Charles Darwin University has two PhD scholarships on topics related to language available in the College of Education under the Charles Darwin International PhD Scholars (CDIPS) Scheme to undertake a PhD by publication. It is expected that the CDIPS will equip students with significant publication records before graduation to launch their careers. The scholarship consists of tax-free stipends and tuition fee waivers.
Each stipend will be for $30,000 per year (adjusted yearly) for 3 years, with an additional one-off $5,000 allocated to support part of the student’s medical insurance and relocation. Tuition fees of the PhD course (approx. $28,000 per year, adjusted yearly) will also be waived for 3 years. The stipends and tuition fee waivers may be extended to 3.5 years, for students who demonstrate publication of high-quality research outputs prior to applying for the extension. Applicants must apply to and be accepted into Charles Darwin University and complete their studies on the Darwin campus.
Developing Technology for the Assessment and Explicit Teaching of Standard Australian English Speech and Language Skills in Northern Territory Classrooms
Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) has over 14,000 Aboriginal students and 47% of all students have a language background other than English (NT Department of Education, 2018). Second Language Acquisition research has found that English language learners often follow a predictable path through the same stages of development when learning English (Ellis, 2015). However, a growing number of studies have demonstrated that this general sequence of speech and language development is not universal because it is influenced by the learner’s first language and the context in which they are learning the language (for example see Shin & Milroy, 1999).
Aims: This PhD project proposes to develop learning technologies that provide NT teachers with the capacity to assess students’ Standard Australian English (SAE) speech and language skills, receive immediate individual and group level feedback and then provide explicit teaching strategies to meet students’ needs. This project proposes:
- The development of a learning app in a specific SAE speech and/or language domain, to support teachers’ assessment of and pedagogical responses to young learners.
- The implementation of a classroom trial (including at least one remote school) to assess the use of technology and the impact on students’ SAE speech and/or language development.
The candidate will be expected to read broadly across the literature on learning technologies as well as literature in a specific selected area of speech and language development as related to academic achievement. As an International student, the candidate will also be expected to draw on their own multilingual experiences and theorise about relationships between home and school language contexts.
Building on Indigenous culture and language for school teaching and learning.
Indigenous peoples are increasingly drawn into national and international networks of contact and knowledge exchange, including the widespread adoption of formal schooling, in many cases in a national language (English in Australia, Bahasa Indonesia in Indonesia, and so on). Preservation of linguistic identity is widely recognised by Indigenous groups as essential to the preservation of both cultural identity and technical, scientific, and environmental knowledge. While national and global languages provide access to international knowledge networks, their use in school can contribute to language loss; the use of a language in formal schooling is one key factor in language maintenance.
Aims: The PhD scholar will investigate how an Indigenous language or languages from their context (country or region) can be used in school education, investigating theoretical, policy and practical issues. The specific context of the scholar will play an important role in the shape and direction of the project, but questions for investigation might include:
- How does the policy environment of the context with respect to the use of Indigenous languages in education this affect current practice?
- What affordances does a specific language or group of languages have for school education in a specific curriculum area? What language development work is required for implementing the teaching of a curriculum area in the language/s?
- How can the use of an Indigenous language currently used in basic or initial education be expanded into later years?
- What support do teachers need to teach curriculum areas in an Indigenous language?
- What are the similarities and differences in the context with those of Indigenous education in the Northern Territory (comparative study)?
The candidate is also expected to contribute to developing theoretical perspectives on the relationship between language and school content knowledge in contexts of linguistic diversity. The preference is for proposals that focus on mathematics education; however, focus on other curriculum areas will also be considered. The candidate should either come from an Indigenous community (in their country or region) or have a close relationship with a suitable community that enables this research to be undertaken in a respectful, responsible and reciprocal manner. Prior studies in linguistics as well as education are greatly advantageous, as is being able to speak a target Indigenous language.
Interested applicants should contact:
- Dr Bea Staley (Project 1), email: email@example.com or
- Dr Cris Edmonds-Wathen (Project 2), email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and register their interest.
Applicants will then be required to provide the below items:
- Curriculum vitae, including details of 2 academic referees
- A cover letter outlining your research interests and your suitability for the role
- A copy of your academic qualifications and academic transcripts
- Evidence of English language proficiency (e.g. IELTS) if your degree(s) were not completed in English
The initial closing date for the EOI is 1 December 2020.
The preferred applicant will be invited to apply for a PhD enrolment online on: https://www.cdu.edu.au/international/how-apply/higher-degree-research