Prof. Eric Friginal
Head and Professor
Before joining PolyU as Professor and Head of the Department of English and Communication (May 2022), Eric Friginal was Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL and Director of International Programs at the College of Arts and Sciences, Georgia State University (GSU), USA. He specializes in applied corpus linguistics, quantitative research, language policy and planning, technology and language teaching, sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, discipline-specific writing, and the analysis of spoken professional discourse in the workplace. His recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Approaches to Discourse Analysis (2020), co-edited with Jack Hardy; Advances in Corpus-based Research on Academic Writing: Effects of Discipline, Register, and Writer Expertise, co-edited with Ute Römer and Viviana Cortes (John Benjamins, 2020); English in Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy, with Elizabeth Mathews and Jennifer Roberts (Bloomsbury, 2019); and Corpus Linguistics for English Teachers: New Tools, Online Resources, and Classroom Activities (Routledge, 2018). He is the founding co-editor-in-chief of Applied Corpus Linguistics (ACORP) Journal (with Paul Thompson) published by Elsevier.
I have been exploring real-world recorded and transcribed texts (i.e., corpora) from domains such as outsourced customer service call centers, healthcare, tourism and hospitality, global aviation, international maritime industry, and talk in multi-cultural and multimodal workplaces. My theoretical and analytical framework emphasizes the identification of discursive practices across socio-cultural structures and task dimensions of talk in these domains, focusing especially upon speakers' understanding of role-relationships, discoursal goals and objectives, cultural and racial identities, and power dynamics at work. An iterative cycle which combines computational approaches to data extraction and a progression of stages (that also emphasizes qualitative and functional analyses) shows how the structure and meaning of professional cross-talk can be successfully described, interpreted, and explained using patterns and evidence from corpora.
I argue for the important role of applied corpus linguistics as a methodological approach in language and social research in contributing linguistics-based explications of workplace discourse. Applied corpus linguistics is understood to include the use of corpus resources, techniques, and tools in order to, for example, examine patterning in public discourses so as to obtain novel understandings of how language is used and construed in specific contexts (Thompson & Friginal, 2020).
Education and Academic Qualifications
- PhD in Applied Linguistics – Northern Arizona University (Supervisors: Douglas Biber and Randi Reppen)
- MA in Teaching English as a Second Language – Northern Arizona University (under Fulbright Scholarship)
Academic and Professional Experience
- Professor and Head (2022-), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Professor (2018-2021), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
- Director of International Programs (2015 to 2021), Georgia State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Atlanta, GA, USA
- Associate Professor (2014-2018), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
- Assistant Professor (2008-2014), Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, USA
- Lecturer (2007-2008), Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA
- Corpus Linguistics
- Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
- Quantitative Research
- Technology and Language Teaching
- Language Policy and Planning
- Language in Society
- (Critical) Discourse Analysis
- English for Specific Purposes
- Intercultural Communication
- Digital Humanities
- Media and Communication
- Technical and Professional Writing
- Writing Across the Disciplines
- Second Language Writing
Selected funded projects – USA 2010-2021
- Principal Investigator (PI): (with John Bunting): PDPI Brazil, 6-Week English Teacher Certification Program ($500,314.00 total award for two cohorts). First cohort: 40 Brazilian English Teachers, June to August 2019; Second Cohort: June to August 2020.
- PI: Aviation English Research – Language as a Human Factor in Aviation Communications: Funding from multiple partners ($250,000+ 2020-2021).
- PI: With Ca’ Foscari University of Venice International Programs – Student and Faculty Mobility Awards from Erasmus + (Plus) (over $100,000) for funded student exchange and faculty/staff mobility programs to Venice, Italy.
- PI: (with Alison Camacho): PDPI Brazil, 6-Week English Teacher Certification Program ($346,231.00 total award for two cohorts). First cohort: 23 Brazilian English Teachers, January to February 2018 - $193,000.00; Second Cohort: May 2018.
- Co-PI: 2016 and 2017: Language Science Course Development, Online Instruction, and Faculty Training (with Youjin Kim) funded by Sejong University, Seoul, South Korea, ($20,000.00+).
- Program Administrator: Spring Break Study Abroad Scholarship Grant 2015-2018: Awarded by CAS Foundation – $150,000.00.
- PI: SLRF 2015 Conference Grant Award, Georgia State University Research Foundation ($3,000.00), “Second Language Research Forum 2015.”
- 2014 and 2015 Program Director: GSU Global TESOL Program, Guangzhou, China, under GSU’s Office of International Initiatives ($200,000.00+ or $100,000.00+ per year).
- PI: (with Gayle Nelson) U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, Iraq/University Linkages Project 2011 to present ($1,000,000.00), “US-Iraq Linkages Project, GSU and University of Baghdad.”
- PI: Academy for Educational Development Training Grant, December 2011 ($20,000.00) “Online Teaching English as a Second Language Training Course” for Iraqi faculty.
- PI: Conference Grant Award, Georgia State University Research Foundation 2010 ($3,000.00), “American Association for Corpus Linguistics Conference, October 2011.”
- PI: Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) Summer Research Funding Award, Summer 2010, $2,500.00, “CTW Corpus Collection,” “Linguistic and Rhetorical Characteristics of Critical Thinking through Writing at Georgia State University: A Corpus-Based Analysis” (with George Pullman and Jennifer Lawrence).
- PLENARY SPEAKER (August 2022): Be polite with me: Corpora, Discourse, and Language Policy in Cross-Cultural Workplaces, 6th Corpora and Discourse International Conference, Bologna University, Italy.
- KEYNOTE SPEAKER: “Linguistic Characteristics of Aeronautical Communications: Implications for Assessment, Policy, and Pedagogy,” 8th GEIA Seminar – Brazilian Department of Airspace Control and ICEA Airspace Control Institute, Brazil, November 8-12, 2021.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Elements of Talk in Cross-Cultural, English-Based (Global) Workplaces: Social Dimensions and Implications,” Corpus Linguistics 2021, University of Limerick, Ireland, July 14, 2021.
- KEYNOTE LECTURE: “Exploring Spoken Workplace Corpora: Innovations and Future Directions,” LAEL Lectures, Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 16, 2020.
- KEYNOTE WORKSHOP: “Compiling, Annotating, and Analyzing Spoken Corpora,” PSLLT Conference 2019, Flagstaff, AZ, September 12, 2019.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Corpus Linguistics and English as a Lingua Franca: Approaches and Applications,” ELF Teachers’ Conference – ELF Day 2, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, November 20, 2018.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Quantifying Cross-Cultural Communication,” American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Conference 2018, Chicago, IL, March 24-27, 2018.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Recognizing the Role of Communication as a Human Factor in Aviation: Perspectives from Empirical Research in Applied Linguistics,” International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA) 2018, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Daytona Beach, FL, May 10-12, 2018.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Corpus-Based Approaches in TESOL: Innovative Tools, Lessons, and Emerging Paradigms,” COPEI and ANUPI TESOL Conference 2017 [COPEI - College of Professional Teachers of English and ANUPI - National Association of University Teachers of English], Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, October 12-15, 2017.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Exploring Cross-Talk in Aviation Training and Outsourced Call Center Interactions,” American Association for Corpus Linguistics Conference 2014, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, September 26, 2014.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Globalization, Outsourcing, and Customer Service: Challenges for English as a Lingua Franca,” Globalization and the Humanities Conference: Texas and the World, Texas A&M Commerce, November 17, 2012.
- PLENARY SPEAKER: “Linguistic Characteristics of Intercultural Call Center Interactions,” 6th Conference on Intercultural Rhetoric and Discourse 2010, Atlanta, GA, June 12, 2010.
- American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL)
- TESOL International
- American Association for Corpus Linguistics (AACL)
- International Civil Aviation English Association (ICAEA)
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
- Linguistic Society of America (LSA)
- Corpora Journal (Edinburgh University Press)
- Register Studies (John Benjamins)
- E-JournALL (Italy/Spain)
From Georgia State University, USA
- 2019 and 2018 GSU College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Achievement for Outstanding Faculty Publications: English for Global Aviation: Context, Research, and Pedagogy (Bloomsbury); Studies in Corpus-Based Sociolinguistics (Routledge); and Exploring Spoken English Learner Language from Corpora: Learner Talk (Palgrave MacMillan)
- Outstanding Teaching Award 2013, GSU College of Arts and Sciences
- Instructional Innovation Award 2012-2013, GSU Office of the Provost [Co-Award Recipient: Dr. Ying Zhu, GSU Computer Science, for co-developing a software program, Text X-Ray, which is an online text tagger and visualizer. This program can be used to raise learners’ awareness of the lexico-syntactic structure of texts (and especially their own writing). The design of Text X-Ray takes into account teachers’ needs, focusing on content-based activities that can be applied to help students build academic vocabulary and analyze discipline-specific features of writing.]
- Dean’s Early Career Award 2011-2012, GSU College of Arts and Sciences. [The College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Early Career Award is given to outstanding junior faculty who has successfully developed a competitive research program and has contributed to the College’s various goals to push research boundaries and work with the international community of teachers and researchers.]
- Fulbright Scholarship – 1998-2000