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Postdoctoral Researcher – Language Differences and Communication Gaps

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Job text:

The Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC), currently has a vacant Postdoc researcher position as part of the broader field Languages and Cultures. Within this field the focus is on developing innovative paradigms for sustainable language and literature education programmes. The ACLC prioritises diversity (taken in a holistic sense, e.g., ethnicity, social and/or linguistic background, gender, sexuality) and is committed to creating an inclusive research environment for everyone. We are seeking a talented researcher who can communicate well with the different ACLC research groups, and develop interdisciplinary projects.

What are you going to do

Languages allow different linguistic strategies (e.g., use of different sentence moods) to express interlocutors’ communicative intentions. There are currently several hundreds of languages spoken in The Netherlands, and one may wonder what the linguistic landscape looks like with regard to these patterns, and how they may influence teacher-pupil (teenager) interactions or else, interpersonal and public conversations. When speakers of different languages meet in a multilingual society, they are likely to assume that the language patterns engrained in their minds should somehow match with equivalent patterns in the surrounding languages as well. This attitude could lead to miscommunication or a misinterpretation of interlocutors’ communicative intentions when language patterns diverge. It is therefore important to discover the range of variation between languages in this respect.      

For this position, the ACLC expects the postdoc to formulate a project that investigates how speakers of different languages in The Netherlands bridge the gap between their other languages and Dutch, and how the differences between distinct languages in the encoding of communicative intentions may affect effective communication. This includes as well the interpretation of assignment instructions in classroom situations or official documents known for adopting directive speech forms, all of which may be the source of anxiety for pupils/citizens. A better understanding of the organization of language strategies and the way these are related to one another is highly relevant in establishing an inclusive communication in a multilingual society.

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • Conducting research, presenting research results at (inter)national workshops and conferences;
  • publishing (co)-authored, peer reviewed articles or chapters in (inter)national scholarly; journals or edited volumes;
  • participating in activities of the research school and department;
  • (co-)organising knowledge dissemination activities;
  • possibly contributing to teaching courses.

What do you have to offer?

  • A PhD in General linguistics, linguistic typology, language and communication;
  • excellent research skills demonstrated by a track record of publishing in high-ranking journals and/or with leading presses or a demonstrable capacity to develop such a record;
  • a strong cooperative attitude and willingness to engage in collaborative research;
  • enthusiasm for communicating academic research to non-academic audiences;
  • excellent command of English.

Our offer

The Postdoc researcher will be appointed at the Department of Literary Studies & Linguistics of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam and will conduct the research in the ACLC. The employment contract will be for one year. Contingent on a positive performance evaluation the contract will be extended with one year. The employment contract is for 30,4 – 38 hours a week. Preferred starting date is 01 October 2022.

The deadline for applying for this vacancy is 1 September 2022.

Click Here to Apply For The Job



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