School of Languages and Linguistics - Research Publications

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    Impact of Cultural and Linguistic Maintenance on Mental Health Outcomes in Migrant Adolescents: Protocol for a Scoping Review
    Hasnain, A ; Hajek, J ; Borschmann, R (JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC, 2023)
    BACKGROUND: There is no consensus on how the disruption or maintenance of heritage culture and language affect mental health outcomes in adolescents with a migrant (also known as "immigrant" or "international migrant") background. Even though previous literature reviews have investigated the association between acculturation and mental health in migrants, none have explicitly focused on adolescents. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the scoping review described in this protocol is to understand (1) the focus, scope, and nature of quantitative empirical research investigating heritage cultural maintenance, including linguistic maintenance, and mental health outcomes in adolescents with a migrant background worldwide and (2) the potential effects of cultural and linguistic maintenance or disruption on migrant adolescent mental health outcomes. METHODS: A total of 11 key electronic health, medical, social science, and language databases (APA PsycArticles Full Text; Embase Classic+Embase; Ovid MEDLINE All and Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process, In-Data-Review and Other Non-Indexed Citations and Daily; Ovid MEDLINE All; APA PsycInfo; University of Melbourne full-text journals; Science Citation Index Expanded; Social Sciences Citation Index; Arts & Humanities Citation Index; Scopus; Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts) were searched. Databases were searched without time restrictions from the beginning of their coverage. Publication date, location, and quantitative study design (except for literature reviews) were not restricted; however, the search was only conducted in English. Data from included studies will be extracted using a template with predefined data items, and results will be summarized in a structured, narrative summary. RESULTS: A search was conducted on April 20, 2021, returning 2569 results. We are currently at the final stages of screening titles and abstracts of our search results, which will be followed by a full-text review and the data extraction of included studies. We expect to submit the full review for publication by the end of 2023. CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review aims to provide a better understanding of existing research on the association between cultural (including linguistic) maintenance and mental health in migrant adolescents. It will help identify gaps in the existing literature and develop hypotheses that could inform future research, eventually facilitating the development of targeted prevention initiatives and improving migrant adolescents' well-being. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/40143.
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    Sociophonetic Variation in Vowel Categorization of Australian English
    Loakes, D ; Clothier, J ; Hajek, J ; Fletcher, J (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2023-10-13)
    This study involves a perceptual categorization task for Australian English, designed to investigate regional and social variation in category boundaries between close-front vowel contrasts. Data are from four locations in southeast Australia. A total of 81 listeners from two listener groups took part: (a) so-called mainstream Australian English listeners from all four locations, and (b) L1 Aboriginal English listeners from one of the locations. Listeners heard front vowels /ɪ e æ/ arranged in 7-step continua presented at random. Varied phonetic contexts were analyzed, with a focus on coda /l/ because of a well-known prelateral merger of /e æ/ through mid-vowel lowering (e.g., celery-salary) reported to occur in some communities in this part of Australia. The results indicate that regional variation in Australian English is evident in perception. In particular, merging of /el/-/æl/ is shown to occur in the southernmost regions analyzed, but rarely in the northern regions of the geographical area under investigation. Aside from regional variation observed, age was also a factor in how participants responded to the task: older speakers had more merger than younger speakers in many locations, which is a new finding-previously, the merger was thought to be increasing in frequency over time, yet here we see this in only one location. Aboriginal English listeners also responded differently when compared with mainstream Australian English listeners. By analyzing the perception results across a variety of regional locations, with data from two different Australian social groups in the same location, this study adds a new dimension to our understanding of regional and social variations in Australian English.
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    Stop (de)gemination in Veneto Italian: The role of durational correlates.
    Dian, A ; Hajek, J ; Fletcher, J ; Billington, R (Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association, 2022-12-16)
    This preliminary study investigates a long-assumed but previously untested degemination of stops in the regional variety of Italian spoken in the Veneto, in North-East Italy. The durational parameters known to be affected by gemination in Italian – i.e., consonant duration, duration of the preceding vowel and the ratio between the two – are considered. The entire Italian stop series is investigated through an acoustic-phonetic production experiment involving six speakers reading a set of carrier sentences designed to elicit different prosodic patterns. Partial degemination is observed for most speakers in terms of (a) decreased geminate-singleton consonant duration differences compared to previous studies on other Italian varieties, and (b) considerable overlap between geminate and singleton consonant-to-vowel duration ratio categories. Possible sociophonetic effects are discussed.
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    From the periphery to centre stage: The mainstreaming of Italian in the Australian education system (1960s to 1990s)
    Hajek, J ; Aliani, R ; Slaughter, Y (Cambridge University Press, 2022-11-11)
    This article examines the complex drivers of change in language education that have resulted in Australia having the highest number of students learning Italian in the world. An analysis of academic and non-academic literature, policy documents, and quantitative data helps trace the trajectory of the Italian language in the Australian education system, from the 1960s to the 1990s, illustrating the interaction of different variables that facilitated the shift in Italian's status from a largely immigrant language to one of the most widely studied languages in Australia. This research documents the factors behind the successful mainstreaming of Italian into schools, which, in addition to the active support it received from the Italian community and the Italian government, also included, notably, the ability of different Australian governments to address societal transformation and to respond to the emerging practical challenges in scaling up new language education initiatives in a detailed and comprehensive manner.
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    Designing an App for Pregnancy Care for a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community
    Smith, W ; Wadley, G ; Daly, JO ; Webb, M ; Hughson, J ; Hajek, J ; Parker, A ; Woodward-Kron, R ; Story, DA (The Association for Computing Machinery, 2017)
    We report a study to design and evaluate an app to support pregnancy information provided to women through an Australian health service. As part of a larger project to provide prenatal resources for culturally and linguistically diverse groups, this study focused on the design and reception of an app with the local Vietnamese community and health professionals of a particular hospital. Our study had three stages: an initial design workshop with the hospital; prototype design and development; prototype-based interviews with health professionals and focus groups with Vietnamese women. We explore how an app of this sort must be designed for a range of different use scenarios, considering its use by consumers with a multiplicity of differing viewpoints about its nature and purpose in relation to pregnancy care.
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    Understanding the experiences and communication needs of culturally and linguistically diverse communities during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Hajek, J ; Karidakis, M ; Amorati, R ; Sengupta, M ; Hao, Y ; Pym, A ; Woodward-Kron, R (Research Unit for Multilingualism and Cross-cultural Communication, 2022)
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    Enhancing COVID-19 public health communication for culturally and linguistically diverse communities: An Australian interview study with community representatives
    Karidakis, M ; Woodward-Kron, R ; Amorati, R ; Hu, B ; Pym, A ; Hajek, J (Det Kgl. Bibliotek/Royal Danish Library, 2022-01-25)
    Background: Public health crises present challenges for providing accessible, timely, and accurate health information to culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Aim: The aim of this qualitative project was to explore strategies used by CALD community organizations to improve communication about COVID-19 for their communities; we also aimed to identify gaps and challenges. Methods: We interviewed 16 representatives from Greek, Italian, and Chinese CALD organizations in Melbourne, Australia. The interviews were analyzed thematically. Results: Community leaders played a significant role in engaging their community members with accurate key health information. There were differences between language communities about preferred channels for receiving information. As the pandemic intensified, there was a shift from written communication to more interactive exchanges between authorities and community leaders. Discussion: The findings suggest effective public health communication is enhanced by the mediation and outreach strategies adopted by CALD community organizations; further, stakeholders need to be cognizant of heterogeneity of needs and preferences. This may optimize information dissemination to meet specific needs. Conclusions:The CALD organizations have developed communication strategies involving different kinds of mediation to reach specific sub-groups, especially the most vulnerable. These strategies can inform future public health engagement.
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    Approaches to the study of address in pluricentric languages: methodological reflections
    Schüpbach, D ; Hajek, J ; Kretzenbacher, HL ; Norrby, C (Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2021-11-12)
    Abstract While research on pluricentricity has traditionally focused on phonological, lexical and grammatical variation across national varieties, pluricentric languages also provide a rich laboratory for the exploration of pragmatic variation, and potentially new insights into the complexities of both pragmatics and pluricentricity. Pluricentric pragmatics remains a developing field and determining appropriate methodologies and strategies for data collection remains open to evaluation and assessment. Methodological considerations pertaining to address research in pluricentric languages are made from a range of perspectives, which are typically interconnected and will depend on the intended research focus. In this contribution we present a critical reflection on methodological aspects of pragmatic research, based on our own experiences investigating address in several pluricentric languages (in particular German and English). After a brief overview of the pluricentric languages considered and their address systems we provide an outline of the research projects reviewed. We then discuss in detail issues regarding data types and data collection (in particular questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and various online data) and consider further methodological aspects such as the choice of research framework, context and type of address investigated, quantitative and/or qualitative approaches taken and whether the research focus is on actual use, reported use and/or perceptions. We conclude with some suggestions for further research directions.
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    Motivation for learning Chinese in a study abroad context: Vietnamese students in Taiwan
    Nguyen, TTT ; Hajek, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-01-01)
    This article examines Vietnamese students’ motivation for learning Mandarin Chinese during their study abroad in Taiwan and their construction of self in relation to this language learning motivation. A combination of several concepts of ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self, instrumental motive, integrative motive, linguistic capital, and multiple self-aspects is used as a theoretical lens to gain insights into the students’ Chinese learning motivation. The study employs a qualitative research approach in which semi-structured interviews with English-medium students from five Taiwanese universities were conducted. Findings reveal that the students’ motivation for learning Chinese contributed to portraying their ideal and ought-to Chinese selves, which subsume their different instrumental and integrative motives for language learning. The ideal Chinese self they would like to become possesses Chinese linguistic capital, which would confer on them advantages pertaining to their study, career development and social relations. The students’ ideal Chinese self also incorporates and reinforces their (desired) cultural, economic and social selves. Implications for supporting international students’ motivation for out-of-class language learning and their construction of self at the institutional level are then discussed.
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    Italian Language Learning and Student Motivation at Australian Universities
    D'Orazzi, G ; Hajek, J (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-10-02)
    Motivation in learning languages other than English has not being extensively explored. This appears to be particularly true for Italian at university level, for which few studies in the motivational literature can be found. It is particularly relevant then that, in this study, we focus on understanding the reasons why university students in Australia choose to learn Italian, and what motivates them over time once they have begun. In order to answer these questions, we collected qualitative data via two rounds of questionnaires. To facilitate our analysis, a three-level model (i.e. micro, meso, and macro) was adopted, following Gayton and the Douglas Fir Group. The levels were linked to three principal component factors with each one bringing together multiple motivational elements, which changed over time highlighting the dynamic nature of motivation for learners of Italian.