Kaushalya Perera

Kaushalya Perera
University of Colombo · Department of English

PhD in Applied Linguistics (Pennsylvania State University)

About

39
Publications
15,066
Reads
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55
Citations
Citations since 2016
30 Research Items
52 Citations
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Introduction
RESEARCH INTERESTS: language and education policies, changes in higher education (specifically universities) in Sri Lanka, pragmatic features of Sinhala, children's digital literacy. USUAL TYPES OF DATA: interviews, field notes, policy documents, non-elicited language samples; non-literary texts METHODS OF CHOICE: ethnographic methods (interviews, observation), text analysis, discourse analysis

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
This article is an investigation of Sinhala demonstrative me:2 and temporal adverb dæn, in their functions as discourse markers. We analyze a corpus of approximately 400 min of naturally occurring, entirely unscripted spoken discourse. The data for this study are taken from televised interviews and political debates, involving a total of 16 speaker...
Presentation
Full-text available
[This is now published as an article - "Interviewing academic elites: a discourse analysis of shifting power relations" and the full-text is available here.] Negotiations of power in the research process become particularly salient in interviews, especially with privileged groups such as academics (Nader, 1972; Sinding & Aronson, 2003). This paper...
Presentation
Full-text available
All languages have structural features that present evidentiality, i.e., features that present the sources of knowledge supporting what we say. However, languages differ in the types of sources that are used, and in the linguistic features that are used to present such evidentiality and any genre-specific variations. Little is known of the types of...
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper reviews methodological changes made to a qualitative study on the digital literacy practices of a child. The changes were occasioned due to the pandemic and led to the exploration of some important questions related to qualitative research methodology. The paper is on the first phase of this study, where the researchers collected data fr...
Article
Full-text available
The neoliberal university which we inhabit is usually discussed in terms of policies, regulations and governing practices. Yet, academic life is steeped in affect. To illustrate that our political positions are imbued with and arise from affective positions, I present three stories of academics from public universities in Sri Lanka. These stories i...
Presentation
Full-text available
Evidentiality is a growing area of study in linguistics. Evidentials are used in a language to show how we know what we know and the degree to which we know that information. While there are no studies on evidentiality in Sinhala, existing work has studied some of the linguistic features functioning as evidentials from a syntactic perspective (Anan...
Presentation
Full-text available
The use of digital devices for education at all levels is a growing phenomenon across the world. It impacts early literacy practices in settings and communities around the world at different levels and in different ways. Literacy (whether print, digital or multimodal) in low-and middle-income countries is itself a lesser-researched topic (Nag et al...
Article
Full-text available
A large portion of the World Bank's loans for universities in Sri Lanka is provided for English language learning programs. The justification has been the necessity of English language proficiency for creating an employable graduate, and in so doing, to advance the economic prospects of the country. This is in line with the World Bank's global educ...
Article
Full-text available
In interviews with privileged individuals such as academics, power relations become particularly salient and explicit. Investigating how shifts in power relations are manifested in the interview allows us to understand the workings of power in academia as well as in the research process. This article presents a close analysis of selected segments o...
Chapter
Full-text available
We spend a lot of time reporting and considering what others have said. Quotatives, or linguistic forms that are used to report speech, are important for this purpose. Relatively little attention has been paid to quotatives of languages other than English. This is true of languages in South Asia, including Sinhala. This paper has two aims: its main...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes the World Bank's loans to Sri Lankan state universities post-2000 and some consequent changes. It describes the three loan cycles, their priority areas, and policy shifts that came about as a product of these loans. http://ssalanka.org/pravada-36/
Article
Full-text available
This article illustrates participant reflexivity in an interview. Even though scholars have called for ‘a consideration of real-time reflexivity as a means of reconfiguring the participant within epistemological research debates’ (Riach, 2009: 366) illustrations of real-time reflexivity are hard to locate in literature. Most accounts of reflexivity...
Conference Paper
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Questioning is a significant feature of political speech as shown by prior research on stancetaking. Stancetaking is the study of linguistic features expressing attitudes, emotions, alignment and assessments in propositional content (Englebretson, 2007). Little attention is given to pragmatics of Sinhala despite its long history; neither has much w...
Presentation
Full-text available
Abstract Epistemic stance is the level of commitment or certainty on what is being discussed, or the stance object (Englebretson, 2007). Languages use various linguistic features to express such a stance, including specific syntactic structures and morphological parts dedicated to expressing certainty, doubt, and commentary on the topic at hand. Wh...
Article
Full-text available
This Forum article is a contribution to the development of a securitization perspective on language education. We construe securitization of applied linguistics as the tendency to align national goals for language education, including TESOL and foreign languages, with broader national and security agendas. Keeping in mind the impact of World Wars I...
Presentation
Abstract The fusion of discourse studies and ethnography provides a useful space for researching aspects of a study that may be unexplored through the use of one of these approaches. Discourse studies of policy, especially critical discourse studies, tend to read policy as text rather than as lived practice (e.g. Fairclough, 1993). The production...
Article
Full-text available
Directives is an important area of study in child language development and language socialization since it illustrates children’s ability to affect the behavior of others around them by using language. However, we have no account of directives by children in Sinhala. A study of Sinhala directives by children is important given that research on dive...
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper is on Sinhala question tags and their function as discourse markers. Discourse markers are defined as “sequentially dependent elements which bracket units of talk…which are both cataphoric and anaphoric” (Schiffrin 1988, p.31). Research on languages such as English and Korean (Columbus, 2010; Shin Kim, 2011), show that questions and ques...
Article
Full-text available
Memoirs and autobiographical writing on language learning provide perspectives on migration and residence in North America and Europe for the most part, where struggle and loss are some of the recurrent themes (Aneta Pavlenko 2001a; Besemeres 2004; Kinginger 2004a). An unaddressed aspect of foreign language learning remains the ‘reverse’ experience...
Article
The problems, protests and politics of the state university system are constantly featured in Sri Lankan media. While researchers have shown systemic reasons for violence in universities (Weeramunda, 2008; Samaranayake, 2015), public perception of undergraduates, as shown in the media, appears to construe students as needlessly rebellious and in pe...
Presentation
Full-text available
[see also the publication copy from the proceedings in 2019] Questioning is a significant feature of political speech as shown by prior research on stancetaking. Stancetaking is the study of linguistic features expressing attitudes, emotions, alignment and assessments in propositional content (Englebretson, 2007). Little attention is given to pragm...
Presentation
Even though Sinhala is the major language in Sri Lanka, less research on the Sinhala language is evident in the areas of pragmatics and first language acquisition. Such research is, therefore, imperative at present given that the sociolinguistic context of Sri Lanka is fast changing. This study looks at the use of directives in Sinhala-speaking hou...
Chapter
Full-text available
Researchers regularly deal with ethical considerations when writing up their research. However, such considerations are rarely addressed in existing research ethics literature. Here, the focus tends to be on ethical considerations that arise in relation to research proposals and “protocols,” that is, during the process of research and data collecti...
Presentation
Full-text available
Stance – or stance-taking - is a robust area of study in discourse that has been little applied in Sinhala. Stance is the study of linguistic resources used to express the speaker’s emotions, attitudes, evaluation of and commitment to propositional content (Biber 2006; Schiffrin 1988; Zubair n.d.). Adverbials, verbs and adjectives marking affect an...
Research
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A Working Paper is a first-draft-journal paper or contribution, a research report, a workshop presentation or an essay. Generally speaking, it should have the potential of a full quality paper that is in progress. This can be detailed and formulated by the author(s) within the paper (footnotes) or in an appendix including questions, open points, di...
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper examines the discourse of the World Bank, a significant money-lending agent to Sri Lanka, in relation to English Language Teaching (ELT) in Sri Lanka. The role of international funding agencies in higher education, and especially the World Bank, has been scrutinised by scholars globally (Brock-utne, 2007; Collins, 2011; Mazrui, 2000). In...
Presentation
Full-text available
Even though discourse markers – such as 'well' and 'now' in English – have important functions in speech, they have not figured as an important research area in Sinhala language studies (Fraser 1999; Perera & Strauss 2015). This paper aims to provide a preliminary mapping of the forms and functions of Sinhala discourse markers. The data consist of...
Presentation
[the related journal article is available as well] Reflexivity has become a key feature in ethnographic and sociological studies, especially in relation to interviews. However, the reflexive process is for the most part discussed as pertaining to the researcher rather than the participant (Alvesson, 2003; Bucholtz, 2001; Riach, 2009). As such, it i...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation for Perkumpulan [monthly guest lecture series] by the ELTU, University of Kelaniya
Thesis
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This project is a study of the discourses of militarisation in Sri Lankan academia. Since 2010, Sri Lankan universities have been the site of turbulent events, including a state-initiated military-led undergraduate orientation programme; appointments of allegedly unsuitable individuals to higher administrative positions in universities; infringemen...
Poster
Full-text available
This paper examines the role of English in the construction of securitised undergraduate subjects in Sri Lanka. Much scholarly attention has been paid to the role of language teaching in general, and of English in particular, in the projects of colonisation and imperialism (Makoni & Pennycook, 2007; Phillipson, 1992). The role of English in relatio...
Presentation
We analyze Sinhala me (‘this’), dæn (‘now’) as discourse markers in 27 minutes of spontaneous oral interview (TV interview with political activist, e.g., Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri, Head of History, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka). With the exception of descriptive syntactic and pragmatic accounts (Chandralal 2010; Gair and Paolillo 1997), little di...
Conference Paper
http://www.countmeinconference.org/downloads/background_papers.pdf

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
From #DigitalRevolution to the #NewSilkRoad. Infrastructures and Discursive Imaginaries of Geopolitical Realities
Project
working on children's literacies and language aspects in Sri Lanka.