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The Australian National University

Dr Johanna Rendle-Short

Associate Professor
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) 200405
  • Applied Linguistics And Educational Linguistics 200401
  • Discourse And Pragmatics 200403
  • Sociology 1608
  • Communication And Media Studies 2001
  • Language Studies 2003
  • English Language 200302
  • Linguistics 2004

Research interests

Johanna Rendle-Short researches within the areas of spoken interaction and discourse. She utilises the methodology of conversation analysis (CA) or talk-in-interaction as a framework for analysing everyday talk and interaction. She is interested in applying conversation analysis to a variety of contexts, including, language and learning, media studies, and children and adults who are communicatively impaired.


After completing Honours in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne, I initially obtained work in the public service. I then moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where I gained experience teaching English as a second language. When I returned to Australia I taught English for Academic Purposes at the University of Canberra and then at the Australian National University. I completed my Master of Applied Linguistics and PhD at the Australian National University. My Masters thesis analysed the use of descourse markers such as 'okay', 'so' and 'uhm' in the academic presentation. For my PhD I continued this work and focused on the situated practice of the academic seminar. I enjoy helping both undergraduate and postgraduate students understand contemporary language use within society, particularly the role of interaction and communication. I was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and for Supervision in 2004. The awards reflect my committment to education and supervision.   

Researcher's projects

  • Analysis of the political interview 
  • Australian talk-back radio 
  • Managing interaction for children with Asperger's Syndrome or High Functioning Autism 
  • Issues of gender and sexuality 
  • Terms of address 
  • Sociolinguistics 
  • Cross-cultural approaches to Language Teaching and Learning

Available student projects

I am interested in reading prospective PhD student proposals on a range of applied linguistics topics. I am particularly interested in

  • discourse and medical issues e.g doctor patient interaction
  • radio and media discourse
  • everyday discourse and interaction
  • discourse in instiutional settings e.g. language classroom
  • English for academic purposes

I enjoy supervision and have developed a document outlining my ‘Supervisory Expectations'. Please email me if you would like a copy.

Current student projects

  • Analysing supervisor/supervisee spoken interaction for Persian speakers of English as a second language
  • Talk-in-Interaction: Speech Language Therapists’ Talk
  • Comparison of children’s stories in Thai and Australian English
  • Laughter and humour in the Second Language Classroom
  • Using Conversation Analysis to understand pragmatics in the Chinese second language classroom

Past student projects

PhD Supervision  

  • German Instruction in Australian tertiary institutions 
  • Acquisition of Ser and Estar by Chilean children 
  • Getting personal: Psychotherapy talk 
  • See what I mean? Hearing Loss, Recipiency and Repair in Conversation
  • Analysing Advertisements using Relevance Theory 
  • Cross-analysis of Japanese and Australian narrative
  • Pronouns of Politics: the use of pronouns in the construction of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in political interviews 

Masters Supervision 

  • Analysing disagreement in the Chinese press conference
  • Closings in Hong Kong mobile phone conversations 
  • Political Speeches in Mexico 
  • Conflict in Couples Talk 
  • Using Conversation Analysis to understand the oral test in Chinese language classes  
  • Closings in Persian telephone conversations    
  • Lies in Context 
  • A Cross-cultural Study of the Speech Act of Requesting in Fast Food Service Encounters in Australian English and Vietnamese 
  • The Development of Negation in early Childhood: A Study in Saudi Dialect 

Honours supervision 

  • Why that now? Transcribing the Precision Timing of talk 
  • Talk-in-Interaction: The management of Interaction between a 3 year old and his mother   
  • Bilingualism in primary school students 
  • Names and Interaction in Internet Relay Chat   
  • ‘Doing quotes’: Quoting in Narratives from a CA Perspective 
  • The Discourse Functions of Australian –ie and –o suffixed Hypocoristic Terms


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Updated:  24 August 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers