language, I also research in film and published a co-edited the collection Refocus: The Films of Jane Campion with Adele Jones for Edinburgh University Press. You can read an interview about the editing experience here.”

Vivienne Rogers, Stella He, Paul Meara and more at EUROSLA 2023

We had a strong Swansea contingent at this year’s EuroSLA in Birmingham with current staff, emeritus staff and PhD students too all attending and presenting research. Professor emeritus Paul Meara, received an honorary award – the Distinguished Scholar Award for his long-term contribution to SLA research inspiration to many vocabulary researchers.


Dr Vivienne Rogers co-presented a paper with Lars Bokander (Jönköping University), Paul Meara (Swansea University) and Brian Rogers (Swansea University) titled Internal validity of the new LLAMA (v.3) aptitude tests. They updated attendees on the internal validity analysis from Bokander & Bylund (2020) with data from 640 test-takers of the new version with results indicating several improvements in the new LLAMA tests (v3).

Dr Xuehong (Stella) He presented at EuroSLA with a talk: Presentation formats and attention: Evidence from eye movements when learning L2 Chinese vocabulary . Her study she discussed was on using adopted eye-tracking technology (EyeLink 1000) to investigate how three presentation formats affected learner attention and learning outcomes of L2 Chinese words. This summer, Stella also published a research article in the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition titled ‘How to present L2 Chinese words effectively for learning: Exploring learning outcomes and learner perceptions’.

Natalia Shalaeva, a PhD student in Applied Linguistics supervised by Dr Cornelia Tschichold, had an incredibly enriching experience when she presented a segment of her PhD project at the Doctoral Workshop. Her presentation, entitled “Can adventure games simplify formulaic language learning through a point-and-click approach?” was met with enthusiastic responses. We also had a number of alumni from the Distance part-time PhD Programme in Lexical Studies were present at that conference as well.

Tess Fitzpatrick

Tess says: “In July I was awarded research funding for a new project examining intensive acquisition techniques for Welsh vocabulary. The project is co-funded by an AHRC Impact Acceleration award, and by the National Centre for Learning Welsh (Dysgu Cymraeg). Steve Morris is a collaborator on the project, and Gosia Rutecka is part time research assistant. The project will use the CorCenCC corpus of Welsh language (, and will provide educators with a list of the most frequent words of Welsh, ranked by learnability, and a list of affixes graded into levels according to frequency, productivity and predictability.”

Also in PhD news, Tess adds: “We were delighted to see two of our distance, part-time PhD students successfully defend their theses this summer. Caroline Handley, currently based in Spain, wrote her thesis on “Using Word Association to Understand the Mental Lexicon: The Challenge of Coding”. Tom Caton is based in Japan; his thesis is titled “What effect does short term Study Abroad (SA) have on learners’ vocabulary knowledge?”. Both Caroline and Tom completed their PhDs while working full time as language teachers, which is no mean feat, especially given the disruption caused by the pandemic. And both passed their PhD vivas with minor corrections, and plenty of praise from the examiners – Llongyfarchiadau, both!”

Federica Barbieri

“In early July I attended the IPrA (International Pragmatics Association) biannual conference in Brussels (July 9-14), hosted at the Universite’ Libre de Bruxelles. I presented / co-presented three papers, or to put it otherwise, I presented a paper, and co-presented a paper and a poster with two former MA students who have also been my dissertation supervisees. (Full names of students: Antonia Tsiakiri (graduated in 2019), Victoria (Vicky) Hansly (graduated in 2022).

The co-authored paper and poster were based on the students’ dissertations. The paper with Tsiakiri was part of a panel on face-threatening acts. The paper with Hansly was a poster.”

Papers / posters details

1.      Barbieri, F. General extenders in university classroom talk: Discourse-pragmatic and register variation.

2.      Tsiakiri, A. & Barbieri, F. Requesting Behavior in British and Greek Service Encounters (in Panel title: A contrastive analysis of potentially face-threatening acts in different linguacultures, organized by Weihua Zhu & Xinren Chen)

Poster presentation:

3.      Hansly, V. & Barbieri, F. Threats and warning sin Dominican Spanish and American English: A cross-cultural pragmatics study.