Stirling academic awarded British Academy Skills Innovator award

An educationalist from the University of Stirling has been conferred the title of British Academy Skills Innovator and awarded funding to tackle the educational deficit in quantitative and language skills development throughout the UK.

Dr Vander Viana, Lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, has secured the highest award one could apply for (nearly £15k) to the implementation of “Quantitative language research: Exploring the potential of Corpus Linguistics in Education”. The project addresses the current deficit in quantitative and language skills development in the United Kingdom through Corpus Linguistics (CL). Stressing the probabilistic nature of language, CL allows the identification of linguistic patterns by means of computer-based quantitative investigations of (generally large) electronic collections of texts, the results of which are then qualitatively examined.

Dr Vander Viana, said: “It is high time that we work towards closing the gap in the development of future generations’ language and quantitative skills. The British Academy has done an excellent service to society by launching the Skills Innovator scheme, and I am delighted to have been conferred one of the awards.  Corpus Linguistics provides us with an integrated way of developing both types of skills at the same time.  I mean, one can develop one’s knowledge in quantitative methods while also learning about how languages are used.”

Aimed at teachers, MA/PhD students and early-career researchers, the capacity-building initiative will consist of three face-to-face events (the next ones to be held in September and December) and a series of online activities in-between the events. Prior knowledge of Corpus Linguistics is not a requirement, so everyone who has a keen interest in learning more about its application in education is more than welcome to apply.

This is an entirely free initiative, and registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information about the project (including the online registration form) can be found here.

Media enquiries to Rachel MacBeath, Communications Officer on 01786 467 760 or r.a.macbeath@stir.ac.uk

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