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



CASLC is currently co-ordinated by Dr Richard Ogden.


  • Rasmus Persson (2014-15, PhD, French Language and Lingiustics, Lund)
  • Ryan Du Toit (Autumn Term 2015, Rhodes University, South Africa)



A wide range of activities is conducted through CASLC, including conferences, data sessions, talks by visiting lecturers, and seminars. In autumn 2013 we held a series of Public Lectures.

We run inter-departmental data sessions at least monthly during term time. We currently also have a reading group on gesture and second language teaching/learning.

Current collaborations

Currently, members of CASLC are collaborating with colleagues at:

  • Bristol (UK)
  • Cambridge (UK)
  • Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
  • Doshisha University, Kyoto (Japan)
  • Glasgow (UK)
  • Helsinki (Finnish Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction)
  • Loughborough (UK)
  • Lund University (Sweden)
  • Rhodes University (South Africa)
  • Rutgers (USA)
  • University of Antwerp (Belgium)
  • University of Augsburg (Germany)
  • University of Birmingham (UK)
  • University of California Santa Barbara (USA)
  • University of Southern Queensland (Australia)

CASLC collaborates with researchers at the other two White Rose institutions (Sheffield and Leeds Universities) and is affiliated with the White Rose Language and Interaction Group.


Recent projects

Members of the Centre are currently engaged in a variety of funded 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.

Some of the recent projects in which Centre members have been engaged include:

  • An ESRC-funded investigation into the basic linguistic practices and processes associated with affiliation and dis-affiliation in interaction
  • A Department of Health-funded study of patient participation in decision making in 5 clinical settings (ENT oncology, diabetes clinics, genetics counselling, family planning and homeopathy).
  • "Temporal co-ordination", a project funded by the British Academy, exploring the temporal co-ordination of speech and gesture across turns at talk, and looking at parallels between speech and music.
  • An AHRC-funded project on indirectness in both everyday and medical interactions
  • A study funded by the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, University of York: A pilot study of interactions between speech & language therapists and persons with aphasia
  • "A Study of Language and Communication Between Advisers and Claimants in Work Focused Interviews". This 2-year study was commissioned and funded by the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions with the aim of identifying effective practice in work-focused interviews- between advisers and benefits claimants - in Jobcentre Plus. The final report can be downloaded at: http://php.york.ac.uk/inst/spru/pubs/1742/.
    A follow-on study, using the same dataset, compared interviews with claimants aged under and over 50 in order to assess whether there was any evidence of age discrimination. The report, entitled: “An Exploratory Comparison of the Interactions Between Advisers and Younger and Older Clients during Work Focused Interviews” is available at: http://php.york.ac.uk/inst/spru/pubs/1744/.
  • "Delivering shared decision-making: strategies for facilitating patient involvement in making decisions in neurology clinic". This is an ongoing collaborative study which brings together researchers and medical practitioners from the Universities of York, Sheffield and Glasgow. Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (Reference 10/2000/61), the main aims of the research are: i) to identify the strategies that neurologists are using in their current practice to offer patients choice; and ii) how patients respond to these strategies. The longer-term goal is to offer effective practice guidelines for health professionals on the basis of the study’s findings (for more information, see: http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/hsdr/10200061).
  • Real-time referential processing by Chinese learners of English, using the visual world eye-tracking paradigm
  • Production of second language functional morphology by Thai learners of English in elicited imitation and story-retelling tasks
  • When the first language speeds up the processing in a second language: Calendar processing by native and non-native speakers of English
  • Second language speech segmentation: The effect of bi-modal (sound and print) input presentation on second language listening
  • Analyses of Prime Minister's Questions
  • Comparative studies of Japanese and British political discourse
  • Cross-cultural studies of rhetoric in political; speeches
  • Analysing communication in child protection

Training and visitors

  • PhD in Language and Communication
    The PhD Language & 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.

  • White Rose Doctoral Training Centre
    Members of CASLC are involved in the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre, which delivers doctoral training across the three universities of York, Leeds and Sheffied.

    We will be teaching an Summer School on Advanced Conversation Analysis in York 15-19 June 2015. For more information contact Celia Kitzinger (celia.kitzinger@york.ac.uk).
  • Visiting Researchers
    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.

Contact us

Contacting the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication

Centre Director: Dr Richard Ogden

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

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