This Forum presents three HASS Enabler Funding Scheme projects (2021-2022) and one UQ ECR Knowledge Exchange and Transfer Scheme project, followed by a roundtable discussion on research methodology—data collection and sample analysis as well as research partnership. 

Contact: Kayoko Hashimoto (

The push and pull of COVID-19 discourses: Classification in press conferences 

Presented by Sheng-Hsun Lee

Abstract: This study analyses the interaction between health journalists and public health officials at press conferences in Taiwan and the public reception of this interaction. Focusing on the first case, the first community-acquired infection, and the first death during the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, I identify discourses that underscore the medical conditions of individuals with COVID-19 and the crisis status of the community. To account for the biomediatisation of these discourses, I propose a framework that characterises the classification practices between journalists and officials: (1) disjunctive questions erase categorical entanglements and enhance newsworthiness; (2) metapragmatic framing inscribes journalistic initiative into interaction; (3) biocommunicable cartographies are recalibrated to index official authority and credibility; and (4) multimodal signs synchronise with speech to objectify biomedical phenomena and reify subject positions. Although they collide at times, these discursive processes construct a network of biomedical objects and subjects for alerting and assuring the public. The push and pull of COVID-19 discourses between journalists and officials organises the categorical configuration of and response to crisis.

Talking family into being: Membership categorisation analysis and the pragmatics of family interactions 

Presented by Valeria Sinkeviciute

Abstract: In all societies, families are the core unit, a social structure in themselves, where people reflect on social expectations, beliefs and values. This research projects aims to investigate how multilingual families position themselves through and in conversation with an overall objective to examine how Australians that come from different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages construct their identity in this multilingual society through their interactional practices with family members. The currently collected data comes from two weeks of video-recorded parent-child and parent-parent interactions in Russian- and Spanish-speaking families. In order to be able to provide a fine-detail analysis of everyday family discourse, focussing on social actions and how meaning and identities are constructed in talk-in-interaction, a combination of two methodological approaches – interactional pragmatics and membership categorisation analysis – is used to examine the datasets.  

University language education for job-ready graduates: Japanese language, curriculum reform and individual trajectories in Vietnam and Australia

Presented by Kayoko Hashimoto

Abstract: Japanese is a major foreign language taught in Vietnam and Australia although their historical relationships with the language are vastly different. In the era of transnational migration, both countries have identified languages as an area of national priority to create job-ready graduates, but studies on university language teaching have remained predominantly focused on English related issues. While the economic imperatives brought about by the COVID-19 crisis has pushed this further, the impact on individual learners is unknown. This project aims to investigate how and why university Japanese language curriculum has transformed in Vietnam and Australia and how the learners perceive the curriculum and learning experience in relation to their career paths and individual trajectories. Based on the online questionnaires and individual interviews, this presentation provides a preliminary report, highlighting some characteristic aspects of learners’ self-reflection through learning Japanese in Vietnam and Australia.

Narrative discourse structure in literate Russian-English child bilinguals in Australia

Presented by Anna Mikhaylova

Abstract: A number of recent studies have looked into oral narratives of Russian-English bilingual children, primarily under the age of 7, elicited using wordless picture books (Gagarina et al, 2015, 2021; Karpava et al, 2015; Rodina, 2017; Mikhaylova & Ravitch, 2018; Protassova, 2021; Ringblom, 2021 among others). In this study, I used picture books and elicitation protocols from LITMUS-MAIN Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (Gagarina et al, 2019) to test children aged 4-12 in Russian community schools in Australia with the following objectives: (1) to examine the relationship between macro- and microstructure of the collected Russian narratives; (2) to compare data on children under the age of 7 with data from older children; (3) to examine the effect of language exposure and experience on the narrative discourse structure. I will discuss our findings in light of declared research questions, practical implications beyond linguistic analysis and in light of methodological considerations.  


Social Sciences Building (24) - S304 and via Zoom