Mats DeutschmannTitle: Professor School/office: School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Phone: +46 19 303562
About Mats Deutschmann
Mats Deutschmann is Professor in English at HumUS. His main fields of interest lie in sociolinguistics and the language politics in post-colonial contexts. He is currently leading two projects on language and stereotyping.
My main research interests fall into several, partly overlapping fields. These include language didactics and learning designs with special focus on e-learning, digital humanities, sociolinguistics and the status of minority languages, especially in educational contexts.
i) Language didactics with special focus on e-learning
Here my main focus is on how various digital media can be used in language education. My primary interest has been in virtual worlds and how these environments can be used to bring together geographically dispersed learners in situated and authentic language learning contexts. The main areas of focus have been on design, in particular how courses can be designed to maximise engagement, participation and learning, and also on what factors affect student in/activity in these environments. My research activities in the field of e-learning have not been restricted to the field of virtual worlds, however. Voice blogs, traditional LMS, ‘key-stroke-logging’ as a means of supporting peer reflection in the writing process and ICT to support language learning in school are also of interest.
ii) Digital Humanities
My work on digital media has also brought me into contact with several researchers from HUMlab, and has meant a broadening of my research spectrum into new fields of digital humanities. These include how digital environments can be used to express various aspects of identity. For example, how minority cultures use the environments to manifest their cultural and linguistic identities and how virtual worlds allow us to express multiple identities.
My research activities in this field have primarily been focussed on explorations of identity (gender in particular) and how language stereotyping affects the judgements of the hearer. I am currently project leader for two projects (C-RAVE and RAVE) where we exploit the affordances offered by digital media in order to raise sociolinguistic language awareness among teacher trainees and other students studying sociolinguistics. We have used digital matched-guise techniques to allow students to be exposed to, or experience different linguistic identities, and compare how different groups respond to a text depending on the conceived identity of the speaker. C-RAVE also involves a cross-cultural element where we work in the Seychelles with similar models as those employed in Sweden in order to compare cultural contructs and stereotyping effects.
For more information about these projects please visit our project homepage:
iv) Minority Languages
I have always had a special interest in Creole languages and their struggle to become a formally acknowledged language in educational contexts. Since my arrival to the department of Language Studies in Umeå, I have had the opportunity to revive my interests in minority languages and their roles/lack of roles in education.
I am currently working with collaborative research framework between UniSey, Umeå University and the Ministry of Education for examining the tri-lingual situation in the school system. Areas of of interest include factors affecting the learning situation such as policy and curriculum questions, the school environment, teacher practice and out-of-school factors such as ICT and media as well as the sociolinguistic situation in the Seychelles.