Posted by & filed under Executive Posts.

[From Dr Bernadette Watson]

Dear IALSP friends and colleagues:

I have been meaning to write this blog for a few months, but it keeps getting pushed to the back of my agenda. With our wonderful conference in Edmonton, Canada, only a few weeks away, I decided, “no more delay” and I am letting you all know about the health communication research centre that I took directorship of last year.

My colleague, Research Associate, Dr Margo Turnbull, wrote up the piece featured below for our summer faculty newsletter and as it said most of things that I wanted to say, I thought I would use it. I provide a prologue to that piece here.
As you will see the Centre known as the International Research Centre for the Advancement of Health Communication (IRCAHC) has started activities that are all inspired by language and communication. We have a logo which says we connect communities. Importantly the communities are researchers (interdisciplinary), clinicians (interprofessional) and the community patients and carers. Our idea is to bring these groups together so that we can all work together using our unique perspectives (

I suggested to our President, Maggie Pitts, that the Centre becomes affiliated with IALSP so that we can have a link on the IALSP website to news and events at IRCAHC. In this way those of you interested in health communication can see what we are doing and perhaps collaborate. If you are in Hong Kong we would welcome, you to give a talk.

Anyway, this is a hello from me and I hope we can interest your in our health communication work in Hong Kong. Below is a little about the Centre.

Warm wishes
Bernadette Watson
Director IRCAHC
The following was submitted to the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Faculty of Humanities, Summer Newsletter (May, 2018):


International Research Centre for the Advancement of Health Communication

Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

The International Research Centre for the Advancement of Health Communication (IRCAHC) has extended its research and education activities in 2018. On January 19th 2018 IRCAHC hosted a symposium entitled “Expanding horizons in health communication.” The symposium included two keynote presentations from renowned international scholars – Professor Janice Krieger (University of Florida) and Dr Daniel Angus (University of Queensland). The symposium was well attended by researchers and practitioners from across Hong Kong. Speakers discussed what health communication means across a range of contexts and what we can do to improve the translation of research findings into improvements in health care. Dr Wendy Wong (CUHK) and Blair Jin (PhD student, PolyU) presented the findings of their respective research that has been done in Hong Kong and China looking at various challenges associated with the clinical practice of traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine. Importantly, the symposium marked the beginning of official partnerships between various local and international universities and IRCACH. Arrangements are currently being finalized and there are great plans for future collaborations. On 20th January Dr Daniel Angus hosted a workshop for a small group of participants to introduce the software program Discursis which can be used to aid analysis of verbal communication.


Professor Janice Krieger (left) and Dr Daniel Angus (right)


To mark the extension of IRCAHC’s research focus, the centre hosted a competition open to PolyU staff and students and the general community to design a new logo that reflected IRCAHC’s mission and vision. A number of high quality submissions were received and the winner and two runners up were announced in February. The winning logo, designed by So Lok Man, is featured below:



So Lok Man explained the design: “This logo design was inspired by the globe icon and the WHO emblem. The outline of the globe embraces the cross symbol representing the close relationship between health and global community. The color of light sky blue is chosen for its strong association with health and medicine when this color is also often used in the medical field. Most importantly, this design aims to show how IRCAHC is deeply concerned with global health issues, symbolizing its efforts and contribution to the international medical health care.”

IRCAHC has more education and research activities planned. For details please visit the website:

Posted by & filed under Member Opportunities.

Registration is now open for the pre-conference workshops of the 16th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology (ICLASP16).  The 3 workshops will take place on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 8:30am – 5pm).  Further details are available on the ICLASP16 website.

Workshop 1. Clear, Concise, and Graceful Scientific Writing with Dr. Robert Kail (Purdue University)

This workshop will consist of several lessons designed to help participants learn to write clearly, concisely, and gracefully. The workshop will be highly interactive: each lesson is organized around a single theme (e.g., how to convey emphasis) in which heuristics are presented and participants practice those heuristics in an anonymous chat room.

Workshop 2. Webs of Relationships: An Introduction to Social Network Theory, Research and Analysis with Dr. Marina Doucerain (Université du Québec à Montréal)

This workshop will provide an introduction to researchers interested in studying social networks, with a particular emphasis on egocentric networks (analyzing an individual’s personal network in contrast to a complete bounded network such as a class or a corporation). The first objective is to offer a primer on social network theory and terminology. The second objective is to provide an overview of the research methods involved in collecting social network data. The third objective is to help participants develop basic skills in social network data analysis in R. Lab exercise will allow participants to apply the information learned and practice the procedures presented during the workshop.

Workshop 3. Foundations and Practice in Computerized Language Analysis Techniques with Dr. Ryan Boyd (University of Texas at Austin)

The workshop will provide foundational, hands-on training in modern computerized text analysis techniques. Core concepts of automated language analysis will be covered, including data acquisition, preparation, and “rules of thumb” for applying these methods to your own work. Topics include data acquisition, cleaning and organization; top-down analyses (“the dictionary approach”); bottom-up analyses (i.e., topic modeling/meaning extraction); visualizing results; and more advanced analyses, if time allows. This workshop will include several hands-on practice sessions with (mostly) free, open-source software. Ultimately, the goal of this workshop is for you to be able to start using these techniques immediately, allowing you to get the most from your workshop experience.

Register now for this superb professional training opportunity!

Please visit the IALSP website to learn more about our organization. Also visit the ICLASP16 website for information about the 16th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology taking place in Edmonton, AB, from June 20 to 23, 2018. 

Posted by & filed under Executive Posts, Member Opportunities.

(from Maggie Pitts, IALSP President)

The International Association of Language and Social Psychology in conjunction with the International Conference on Language and Social Psychology ICLASP16 is pleased to offer our first ever post-conference writing retreat!

IALSP members, ICLASP attendees, and guests are invited to join us in beautiful Canmore, Alberta, Canada June 24-25th, 2018, for a writing experience in outskirts of one of Canada’s national treasures, the Banff National Park. The writing retreat is an opportunity to expand and deepen the fellowship and scholarship inspired by the ICLASP16.

With guided facilitators and plenty of time for private writing, participants will consider how to move writing projects forward, develop individualized writing practices that foster good writing habits, and importantly create a writing plan for knowledge and science translation. Shared meals and opportunities for walking and dining tours and yoga complete this experience.

For more information, see: or email Maggie Pitts current IALSP President at

You can also download an informational flyer here [PDF].

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

The (randomly) selected focus publication for April 2018 is:

Carrie, E., & McKenzie, R. M. (2018) American or British? L2 speakers’ recognition and evaluations of accent features of EnglishJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 39(4), 313-328.


Recent language attitude research has attended to the processes involved in identifying and evaluating spoken language varieties. This article investigates the ability of second-language learners of English in Spain (N = 71) to identify Received Pronunciation (RP) and General American (GenAm) speech and their perceptions of linguistic variation between these speech varieties. Data were gathered using a verbal-guise experiment in which respondents identified speakers’ places of origin and stated the reasons for their categorisations. Quantitative data analysis demonstrated high recognition rates for RP speakers, more often correctly identified than GenAm speakers. Qualitative data analysis showed that respondents’ knowledge of phonological variation informed the identification process and they often stated which linguistic features formed part of their mental representations of RP and GenAm. Additional resources informed accent recognition, including perceived linguistic quality, intelligibility, familiarity, and cultural associations. Patterns of misidentification revealed that, when GenAm was inaccurately identified as RP, it was ascribed high status. The findings provide an insight into the strategies, conceptual frameworks, and linguistic features which inform the accent identification process as performed by English-language learners in Spain. The results also highlight the usefulness of variety recognition items in interpreting attitudinal evaluations, especially with regard to patterns of misidentification.