CFI award for a "Social Interaction, Language and Culture Laboratory (SILC Lab)"

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Grit Liebscher and Emma Betz (both Germanic & Slavic) and Adrienne Lo (Anthropology) received a CFI award for a “Social Interaction, Language and Culture Laboratory (SILC Lab)”. Congratulations to all three!

SILC will have state-of-the-art video recording equipment, workstations, and data analysis software and will support research on multilingual interaction in the Faculty of Arts, including linguistic anthropology, conversation analysis, education, language learning, sociolinguistics, speech communication, and phonetics/phonology. The SILC Lab will be housed in ML 109/110, and construction will likely start in spring 2019.

Globalization is changing the face of migration to and from Canada. This increased mobility includes higher numbers of both skilled immigrants and international students. They encounter a country in which Canadians too now readily move across borders for both short- and long-term migration. How is the experience of such migrants shaped by language? How can the 21st c. Canadian university best serve language learners, now that technology can better facilitate interactions across borders? The proposed Social Interaction, Language and Culture Laboratory (SILC Lab) will support research on how multilinguals navigate intercultural encounters. Through state-of-the-art 16-channel recording equipment, workstations, and data analysis software, the SILC Lab will enable researchers to conduct high-quality video recording, storage, and analysis of multilingual interaction. Using methods from interaction analysis and corpus linguistics, an interdisciplinary team of researchers in anthropology, conversation analysis, education, language learning, sociolinguistics, speech communication, and phonetics/phonology will pursue three related goals: 1) analyzing how language mediates acculturation; 2) improving technology-mediated language instruction; 3) identifying the multimodal resources that facilitate successful social interaction. Work at the SILC Lab contributes to Canada's future by increasing our understanding of the interactional skills migrants need to thrive in advanced economies.

The official announcement can be found on the CFI's website.

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