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Interdisciplinary Discourse Analysis in Education, the Arts and Social Sciences

Our Research

Building an active and vibrant research culture around language, linguistics and semiotics

If we think about language linguistics and semiotics we're really talking about communication and communications foundational to everything we do, so understanding something of how that works I think enables us to build better relationships and to build a better world. 

I'm Pauline Jones, I'm an educational linguist and I'm Co convener of the IDEAS research group. IDEAS stands for interdisciplinary discourse analysis in education, the Arts and Social Sciences. 

So we're a group of researchers who are interested in languages, linguistics and semiotics, so we take those tools to work with other colleagues in all sorts of contexts; psychotherapy, disability in educational school-based settings, all sorts of places.

So the big issues we're faced here are about giving people access to the institutions that count that are powerful in our society and all of us have a strong sense of social justice, so we believe that our work is important for making visible how those institutions work, giving people access ensuring that they're able to participate in society.

Some of the most important ways we've had impact of being on policy and training we've informed some of the development of curriculum in Australia through our research, we've also had impact on training programs outside school-based education. 

In 20 years we would all wish for a fairer society but I suspect in reality we'll have some new problems we'll have a new generation of scholars who no doubt pushed the theory and the tools that we have now in ways that are better equipped to meet those problems. I would like to think that we did have a more positive better world.


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The Interdisciplinary Discourse Analysis in Education, the Arts and Social Sciences (IDEAS) research group offers an active and vibrant research culture around language, linguistics and semiotics, bringing together productive researchers from across different faculties and units. We foster collaborative team-based research, tapping into and developing emerging synergies which investigate leading edge issues in contexts relevant to the field of Education, and the Humanities/Arts and Social Sciences more broadly.

IDEAS group members share a common interest in using tools from language/s, linguistics and semiotics to improve educational and social outcomes in institutional contexts and beyond. Our members currently research in the areas of TESOL/LOTE, health and medical settings, schools and higher education, disability support and social justice, multimodality, sustainability, social media and literature/verbal art.

Our IDEAS activities include: 

  • Big IDEAS – research seminars
  • Developing your IDEAS – ‘how to’ workshops to mentor and incubate projects
  • Nutting out IDEAS – methodology workshops
  • Presenting big IDEAS – conferences and colloquia
  • Student IDEAS – fortnightly HDR presentations and workshops


  • Nadia Al-Esi
  • Abdalelah Alqhtani
  • Ibrahim Almalwi
  • Tonya Agostini
  • Lilian Ariztimuño
  • Carolina Badillo Vargas
  • Naomi Beecroft
  • Liem Thanh Dinh
  • (Minh Anh) Mia Do
  • Nasim Googol
  • Anne Hellwig
  • Maryam Izadi (UNSW)
  • Najmeh Kheradparvar
  • Pettina Love
  • Yuki Ogawa
  • Tri Cuong Phan
  • Emily Purser
  • Emma Rutherford Vale
  • Anna Sidis
  • Margaret Turnbull
  • Annette Turney
  • Zoran Velev
  • Rachel Wiseman
  • Giverny Witheridge
  • Anthony Wotring



  • Associate Professor Robyn Cox (University of New England)
  • Professor Christine Edwards Groves (Australian Catholic University)
  • Professor Debra Myhill (University of Exeter)
  • Dr Helen Georgiou (University of Wollongong)
  • Dr Lorna Jarrett (University of Wollongong)
  • Long (Keven) Li (University of Wollongong)
  • Dr Bronwyn Parkin (University of South Australia)
  • Professor Peter Reimann (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Trish Weekes (Literacy Works)


Projects our group are working on include school literacy transitions, southern Spanish accents, discourse analysis of argument texts, analysis of policy documents, blended learning environments, discourses about animals and food.