Susan M. Barone joined the Vanderbilt University English Language Center in 1991. As a sociolinguist, Susan explores the intersection of applied linguistics and narrative medicine, investigating the connection between clinician elicitations and patient narratives. She is currently examining intercultural communication in health care through the Vanderbilt University-University of Melbourne partnership with colleagues in the Medical Education Unit at Melbourne.
As director of the VU English Language Center, Susan has been instrumental in developing discipline-specific language programs in the Vanderbilt University schools of education, engineering, law, nursing, medicine, and management. Professional interests include needs analysis, program design, and medical discourse analysis. She serves as the English for Academic Purposes executive board representative for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Susan has been invited to present at international conferences and her publications include articles, book chapters, and the textbook, American Legal English 2nd Edition (University of Michigan Press).
Encouraged by the Vanderbilt University-University of Melbourne partnership, Susan Barone (Vanderbilt) and Robyn Woodward-Kron (Melbourne) explore the extent to which culture-specific interpretations of intercultural phenomena might be linguistically marked and generalizable across cultures. The purpose of this study is to (1) investigate clinicians' linguistic and intercultural communicative competence in two ethnically and culturally diverse settings, (2) identify linguistic markers and strategies for constructing professional identities (Dyer & Keller-Cohen, 2000), and to 3) create an online resource for international clinicians, which includes interactional language found in naturally occurring medical interactions. The resource may be used independently or in conjunction with an instructor-led course.
Language Matters working group
During her year as Scholar-in-Residence, Susan will introduce the project to the VU community in the fall semester and will present a project update toward the end of spring 2013. She will be promoting an ideas exchange focused on professional discourses with individuals participating in the Language Matters working group. This group is for all individuals who are interested in discussing how language is situated in various professional contexts for teaching and research purposes.