- Discourse Analysis
The activation of
non-target phonological knowledge in bilingual language processing: A phoneme
monitoring study of English-Punjabi bilinguals.
I am interested in the interactions of two languages at individual
level. My research investigates
the patterns of activation which may occur when bilinguals produce speech and
specifically whether dual activation extends beyond semantic representations to
the lexeme, a layer of representation thought to contain the phonological
(sound) elements of words. I have
adapted the phoneme monitoring methodology which, in one previous study
(Colomé, 2001), produced evidence that activation extends to the lexeme level
in balanced Catalan-Spanish bilinguals and apply it to British, mono-literate
I explore results in the light of current psychological models of
bilingual speech processing with a particular focus on the potential role of
sociolinguistic factors such as patterns of language usage. Given that Punjabi is far less dominant
than English, attracts low prestige among speakers and sits in a social context
attaching low value to bilingualism, evidence for Punjabi activation will be of
considerable interest, suggesting that even very securely dominant languages
are vulnerable to interference from second language processing. Conversely,
non-activation may result from population-level sociolinguistic
I am a part-time PhD student under the supervision of Dr Gabriella
Rundblad and Dr Jill Hohenstein (also employed 0.8 at the University of Reading). My data collection was supported by a
fieldwork grant from the University of London Central Research Fund.
Academic background and relevant work experience
My first degree was in West African Studies followed by seven years employment in development NGOs working mainly on media and communication projects. Following a growing interest in linguistics, I did a part-time MA in Applied Linguistics (Birkbeck College,
Distinction). My thesis, ‘
When Rights Compete’, employed discourse
analysis to examine linguistic strategies for managing conflicting sets of
rights in sensitive issues.
After seven years in international development, I worked as a
Research Associate with Professor Taeko Wydell at Brunel University on a
psycholinguistic and literacy research project with secondary school children
in Slough, also gaining the International Phonetics Association Certificate
during this time. Following three years at the University of Reading’s Centre
for Applied Undergraduate Research Skills, I then managed a university
consortium project on ethnic diversity in teaching, producing a short film (www.reading.ac.uk/education/partners/DiversityinTeaching.aspx) and working on a
study of ethnic minority under-representation in teaching: 'No Greater Calling' explored
discourse and disproportionately high rejection levels of ethnic minority
applications for teacher training.
I have delivered teacher training sessions on linguistic diversity and
have been a consultant on children’s reference books on language. I am currently based in the University of
Reading Graduate School.
John, J. & Creighton, J. (2012). 'In practice it doesn't always work out like that.' Undergraduate experiences in a research community of practice. Journal of Further and Higher Education. DOI:10.1080/0309877X.2012.684037
John, J. & Creighton, J. (2011). Researcher development: the impact of undergraduate research opportunity programmes on students in the UK. Studies in Higher Education vol. 36, issue 7, pp. 781-797. DOI: 10.1080/03075071003777708
John, J. & McCrum, E. (2012). ‘No Greater Calling.’The discourse of persuasion in unsuccessful ethnic minority applications to initial teacher training. Paper presented at the annual conference of the British Educational Research Association. Manchester, September 2012.