In December 2010, Swansea University’s Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) launched its new Language Research Centre (LRC).
The LRC is a global hub for research into language data and processes. It brings together academics and postgraduate researchers from across the University and connects their activities with the Centre’s global network of members and distance learning doctoral students.
The Centre’s principal mission is to facilitate high impact, cutting-edge applied research across a range of areas, including education, government, health, finance, literature, and translation and a range of perspectives, including discursive, lexical, stylistic, computational, and historical.
The key speakers at the launch were Professor Noel Thompson, Swansea University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development, Professor Chris Williams, Director of RIAH, and Dr Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, Director of the LRC.
Professor Noel Thompson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Development, said: “The establishment of the Language Research Centre is an exciting initiative that epitomises the thriving interdisciplinary research culture within Swansea University. In bringing together experienced scholars, early-career researchers and a global doctoral constituency focussed on a range of applied, language-analysis disciplines, the LRC reflects strongly the University's strategic vision for high impact synergistic scholarship that embraces the wider user community.”
Dr Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, Director of the LRC, said: “The Centre is a key initiative in the development of multidisciplinary language-based research at Swansea University.
The applied nature of the work conducted by its members provides a crucial link between the University and a number of stakeholders, for whom the findings of research conducted by LRC members on monolingual/bilingual lexical processing and health professionals' communicative practices – to mention but two examples – are of key importance.”
The Centre embraces a wide range of fields that share a common focus on applied research into language. These range from computer assisted language learning and psycholinguistics to language testing and institutional communication.
A number of projects have already been undertaken by members of the Centre, including a study of language teaching centres and social networks funded by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, and a case study of the mediation and commemoration of the 2005 London bombings funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Professor Chris Williams, Director of RIAH, said: “The establishment of the LRC is a recognition of the groundbreaking and vibrant research culture that both Arts and Humanities and Human and Health Sciences staff in this area have developed in recent years.
In an era when 'impact' is being given greater attention, this is clearly one area where direct and unambiguous links may be traced between the work going on in our universities and the policies and priorities of the public and private sectors.”