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Research Center for English and Applied Linguistics, Cambridge University

2008-09-27 11:12 来源: 作者:hailongli 网友评论 0 条 浏览次数 4238

Research Center for English and Applied Linguistics

The Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics was established by the University of Cambridge in 1988, funded by a generous endowment from the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. It is a freestanding department of the University, though its staff are also members of the Faculty of English, which is the body responsible for overseeing the Centre's teaching programme, its graduate students and research students.
In the last Research Assessment Exercise (2001) carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council, the Faculty of English, together with the Research Centre, gained the highest possible rating (5*), and, in the last Teaching Quality Assessment Exercise (1995), the Faculty, together with the Centre, was pronounced "Excellent" with respect to its teaching, assessment procedures and support for students.

The Centre pursues an interdisciplinary and theoretically-based approach to English and Applied Linguistics and is committed to further development of the language sciences. The English language is at the forefront of our activities. We examine its grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics), the learning of English as both a first and a second language, the use of English (as recorded and measured in corpora and in psycholinguistic experiments), and the similarities and contrasts between English and other languages.

"Applied Linguistics" means two things at Cambridge. First, it refers to the application and exchange of theories and data across the current disciplines that constitute the language sciences, in a word "interdisciplinarity". Insights and findings from linguistics are applied to psychology, to education, and to computer science, to name just some recipients. Conversely, insights and findings from these disciplines are fed back into linguistic theories. Through interdisciplinary co-operation we can do better science that will be useful to those who need to solve practical problems involving the English language, in language teaching, textbook publishing, testing, in computers that use English, and even in medical diagnosis. This is the second, and more traditional, sense of "Applied Linguistics".
The research interests of staff members and PhD students are broad and we collaborate actively with members of other departments and units at Cambridge, and leading research centres abroad.

The research projects fall into the following areas: English and general linguistics; language and cognition; first language acquisition, second language acquisition and learning theory; psycholinguistics and language processing; typology and language contrasts; pragmatics; and computational linguistics. We take our interdisciplinary mission seriously. We are engaged in active collaborations with other groups on campus. We work with members of the Computer Laboratory on electronic corpus development. We work with Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press (CUP) on the English Profile Project, examining developmental sequences in second language acquisition and the respective influences of different first languages. All our researchers are involved in international collaborations within and across disciplines.

The M/Phil taught courses and PhD seminars in RCEAL reflect the interdisciplinary research interests of the staff. PhD seminars and courses are offered to our own graduate students and to those from other departments; some of them are taught or co-taught by staff from outside the Centre (e.g. from Linguistics, the MRC Cognition and Brain Unit, and Cambridge Assessment).

RCEAL is in many ways a bridge between departments here in Cambridge and in the language sciences as a whole. Cambridge is well-placed to lead the way in interdisciplinarity since there are outstanding personnel in so many areas of the language sciences plus structures that facilitate reaching out beyond departmental lines.

The Centre is designed and organised in such a way as to create an intimate and relaxed atmosphere in which ideas can be freely exchanged. There are seminars by visiting speakers, and regular internal research seminars by Visiting Fellows and research students. A growing number of research students follow the PhD programmes (20+), and 10-15 graduate students follow a nine-month master's course (MPhil) which is taught in the Centre. Thus students and researchers from diverse backgrounds are brought together in a small community.

The Centre is housed in a purpose-built building together with the English Faculty on the main Arts Faculty Site of the University, the Sidgwick Site. It is three minutes' walk from the University Library and ten minutes from the town centre.

 

The URL Address: http://www.rceal.cam.ac.uk/

 

 

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