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Professor Lorna Carson

Professor in Applied Linguistics (C.L.C.S.)

Head of School (Sch. Office - Linguistic Speech & Comm.)

Lorna Carson is Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences and Professor in Applied Linguistics. She holds a B.A. (Mod.), M.Phil. in Applied Linguistics and Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin, and an M.A. in European Studies (Human Resource Management) from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. She was the Founding Director of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies, a multidisciplinary teaching and research centre which brings together the university's expertise in Japanese, Korean and Chinese Studies. She presently directs the activities of Trinity's Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching (CELLT). She was elected to the University Council from 2012 to 2024. She chairs FSD's Procurement Steering Group and convenes the Common Room's Research Salon Series. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin. Professor Carson is a former President of IRAAL, the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (2014-2017). She is a member of the Governing Body of Marino Institute of Education, and also sits on its Academic Council. Professor Carson's research on language learning addresses issues located at the interface between individual and societal multilingualism, with a particular attention on the language classroom, with a focus on language learning, language education policy and assessment. Her books include "Language and Identity in Europe: The Multilingual City and its Citizens" (2020, Peter Lang), "The Multilingual City: Vitality, Conflict and Change", co-edited with Lid King (2016, Multilingual Matters); "Language Learner Autonomy: Policy, Curriculum, Classroom", co-edited with Breffni O'Rourke (2010, Peter Lang), and "Multilingualism in Europe: A Case Study" (2003, 2005, Peter Lang).
  Asian Studies   ASSESSMENT   Autonomy in Language Learning   Curriculum Development   Language and Immigration in Ireland   Language Policy   Motivation   Multilingualism   Urban Studies
 Read with MEE
 Multilingualism and Language Learning: 'Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community'

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Details Date
External Examiner, UCD Centre for English and Global Languages 2020-2023
Assessor, Irish Research Council Since 2019
Marino Institute of Education, an associated College of Trinity College Dublin. Member of the Governing Body, Standing Committee of the Governing Body, and Academic Council. Since 2018
President, Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (IRAAL) 2014-2017
The Academy of Korean Studies, Republic of Korea, Visiting Fellow 2013
University of Northern British Columbia, Department of Anthropology. Visiting Scholar 2012
External Examiner, Applied Languages Centre, University College Dublin 2011-2014
Invited Visiting Professor, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russian Federation 2012
Irish Association for Applied Linguistics (IRAAL), Member of the National Executive Committee. 2009-2014
Committee member, AILA Research Network on Learner Autonomy in Language Learning (ReNLA) 2012-2015
IRAAL representative, AILA-Europe network (Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée/International Association of Applied Linguistics) 2011-2017
Advisory Board, European Journal of Applied Linguistics 2017
Expert, Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning Since 2016
External Assessor, Degree Validation Panel, School of Languages, Law and Social Sciences, Dublin Institute of Technology 2017
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Fluent Fluent Fluent
Japanese Basic Basic Basic
Korean Basic Basic Basic
Spanish Medium Basic Basic
Details Date From Date To
Irish Association for Applied Linguistics
CercleS (Confédération Européenne des Centres de Langues de l'Enseignement Supérieur)
AILA - Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée
IFUT - Irish Federation of University Teachers
Multilingual Practices in Primary Education in Europe: A Scoping Review in, editor(s)Carson, Lorna, Chung Kam Kwok and Caroline Smyth , Language and Identity in Europe: The Multilingual City and its Citizens, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2020, pp125 - 144, [McTiernan, Kathleen, Aoife Parkes and Lorna Carson], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Carson, Lorna, Chung Kam Kwok and Caroline Smyth, Language and Identity in Europe: The Multilingual City and its Citizens, Oxford , Peter Lang, 2020, 1-262pp, Book, PUBLISHED
Tien, Adrian, Ning Jiang and Lorna Carson, An Anatomy of Chinese Offensive Words: A Lexical and Semantic Analysis, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, Book, PUBLISHED
European Multilingual Cities and Their Citizens: Research Perspectives in, editor(s)Carson, Lorna, Chung Kam Kwok and Caroline Smyth , Language and Identity in Europe: The Multilingual City and its Citizens, Oxford, Peter Lang, 2020, pp7 - 22, [Hristova, Penka, Daniela Modrescu, Dilyana Pavlova and Lorna Carson], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Kwok, Chung Kam and Lorna Carson, Integrativeness and intended effort in language learning motivation amongst some young adult learners of Japanese, Language Learning in Higher Education, 8, (2), 2018, p265 - 279, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Carson, Lorna, Improving online language assessment: Using Pecha Kucha to assess spoken production in English, Caracteres. Estodios culturales y críticos de la esfera digital, 6, (2), 2017, p196 - 214, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
King, Lid and Lorna Carson, Multilingual Identities: A Study of Attitudes towards Multilingualism in Three European Cities, London, The Languages Company, 2017, 1-107pp, Book, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL  URL
Multilingualism in the City: The Case of Dublin in, editor(s)King, Lid and Lorna Carson , Multilingual Identities: A Study of Attitudes to Multilingualism in Three European Cities, London, The Languages Company, 2017, pp36 - 48, [Modrescu, Daniela and Lorna Carson], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL  URL
TEANGA, The Irish Journal of Applied Linguistics, 24, (2016), 1 - 98p, Carson, Lorna, Journal, PUBLISHED
King, Lid, and Lorna Carson, The Multilingual City: Vitality, Conflict and Change, Bristol, Multilingual Matters, 2016, 1 - 232pp, Book, PUBLISHED

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Carson, Lorna, Ning Jiang, Mengqi Zhou and John Egan, Some Perspectives of Language Learners and Teachers on the Short Course in Chinese Language and Culture, Dublin, CLCS, Trinity College Dublin for the Post-Primary Languages Initiative, 2019, Notes: [Commissioned by Post-Primary Languages Ireland/Department of Education and Skills], Report, PUBLISHED
Carson, Lorna, Invited keynote. Researching multilingualism for inclusion and participation - A "Languages through the Lifespan" Approach, Joint Conference Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt,, Faculty of Languages and Translation & Trinity College Dublin "Translation and Teaching English: Challenges and Perspectives", 11-12 March, 2022, PUA/TCD, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Plenary. Migration, diversity, and maintaining home languages, Celebrating Multilingualism in Ireland , NUI Galway, 23 April, 2016, Notes: [], Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Keynote. Ordinary Multilingualism: Exploring the interface between the language classroom and life beyond the classroom., German Teachers' Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Deutschlernen fürs Leben, nicht nur für die Schule, Trinity College Dublin, 15 November, 2014, Gesellschaft der Deutschlehrer Irlands, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Keynote. The Role of Drama in Task-Based Learning, "Plot me no plots": Theatre in university language teaching, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy, 14-15 October, 2011, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Keynote. Learner autonomy and its benefits for ESOL students, National Adult Literacy Agency ESOL Conference, All Hallows College, Dublin, 9 June, 2011, NALA, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Applied Linguistics in Ireland: A changing landscape , XXIX AESLA Conference, AILA-Europe panel, University of Salamanca, Spain, May, 2011, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Multilingualism in Dublin, IRAAL Public Lecture in partnership with Dublin City Council Office for Integration, Pearse Street Library, 9 May, 2011, IRAAL/Dublin City Council, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Keynote., International conference "From Teaching to Learning: Current Trends in English Language Teaching", South East European University, Macedonia, April, 2010, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Carson, Lorna, Laura Sadlier and Carmel Grehan, Public Lecture. Language learning, teaching and assessment: A brief insight into the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, Centre for Deaf Studies Public Talk Series, Trinity College Dublin, 10 December, 2009, Invited Talk, PRESENTED


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Award Date
Excellence in Research Supervision (Established Supervisor) Award 2023
Provost's PhD Project Award 2018
Fellow of Trinity College Dublin 2015
Trinity Global Engagement Award 2015
Japan Foundation, Grant for Intellectual Exchange Conferences 2016
Trinity Long Room Hub Research Incentive Scheme 2014
The Academy of Korean Studies, funded Visiting Fellowship 2013
Recipient of a Faculty Research Program Award, International Council for Canadian Studies 2012
Trinity College Dublin, Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund 2012 & 2017
I am an Applied Linguist who specialises in multilingualism and language learning research. I employ a range of methods to interrogate the features and contexts of multilingual society and to determine how successful individual language learning occurs. Given the centrality of language to human identity, interaction and social activity, multilingualism encompasses a broad spectrum of cultural, political and social norms as well as power relations. My work seeks to support language provision for all language users, through diversifying language choices and recognising language proficiency as an essential form of human capital beyond the economic. I am passionate about the application of research findings to language learning in practice - especially among learners, teachers, trainers and policy-makers. Dublin is home to several hundred languages used daily in the city. Yet these many languages are often ignored, unknown or invisible. Often, they are seen as an obstacle or a deficit to be overcome, replaced by a level of fluency in English, at the expense of family relationships and connections. My research investigates how our first languages and multilingual repertoires serve as a powerful individual resource as well as supporting social cohesion. I am committed to sharing research findings with practitioners in ways that enhance language learning outcomes for all. Key themes in my research include: . Formal language learning provision and the classroom, at primary, post-primary and third levels. . Delivering research-led tools for successful language learning, including digital applications, toolkits and curriculum content . Informal language learning (home languages, minority, heritage, second/foreign, etc.) throughout the lifespan . Assessment & certification in second/foreign language development . Benchmarking & curriculum specification, including work based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages . Driving theories of multilingual society, in urban environments through the study of linguistic landscapes and within schools, government, places of employment, worship etc.