Job: post-doctoral research assistant, University of Leeds

  • 14 Jun 2019 21:51
    Message # 7580344

    Project: Quantifying Bilingual Experience – optimising tools for educators, clinicians and researchers (see description below)

    Salary: Grade 7 (£33,199 - £39,609 p.a)

    Fixed-term for 3 Years – 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2022

    As a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant you will have:

    • A PhD in Bilingual Language Acquisition (or near to completion meaning the initial version of the thesis has been submitted) or another discipline relevant to the project;
    • Advanced quantitative analysis skills and a desire to learn more;
    • Excellent qualitative analysis skills;
    • Experience of testing children;
    • Demonstrated experience of conducting quantitative and qualitative research;
    • Proven ability to write to the standard required for research reports and international publications;
    • Excellent organisational and project management skills, with the ability to meet tight deadlines and work effectively under pressure;
    • Excellent inter-personal skills;
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including presentation skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders;
    • A proven ability to work well both individually and in a team, with an open mind-set.

    You may also have:

    • Very good command of R;
    • Experience in carrying out surveys;
    • Familiarity with GitHub.

    Our project aims to bring a step-change in the measurement of bilingual language experience. It will seek to establish an optimal metric informed by an in-depth review of existing tools and a consensus among researchers, speech & language therapists and educators on what aspects of language experience to index.

    We aim to deliver user-friendly, online questionnaires (and their associated back-end calculators) to return measures of current and cumulative language experience in real time. The questionnaires will be available in 13 languages, and vary in length and level of detail: the shortest version will be useful when parental consultation is challenging; the longest version will yield more fine-grained measures to enable in=depth enquiries.

    Reliability and cross-language validity of the tools we develop will be assessed using new data from 300 children in 3 different countries, in collaboration with an international team of experts. Based on this assessment, we will provide evidence-based guidance to inform users' choice on the level of questionnaire detail most appropriate to their needs.

    Exploiting cutting-edge statistical techniques, we will also develop an objective method to identify early those bilingual children in need of support with their school language, helping practitioners estimate when a child with English as an Additional Language can be expected to have “caught up” with their monolingual peers.

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