Research Projects 

Here is a selection of some of the current research projects in the School of Languages and Social Sciences.

ADPS Abortion Debates in Public Spaces

Abortion Debates in Public Spaces - ADPS

This interdisciplinary project explores the current resurgence of activism in Britain over abortion rights. It focuses on the growing debate over the regulation of space and speech in the debate over abortion, and - since BPAS launched its 'Back Off' campaign in late 2014 in particular - the problems of balancing rights to free speech on the one hand, and free access to abortion clinic services on the other. We investigate the relationships between public activism on abortion and religious commitment, women's reproductive health, rights to free assembly, and public discourse. We engage with groups, organisations, and individuals on both sides of the debate, as well as clinic service users, residents groups, and public opinion in general.



Launched in January 2013, CITISPYCE is a 3 year collaborative project funded by the European Commission under the FP7 Research and Development programme for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Coordinated by Aston University in Birmingham, UK, CITISPYCE involves a total of 13 partner organisations from 10 countries across the EU including stakeholders from civil society experienced in policy-making and delivery and an interdisciplinary team of academic researchers. Click here to find out more. 

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The Aston Corpus of West Midlands English (ACWME)

ACWME is part of the West Midlands English: Speech and Society project. The corpus is comprised of sound recordings of locally based performances  -  comedy, drama, poetry,  song  and story telling - and related interviews with performers, members of the audience and local and national celebrities associated with the region. The recordings were made between 2009 and 2012.

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Investigating NEST schemes around the world: supporting NEST/NNEST collaborative practices

Despite a strong focus in recent years on the value of NNESTs (non-native English speaking teachers) and the essential contribution they make to language learning, many governments still seek out and employ NESTs (native English speaking teachers) to participate in learning and teaching in state schools, colleges and universities throughout the world. This project brings together an international team of partners to investigate NEST schemes around the world.   Outputs include an audit document which will give details about the schemes, training resources to support both teachers and teacher trainers and a preliminary report.

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Project Tempus 

This 3-year project focuses on improving the learning and teaching of European languages in Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan (PCs).  There are 11 project partners, four from Russia, two from Uzbekistan, two from Ukraine and one each from the UK, France and Germany. The central activity is the development of a blended master’s programme for current and prospective teachers of European languages (English, French and German), which will introduce innovative learner-centred methodologies, tuned to EU standards but with a close eye on the needs of the local context where appropriate. 

Francais Parle Bruxellois

Français Parlé Bruxellois (CFPB)

The Corpus de Français Parlé Bruxellois (CFPB) (Corpus of French as spoken in Brussels) is a project funded by the British Academy (2013-2015). Co-led by PI Emmanuelle Labeau (Aston University) and CI Anne Dister (Université St Louis), the initiative has benefited from the advice of the Corpus de Français Parlé Parisien’s (CFPP2000) team made of Sonia Branca-Rosoff, Serge Fleury, Florence Lefeuvre and Mat Pires.

English / French

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