Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Our Research > Research Areas > Psychological and Social Aspects of Language

Psychological and Social Aspects of Language

John Bosco Conama, Lorna Carson, Carmel Grehan, Caroline Jagoe, Jeff Kallen, Margaret Leahy, Lorraine Leeson, Teresa Lynch, Pat Matthews, Kathleen McTiernan, Denise O’Leary, Breffni O’Rourke, Martine Smith, Margaret Walshe.



Acquisition, Pedagogy, Policy and Planning

Language acquisition and pedagogy have long been important themes in our research. Themes have ranged from ultimate attainment in second language acquisition to issues of language teaching methodology, curriculum design and language assessment.

In the field of acquisition, we have long had an international reputation for second language research focused on issues relating to the age factor and exploring various aspects of lexical acquisition and processing. We investigate the acquisition of Irish, Irish Sign Language and language acquisition amongst immigrant populations both in Ireland and elsewhere.  

Processes of language and literacy acquisition in the context of speech and communication disorders are also a central theme, as is language learning among children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

We are at the forefront of curriculum planning and research on the effectiveness of language pedagogy. This research has led to many innovations in pedagogy and has had a major influence on the development of language education policy in Ireland and further afield.

Technology in language learning continues to be a particular strength in our research and development activities, including the application of multimedia and online communication technologies to language learning. In recent years, research on the acquisition and teaching of Irish Sign Language has led to the development of innovative e-learning platforms for online digital teaching and learning. 

The unique convergence of expertise in language acquisition, teaching, multilingualism and language impairment offers exciting prospects for future interdisciplinary research encompassing the broad spectrum of languages in Ireland.

Back to top


Social and Cultural Dimensions

Some of our research focuses on the relationship between language and society, embracing the social conditioning of language variation, the role of social factors in language change, and the interaction between language and such forces as population movement, social stratification, and globalisation.

Issues of language, identity and culture are also important themes, particularly among minority language groups, including Irish Sign Language and Irish.  

The social and psychosocial impact of speech and communication disorders on the individual, family, and society is a related major research theme: for example, the overall emphasis on a social model of disability provides coherence to many research projects, which deal a wide range of specific disorders (e.g. dysarthria). A further growing area of research concerns the linguistic dimensions of psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia

College’s Strategic plan: Outreach(Section 5 of College’s Strategic Plan)

Back to top