Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication

An interdisciplinary research centre for language, communication and interaction



The Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication (CASLC) at the University of York is an innovative interdisciplinary research centre for the study of language and communication in interaction.

Members of the Centre – from the Departments of Education, Health Sciences, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, Social Policy and Social Work and Sociology – see language, interaction and communication as central to our disciplines. We conduct research into how interactions work in a wide variety of social settings and institutional contexts. These include medical and health-related, educational, political, employment, industrial, legal and other settings in which outcomes depend so much on the effectiveness of communication between clients and professionals, and between professional colleagues.

The Centre draws on the expertise of its members in the study of language use. We bring together a range of methodological and theoretical approaches from our various disciplines. A distinguishing feature of our work is a commitment to investigating the dynamics of interaction and communication, through examining how language is used in sequences of interaction (sequential analysis). Although we draw on a range of methodological perspectives in our research, we work particularly from the methodological standpoint of Conversation Analysis (CA). CA has come in recent years to make a significant contribution to providing a more fully integrated view of language use, one that best accounts for the dynamics of interaction and communication.

The Centre provides a platform for

  • Basic research into linguistic patterns and processes associated with language use in social interaction
  • Applied research into the effectiveness of communication, and strategies for improving communication, in social and organizational settings (for instance, in medical, legal and educational settings, emergency service calls/help lines)
  • Developing innovative interdisciplinary research into language use and communication
  • Postgraduate training, in particular on the PhD Programme Language & Communication
  • Collaboration with other researchers at York, in the UK and beyond
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration between Centre members, research students, post-doctoral and other visitors
  • Training in the methodology of Conversation Analysis, and its implementation in basic and applied research projects


Current members


CASLC is currently co-ordinated by Prof Richard Ogden.

Doctoral students

  • Reihaneh Afshari Saleh (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Marina Cantarutti (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Edward Holmes (Sociology)
  • Zhiying Jian (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Julia Moreno (University of Glasgow)
  • Katherina Walper Gormaz (Language and Linguistic Science)
  • Yuening Yang (Language and Linguistic Science)


  • Bianca Di Giacinto (Università di Roma)
  • Yumei Gan (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Hui Ju (Heilongjiang University)  
  • Ren Xiaohua (Peking University)
  • Jess Young (Flinder University)
  • Yang Zi (University of Science and Technology Beijing)

We welcome academic visitors from other institutions. Our policy on visitors is here. Please contact Richard Ogden (richard.ogden@york.ac.uk) if you are interested.

Previous members

Previous staff

Previous doctoral students

Previous visitors

  • Rasmus Persson (Linköping University, 2016-18)
  • Søren Sandager Sørensen (Aarhus University, 2017)
  • Ryan du Toit (Rhodes University, 2015)
  • Marco Pino (Loughborough University, 2015)
  • Lucas Seuren (University of Groningen, 2015)
  • Meg Zellers (post-doctoral fellow, 2012)
  • Giovanni Rossi (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, 2011)



A wide range of activities is conducted through CASLC, including conferences, data sessions, talks by visiting lecturers, and seminars. We run inter-departmental data sessions twice a term and have an active Erasmus agreement with the University of Helsinki at staff and PhD student levels. Follow us on Twitter @CASLC_UoY for the latest updates.

Special issues


  • Sounds on the Margins of Language (in progress; edited by Leelo Keevallik and Richard Ogden; Research on Language and Social Interaction)




Conference panels organised


  • Beginnings in interaction: cross-cultural and multimodal perspectives (organised by Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Xiaoting Li, and Darren Reed; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Between the lab and the wild: new technologies for CA research (organised by Paul McIlvenny, Jacob Davidsen, and Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Non-lexical vocalisations (organised by Leelo Keevallik and Richard Ogden; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Recruitment and the organization of assistance in interaction (organised by Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)


  • Recruitment in interaction (organised by Kobin Kendrick and Paul Drew; IPrA, Belfast)


  • Prosodic constructions (organised by Nigel Ward, Richard Ogden, and Oliver Niebuhr; IPrA, Antwerp)



  • Medical interaction: evaluating decision-making in practice (led by Merran Toerien; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Quantification (led by Kobin Kendrick; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Phonetics and prosody (led by Richard Ogden; ICCA, Loughborough)

  • Video/audio data management (led by Clare Jackson and Daren Reed; ICCA, Loughborough)


  • Insights from qualitative research: an introduction to the phonetics of talk-in-interaction (led by Richard Ogden; Interspeech, Stockholm)


  • Lectures on Phonetics and Prosody in Interaction (taught by Richard Ogden and Rasmus Persson; ENS de Lyon, Lyon)

  • AQUALM: Conversation Analysis Summer School (led by Celia Kitzinger and including Ray Wilkinson, Sue Wilkinson, Merran Toerien, and Richard Ogden; White Rose Social Sciences DTP, York)


  • MAINLY - MultimodAl (INter)actions LYon: the construction and organisation of social actions (taught by Paul Drew, Richard Ogden, and colleagues; Lyon, France).

  • AQUALM: Advanced Conversation Analysis (led by Celia Kitzinger and including Ray Wilkinson, Sue Wilkinson, Merran Toerien, Beatrice Szczepek Reed and Richard Ogden; White Rose Social Sciences DTP, York).

Recent guest lectures and data sessions


  • Julia Moreno (University of Glasgow)

  • Danielle Pillet-Shore (University of New Hampshire)


  • Mirjam Eiswirth (University of Edinburgh)

  • Aurora Guxholli (University of Helsinki)

  • Spencer Hazel (Newcastle University)

  • Elizabeth Manrique (University College London)

  • Ana Cristina Ostermann (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos)

  • Giovanni Rossi (University of Helsinki)

Grants and projects

Grants and projects

Members of the Centre are currently engaged in a variety of basic and applied projects, and collaborate with individuals and groups elsewhere in the country on projects where our expertise can assist realising the practical aims of projects. Our work focuses on the linguistic organisation of social action; uses of phonetic detail in spoken interaction, especially non-lexical details; recruitment; medical interaction, among other topics.

Current projects (funded and non-funded)

Enhancing the quality of psychological interventions delivered by telephone (National Institute for Health Research, 2018-present)

Interactional practices of decision-making during childbirth in maternity units. Also known as VIP: Voices in Partnership, Video-Informed Practice (National Institute for Health Research, 2017-present)

Parents and Neonatal Decisions Study: Improving communication during conversations about limiting life-sustaining treatment in neonatal intensive care (SANDS, 2017-present)

Recruitment: offers, requests, and the organisation of assistance in interaction (2014-present)

Non-lexical vocalizations (2009-present)

Completed projects (funded)

Evaluating nuanced practices for initiating decision-making in neurology clinics: a mixed-methods study (National Institute for Health Research, 2015-2017)

Delivering patient choice in clinical practice: a conversation analytic study of communication practices used in neurology clinics to involve patients in decision making (National Institute for Health Research, 2012-2015)

Temporal co-ordination in talk-in-interaction (British Academy, 2012-2014)

A pilot study of interactions between speech and language therapists and persons with aphasia (Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, University of York, 2013-2014)

A study of patient participation in decision making in 5 clinical settings; ENT oncology, diabetes clinics, genetics counselling, family planning and homeopathy (Department of Health, 2001-2014)

Multiple-methods approaches to discourse topic structure (ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellow award to Meg Zellers, held in Language and Linguistic Science, 2012)

Sound to Sense: a collaboration between phoneticians, intonationalists, psycholinguists, computer scientists and others with partners in the UK, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain,  Sweden (Marie Curie Research Training Network, 2007-2011)

The sequential and linguistic-phonetic design of indirectness in talk-in-interaction (AHRC, 2007-2010)

A Study of Language and Communication Between Advisers and Claimants in Work Focused Interviews (Department for Work and Pensions, 2007-2009)

An Exploratory Comparison of the Interactions Between Advisers and Younger and Older Clients during Work Focused Interviews (Department for Work and Pensions, 2007-2009)

Affiliation and Disaffiliation in Interaction: Language and Social Cohesion (ESRC, 2003-2006)

Short courses

Short courses

The Centre offers a series of short courses on Conversation Analysis every year. Two courses will run in 2019.

Core Topics in Conversation Analysis (3-5 April 2019)

Taught by Paul Drew, Clare Jackson, Kobin Kendrick, Richard Ogden, and Merran Toerien

Conversation Analysis (CA) is increasingly widely used as a research methodology in Sociology, Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Social Psychology, the Health Sciences and other related disciplines. We are offering a short course designed to give an introduction to the basic principles and methods of CA, focusing on three core topics: (i) turn-taking and overlap, (ii) sequence organization and preference and (iii) repair.

The course is intended for those who have had little previous experience with conversation analysis but who are interested in what it might offer them in their own research and are considering whether to use this method in their doctoral or post-doctoral research. It may also serve as a refresher course for those with some previous experience of CA and who now want to teach or conduct research in this area. Ideally participants will already have or have plans record their own data. Participants may therefore be at an earlier stage in planning their research. The course would suit graduate and post-doc researchers in any relevant discipline.

The course will be limited to no more than 20 participants so that we can work intensively to develop basic skills in data analysis and to understand the three core topics to be covered. We will introduce participants to key analytic tools and methodological techniques in analysing data, including reading CA transcripts, making collections of phenomena and analysing interactional patterns and practices.  The course will be organised through talks and practical activities and exercises, with an emphasis on hands-on work with data.

The short training course is intended to equip researchers to:

  • understand and apply the basic concepts of CA;

  • explore three fundamental organizations of conversation;

  • identify specific interactional patterns and phenomena in conversational data;

  • make collections of those phenomena, as an essential step towards analysis; and

  • consider whether CA might be an appropriate methodology for their research.


The cost of the course is £380 for salaried researchers and faculty or £280 for postgraduate students. This includes course materials, a Certificate of Attendance, lunches, tea and coffee for the three days, and one dinner together on the evening before the final day.

The University of York offers bed and breakfast accommodation on campus at reasonable rates. This can be booked online at https://yorkconferences.com/. Information about accommodations in York city centre, which is 15 minutes from campus, can be found at https://www.visityork.org/sleep.

The course will commence at 10:00 on Wednesday 3 April and finish at approximately 16:00 on Friday 5 April. Details of the programme will be circulated at a later date.

The deadline for registration is the 15 March 2019, but bearing in mind the limited availability, early registration is advised. Places will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will open at the end of January. For inquiries and further information, please contact Paul Drew (paul.drew@york.ac.uk).

Communication in Medical and Healthcare Interactions (3-5 June 2019)  

Taught by Merran Toerien, Clare Jackson, Kat Connabeer, and Paul Drew

We are offering a training course in researching medical and healthcare interactions, hosted and organized by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication at the University of York. The course is designed to benefit those beginning or in the early stages of research into medical, clinical and healthcare interactions; it will also be relevant for healthcare professionals interested in communication. The programme will include lectures on a range of integrated topics, directed exercises, as well as practical hands-on sessions giving participants experience in analyzing data, using the perspective and methods of Conversation Analysis (CA). Practical sessions will therefore be focused on applying CA’s methodology, not only in the detailed analysis of particular medical/health care interactions but also in working on collections of significant patterns to be found in medical interactions, as well as coding and statistical analysis of these patterns. The data used throughout will be real-life, authentic medical interactions – based on the considerable experience each of us has had working in a range of divers medical settings (these include primary care, oncology, neurology, seizure clinics, memory clinics, maternity units, medical helplines). Our research has focused on aspects of the effectiveness of communication, on patient-centred medicine and patient choice, the role of communication in diagnosis, etc.  We will draw on our own datasets and research findings across the practical elements of this workshop.

Our aim is to assist participants in developing research skills, through enhancing their understanding of CA’s methodology, and their ability to apply CA in their investigations of medical interactions. Prior experience of CA will be a real advantage, but is not a prerequisite, for this workshop. While it is not possible to learn CA from scratch in just three days, the workshop is intended to equip participants with practical analytic skills, which should be applicable to their own future work. We hope that the workshop will further inspire participants in their research.

The number of participants will be restricted to 15, in order to ensure that there is ample opportunity for all to participate in the practical sessions. Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.


The cost of the workshop is £380 (full rate for salaried researchers/faculty) or £280 for postgraduate students. This charge covers (buffet) lunches, refreshments, and one dinner together (on the middle evening). It does not include accommodation, which can be found on campus or in local hotels.

The University of York offers bed and breakfast accommodation on campus at reasonable rates. This can be booked online at https://yorkconferences.com/. Information about accommodations in York city centre, which is 15 minutes from campus, can be found at https://www.visityork.org/sleep.

The course will commence at 10:00 on Monday 3 June and finish at approximately 16:00 on Wednesday 5 June. Details of the programme will be circulated at a later date.

The deadline for registration is the 29 May 2019. Because of the limitation on the number of participants, registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; so early registration is advised. Registration will open at the end of January. For inquiries and further information, please contact Paul Drew (paul.drew@york.ac.uk). 

Course tutors

Kat Connabeer is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Birmingham City University. Her doctoral research focused on medical interactions in primary care consultations, with a particular interest in how health professionals deliver lifestyle recommendations. She is currently involved in a project combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, to examine decision making in neonatal intensive care interactions.

Paul Drew, a Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, has considerable experience of teaching CA at introductory and advanced levels, both in conventional courses and through workshops, worldwide. His current research includes projects on recruitment of assistance (with Kobin Kendrick), self-correction and normativity, and on medical interactions in neonatology, and telephone delivery of therapy for anxiety and depression (with Annie Irvine).

Clare Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology.  Her research covers both basic CA – particularly practices for referring to persons – and applied CA – particularly feminist issues and healthcare.  She is currently working on an NIHR funded project examining decisional practices between women, birth partners and practitioners in midwifery-led intrapartum care.

Kobin Kendrick is a Lecturer in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science. His research uses conversation analysis to investigate basic organizations of social interaction such as turn-taking, action-sequencing, and repair. A recent line of research (with Paul Drew) has examined the practices that participants in interaction use to ‘recruit’ others to assist them.

Richard Ogden, a Professor in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, is a phonetician and conversation analyst whose work explores the import of phonetic detail in talk-in-interaction. His current work focuses on click ('tut-tut' or 'tsk') sounds in English.

Merran Toerien is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. She has expertise in the application of conversation analysis to communication in institutional settings, with a particular interest in patient choice.  She has extensive experience of teaching CA at undergraduate and graduate levels, and has run workshops in South Africa, China, the Netherlands and the UK.

Study with us

PhD in Language and Communication

The PhD in Language and Communication is an interdisciplinary programme involving Education, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology and Sociology. It focuses on investigating language as it is used in the real world and the processes which underpin it. We conduct highly data-driven research into the communicative structures – linguistic, sequential, gestural – used in everyday life, in workplace settings, in educational settings, and in on-line interaction.

Areas of research in which we would be willing to supervise theses include (but are not limited to):

  • conversation analysis, especially its relation to linguistics (including phonetics), gesture, and its application to different settings and problems

  • language in particular settings: new media, the classroom, clinical encounters

  • developing new methodologies, especially multi-modal, and methodologies that combine insights from qualitative and quantitative research paradigms

  • cross-linguistic differences in language and communication; bilingual communication; communication in English as a second language

Further information can be found on the PhD in Language and Communication website.

Contact us

Contacting the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication

Centre Director: Prof Richard Ogden

Department of Language and Linguistic Science
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 322672
Email: richard.ogden@york.ac.uk