Dr Alex Baratta

Lecturer in Lang, Linguistics & Comm

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Research interests

My research interests are largely focused on sociolinguistics (the relationship between accent and identity), pragmatics (intercultural communication) and academic writing from a variety of perspectives, such as the ways that students reveal personal identity in their essays and the linguistic features used to perform this function.I am also a Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy, a member of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW) and the Golden Key International Honour Society, in addition to serving on the editorial board for the Journal of Language Teaching and Research, as well as reviewing for Applied Linguistics.

Funding

2006-2012: £5165 in funding for three pedagogical projects focused on academic writing: the use of visual pedagogy to teach academic writing; a discussion of the development of an undergraduate student's academic writing throughout a degree programme; and ways in which the services of a writng centre can be improved.

2014: £1261 from the Research and Impact Stimulation Fund, focusing on accent and identity in teacher trainees.

2014: £5000 from the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), for a project investigating religious and academic identity in university students.

2015: £10,190 from the Social Responsibility fund, to continue the study on religion and identity in Higher Education.

2016: £500 from the ESRC to hold an event as part of the Festival of Social Science.

2017: £19,750 from the University of Manchester Research Institute, Pump Priming, to investigate the role that accent plays in mate selection.

 

ELE Writing Centre

In 2009 I started the first ELE Writing Centre - 'Write Away' - and ran it from 2009-2017. I also offered academic writing instruction as part of the course unit Developing Academic Writing and Digital Study Skills.

Will the real me please stand up? The relationship between accent and identity

My research continues to be informed by the ways in which our language use - be it language per se (e.g. Afrikaans to Albanian), dialect or accent - helps to shape, reinforce and conceptualise our identity. Likewise, we need to consider the ways in which our language use leads to others ascribing identities to us, some not always welcomed. This is the crux of linguistic stereotyping.

Inherently, no accent (or language) is 'good', 'bad', 'sexy', 'ugly' and so on. This is nonsensical. However, we know that values are ascribed to certain accents, both positive and negative. Accent, and language in general, serves as a proxy for larger social identities, such as race, class and regional origin. Thus, if a certain region is stigmatised, then this applies to the accent/language which derives from said region and ultimately, the values are placed on to the speaker.

So....any accents you do or do not like? Do you have any personal tales to tell? If so, you can post them on my website: www.accentpride.co.uk.

For more information, please go to www.accentpride.co.uk.

You can also vist my blogs:

http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/british_politics/2017/06/putting-an-accent-on-things-the-need-to-clarify-speech-expectations-for-british-teachers/

https://www.bera.ac.uk/blog/clarifying-accent-standards-for-british-teachers

 

Projects

Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display