The FP7 Marie Curie Career Integration Grant is designed to promote the attraction and retention of experienced researchers to Europe by facilitating their integration at a host institution in an EU member state, thereby bolstering European competitivity in the global knowledge economy. As a Canadian hire to the Graduate School of Education with strategic international ties, Dr Talia Isaacs will conduct a program of research on examining the linguistic factors that are most important for achieving effective cross-cultural communication. More specifically, she will examine how communicative efficiency is mediated by listener perceptual and attitudinal variables, particularly in settings where the stakes for achieving successful oral communication are high (e.g., workplace and academic settings). Taken together, Talia's research will elucidate ways of reducing oral communication barriers and, ultimately, fostering the social integration of newcomers into society.
During the tenure of the 4-year grant, Talia will establish an applied L2 speech laboratory at the Graduate School of Education to elicit, edit, rate, and analyse professional quality L2 speech samples and to train postgraduate students in the measurement and evaluation of speech perception and production. This state-of-the-art facility, coupled with the introduction of a new mandatory "Second Language Pronunciation and Fluency" EdD unit that Talia has spearheaded (the first such doctoral-level unit on offer in the world, to our knowledge), will put the University of Bristol at the cutting-edge of research and teaching developments in this area.