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

What are you going to do

Language acquisition research exhibits a heavy focus on the early stages of language acquisition in children growing up with one or more languages, from birth till around 8 years of age. The bulk of this work studies how children acquire the vocabulary and grammar of their language(s), targeting production and comprehension of single words, or sentences. Of course, language acquisition goes beyond this to include richer and more complex domains, such as learning how to produce a coherent narrative. During the teenage years children acquire more advanced literacy skills: They learn to write (but also read and understand) longer stretches of discourse, expository essays and argumentative texts. There is evidence suggesting that such advanced literacy skills lead to generally stronger developed skills in information organization, both in understanding and speaking. In other words, the teenage years are crucial for the acquisition of more advanced language and literacy skills, but research has shown that one quarter of the secondary education student population is at risk of developing literacy levels that are insufficient to function adequately in societies that require higher levels of literacy. The ACLC aims to contribute to resolving this societal challenge.

We invite candidates to submit a methodologically innovative project proposal that focuses on language development in the teenage years and cognitive processes in more complex types of language use and acquisition, such as developing competence in writing expository essays and argumentative texts, potentially in relation to factors such as meta-linguistic development, sociolinguistic aspects of advanced literacy development, the impact of digital media and blended learning, etc.

You are required to submit a research proposal of 800-1000 words explaining how you would approach the project thematically, conceptually and methodologically, within the timeline of the 2 years appointment as well as its interdisciplinarity (i.e., its connection with preferably two research groups within the ACLC).

Read the full vacancy text here