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Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Carson, Lorna Elizabeth
Main Department C.L.C.S.
College Title Assistant Professor in Applied Linguisti
College Tel +353 1 896 4035
Dr Lorna Carson is Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics and Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies. Her research interests include multilingualism, language and immigration, language learning, curriculum and test design. She is author of "Multilingualism in Europe" (Peter Lang, 2005, 2nd edition), "The Motivational Role of Goal-Setting" (LAP, 2012), and co-editor of "Language Learner Autonomy: Policy, Curriculum, Classroom" (Peter Lang, 2010). Her funded research on multilingualism and language curriculum design has included investigations of elite multilinguals (European Cultural Foundation), third cycle learners (Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation), refugees (IRCHSS) and indigenous language learners (International Council for Canadian Studies), as well as research and development activities on innovation in language curricula and assessment derived from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and the European Language Portfolio. She is the founding director of Trinity College's English for Academic Purposes programme (now the Centre for English Language Teaching) as well as the university's Japanese, Korean and Chinese Studies programmes. She is a guest editor of a forthcoming special issue (4.2) of the journal of Language Learning in Higher Education (LLHE) on East Asia and language learning.
Details Date
Assistant Editor, Journal of Language Learning in Higher Education (LLHE) 2014
Guest Editor (with Heath Rose) of Language Learning in Higher Education. Special Issue on East Asian languages in Higher Education. 2014
The Academy of Korean Studies, Republic of Korea, Fellowship Program June/July 2013
Invited visiting scholar, University of Northern British Columbia, Canada (Department of Anthropology) Sept/Oct 2012
External Examiner, Foreign Language Electives, Applied Languages Centre, University College Dublin 2011-2014
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Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Irish Association for Applied Linguistics
Conseil Européen pour les Langues/European Language Council
CercleS (Confédération Européenne des Centres de Langues de l'Enseignement Supérieur)
AILA & AILA-Europe
Irish Federation of University Teachers
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Awards and Honours
Award Date
Trinity Long Room Hub Research Incentive Scheme 2014
The Academy of Korean Studies, funded Visiting Fellowship 2013
Korea Foundation, Grant for the Employment of Teaching Staff in Korean Studies, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences 2013/14
Korea Foundation, Grant for the Employment of Teaching Staff in Korean Studies, School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences 2012/13
Japan Foundation, Grant Program for Japanese-language Education Activities awarded to CLCS Language Modules 2012/13, 2013/14
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Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Fluent Fluent Fluent
Korean Basic Basic Basic
Spanish Medium Basic Basic
Description of Research Interests
My research focuses on multilingualism and language learning. I mostly employ qualitative methods in my work to understand the features and contexts of individual and societal multilingualism, and to investigate successful individual language learning and programme provision in European and East Asian contexts. Given the centrality of language to human identity, interaction and social activity, multilingualism encompasses a broad spectrum of cultural, political and social norms. The key themes in my research include: • Formal language learning provision and the language classroom (policy and pedagogy) • Tools for successful language programme specification and delivery, including the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference, the European Language Portfolio • Assessment and certification in second/foreign language development • Provision of and participation in language learning throughout the lifespan (home languages, minority, heritage, second/foreign, etc.).
Research Interests
Autonomy in Language Learning Curriculum Development Language Policy Language and Immigration in Ireland
Motivation Multilingualism
Research Projects
Project title LUCIDE | Languages in Urban Contexts - Integration and Diversity for Europe
Summary The LUCIDE network is a consortium of European university and city partners with experience in researching multilingualism in urban settings, representing 13 European cities and two leading partner institutions in Canada (OLBI) and Australia (University of Melbourne). I am the work package leader for LUCIDE's research activities, coordinating a team of 60 researchers across the network in primary and secondary data collection. Through the network's workshops, city reports, seminars and other activities, LUCIDE aims to suggest some viable and convincing policy directions for the range of cities involved in its network where what is often described as a negative (the ‘problem’ of diversity) may be viewed as a solution for the future, with an impact beyond the partners and cities involved. (Funded by the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, KA2, 2011 – 2014.) Website:
Funding Agency European Commission
Programme EU Lifelong learning programme (KA2)
Type of Project
Date from Dec 2011
Date to Nov 2014
Person Months 36

Project title Investigating the Korean multilingual landscape.
Summary Empirical study of the Korean semiotic landscape. The project is located within the interdisciplinary field of linguistic landscaping. It problematizes what is often taken for granted, indeed ignored, in the urban multilingual landscape. The study takes English and other European language borrowings as a principal unit of analysis, and investigates their usage in the visual public spaces of four key spheres: education, public/civic sphere, economic and community/private sphere. Some of the findings of this research project are published in: Carson, L. (2014), An exploration of the roles of English in societal and individual multilingualism in Korea, in R. Bertoni (Ed.) and Carson, L. (forthcoming book chapter), English fever: Problematising English language proficiency testing in South Korea.
Funding Agency The Academy of Korean Studies/한국학중앙연구원
Type of Project
Date from June 2013
Date to August 2013
Person Months

Project title Multilingualism in Northern British Columbia: People, Place and Belonging
Summary This project examines multilingual policy and practices in Northern British Columbia, employing a mixed-methods research design, including archival research, investigation of linguistic landscape and ethnographic research. Conducted during my research sabbatical at the University of Northern British Columbia in 2012, the project gathered primary data on the connections and interaction between diverse language varieties and communities in the city of Prince George and surrounding area.
Funding Agency International Council for Canadian Studies
Programme Faculty Research Program
Type of Project
Date from 2012
Date to 2013
Person Months 3

Project title Multilingual Cities Project
Summary DUBLIN: MULTILINGUAL CITY. This investigation is the first survey of the vitality of immigrant languages spoken by children in Ireland, reporting on a sample of national school pupils from two schools in Dublin. The project is a replication of a well-known and pioneering Europe-wide survey: the Multilingual Cities Project (Extra & Yağmur, 2004). The original project, coordinated by Prof. Extra (Tilburg University) in collaboration with linguistic experts from universities in each country, investigated immigrant languages amongst primary age children in six European cities (Göteborg, Hamburg, The Hague, Brussels, Lyon and Madrid). The project has recently been launched in Vienna and in the Baltic States. The survey employs a quantitative methodology. A computer-readable questionnaire is administered to pupils, asking questions about (i) language proficiency, (ii) language dominance, (iii) language choice and (iv) language preference, at school and home. Most studies of immigrant minority languages in Europe have focussed on one particular country, or on one particular language at national or European level (e.g. Arabic, Turkish). Few studies have taken both a crossnational and crosslinguistic perspective on the status and use of immigrant minority languages. Language profiles and language vitality indexes were compiled for the various language communities. The report on the findings of the pilot phase of the project were published in 2010, in co-authorship with Professor Guus Extra (Tilburg, NL).
Funding Agency TCD Start-up fund
Type of Project Language survey
Date from 2008
Date to 2010
Person Months

Project title Minority Language Use in Ireland: The Time Feature
Summary This innovative empirical project investigated the language practices of multilingual immigrants in Ireland, with particular emphasis on the time feature and how the use of home languages and other languages interact and intersect in daily life. The project set out to introduce time as a parameter for research in sociolinguistic and multilingual studies and to progress the study of language diversity in Dublin. The findings of the project are published in Singleton, Aronin and Carson (2013).
Funding Agency
Type of Project
Date from 2006
Date to 2007
Person Months

Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Carson, L., Understanding and develping plurilingual resources for the multilingual classroom, Seminar to mark International Mother Tongue Day, Drumcondra Education Centre, 13 February, 2014, ELSTA, English Language Support Teachers' Association
Notes: []
Carson, L., McMonagle, S. & Murphy, D., Multilingualism in Dublin: LUCIDE City Report, London, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2014
Notes: [Migration, multilingualism, multiculturalism]
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Last Updated:20-SEP-2014