Our Research

ARRCIMS research

Our research can largely be allocated to one of three research strands: intercultural and transcultural perspectives, the construction and negotiation of identities and the investigation of specific second and foreign language mechanisms that support successful communication.

Intercultural and transcultural perspectives

While intercultural scholars tend to stress the fundamental differences among individual cultures that steer our varied everyday behaviour, transcultural research focuses on what we have in common and on our chances to individually choose aspects from a pool of global cultures. For ARRCIMS, this is not a question of ‘either that or the other’ but rather of bringing the national and global dimensions together: We are different and we are not – we are programmed and we are not.

David Parkins

The world-wide growing number of people simultaneously living in two or more cultures, e.g. British-Asians, French-Algerians, German-Turks, is an excellent area for further research into such questions of cultural belonging, alienation and choice. It is also an important field for exploring new mixed identities that might provide us with models for overcoming traditional boundaries, in particular those of a racist nature, be it of nationalist or colonialist origin.

Key areas of research therefore include:

Recent publications:

  • Guido Rings: The Superdiverse Precariat of British Higher Education? Limpiadores Revisited, in: Current Sociology, 22 January 2021, pp. 1-17.
  • Guido Rings and Sebastian Rasinger (eds.): The Cambridge Handbook of Intercultural Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2020.
  • Guido Rings and Stephen Trinder (eds.) US-Mexican Encounters in Contemporary Film (special issue of iMex 9(18), 2020, http://www.imex-revista.com; pp. 1-148).
  • Guido Rings: The Other in Contemporary Migrant Cinema: Imagining a New Europe? London, New York: Routledge 2018 (paperback reprint from 2016)
  • Guido Rings and Antonio Manuel Ciruela Lorenzo (eds.): Business in Mexico (special issue of iMex XII, 7 2017, http://www.imex-revista.com; pp. 1-162).
  • Guido Rings: De la «revolucioncita» al centenario de la constitución (1917-2017): «business as usual» en la obra de Rius, in: iMex 7(12), 2017, pp. 128-147.
  • Guido Rings: Transkulturelle Ansätze im Neuen Deutschen Film? Zur Grenzauflösung in Fassbinders “Angst essen Seele auf”’, in: Ömer Alkin (ed.): Deutsch-Türkische Filmkultur im Migrationskontext. Wiesbaden: Springer 2017, pp. 45-72.
  • Guido Rings and Verena Dolle (eds.): Glocal identities in contemporary Mexican theatre and performance (special issue of iMex III, 6 2014, http://www.imex-revista.com), pp. 1-105.
  • Guido Rings (ed.): Identity and Otherness in contemporary Chicano cinema (special issue of iMex I, 2 2012, http://www.imex-revista.com), pp. 4-115.
  • Christopher Hall and Guido Rings (eds./2010): Cultural Encounters in Contemporary German Cinema (special issue of GFL 3-2010, http://www.gfl-journal.de), pp. 1-150.
Construction and negotiation of identities

Identities are constructed and negotiated through socio-cultural, political and economic concepts, within which language plays a fundamental role. Language is one of the most important defining features of personal and social identities and in particular learning and speaking a language other than one’s first language directly affects a person’s identity. In addition, globalisation and increasing mobility means that more and more people communicate in a language that is not their first language (which is especially the case for English with its current role as the international language of higher education, research, business, media, etc). This can result in communication problems, for example when interlocutors have difficulties understanding each others’ accents while speaking the same language.

Key areas of research are:

  • How language contributes to identity construction (see publications by Bettina Beinhoff, Sebastian Rasinger)
  • Construction and negotiation of identities in contemporary film and literature (see publications by Guido Rings)
  • Attitudes towards second language accents and attitudes towards languages (see publications by Bettina Beinhoff)

Recent publication:

  • Guido Rings: From the American Dream to the European Dream in “Buen día, Ramón” (2013), in: Verena Dolle (ed.): ¿Un sueño europeo? Europa como destino anhelado de migración en la creación cultural latinoamericana (2001-2015). Madrid: Iberoamericana 2020, pp. 161-182.
  • Bettina Beinhoff and Sebastian M. Rasinger: The future of identity research: Impact and new developments in sociolinguistics. The Routledge handbook of language and identity (Routledge 2016, 572-585).
  • Bettina Beinhoff: Perceiving Identity through Accent – Attitudes towards Non-Native Speakers and their Accents in English (Oxford: Peter Lang 2013).
  • Guido Rings and Anne Ife (eds.): Neocolonial mentalities in contemporary Europe. Language and discourse in the construction of identities (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2008).
Multilingualism and language acquisition

Some of the above-mentioned difficulties could be caused by unexpected and unfamiliar pronunciation patterns, or they may be caused by social factors, for example when the speech is perceived as ‘too accented’ or if there are stereotypes and prejudices involved. ARRCIMS’ approach to Second Language Acquisition incorporates both structural and social aspects of second language development to gain an in-depth view of the factors affecting communication in the individual and in communities.

Key areas of research are:

  • Issues of intelligibility and accentedness in speech perception and production (see publications by Bettina Beinhoff)
  • Attitudes towards second language accents and attitudes towards languages (see publications by Bettina Beinhoff)
  • Linguistic landscapes in multilingual settings
  • Acquisition of second and additional languages
  • Cross-linguistic representation of concepts
  • Learning, teaching and using English as a second language

Recent publications:

  • Yu-Ying Chuang, Melanie J. Bell, Isabelle Banke and R. Harald Baayen: Bilingual and multilingual mental lexicon: a modeling study with Linear Discriminative Learning. Language Learning. 2020
  • Bettina Beinhoff: What is acceptable? The role of acceptability in English non-native speech. In: Solly, Martin/Esch, Edith (eds.) Sociolinguistic Issues in Language Education (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014, 155-174).
  • Bettina Beinhoff: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: A European framework for foreign language speech development? Language Value 6(1), 2014, 51-73.
  • Bettina Beinhoff: Perceiving intelligibility and accentedness in non-native speech: A look at proficiency levels. Concordia Papers in Applied Linguistics (COPAL), 5, 2014, 58-72.
  • Abdul H. Panhwar and Melanie J. Bell: Enhancing student engagement in large ESL classes at a Pakistani university. Revision invited by Educational Action Research.
  • Sebastian M. Rasinger: Linguistic landscapes in southern Carinthia (Austria). Journal of multilingual and multicultural development, 35(6), 2014, pp.580-602.
  • Sebastian M. Rasinger: Constructing Banglatown: Linguistic landscapes in London’s East End. Linguistic Landscape, 4(1), 2018, pp.72-95.

PhD Applications: https://aru.ac.uk/study/apply-online?course=&route=r0050