This year, MICOLLAC is bringing you a series of pre-conference workshops, which will be conducted online, two months running up to the conference in August.

The pre-conference workshops consist of five two-hour sessions offered in June and July 2023 ahead of the conference. Join colleagues and experts for an opportunity to discuss important and timely topics in-depth.


These Pre-conference workshops are designed to immerse you in specific topics through exploration of information, strategies, and techniques to help you in your journey as a new researcher. Registration for the series of workshops allows you to attend all the workshops offered.  The workshops are conducted in an interactive style to ensure you would walk away with new insights, ideas, and approaches in research.

The workshops are prepared specially for postgraduate students or very early researchers attending MICOLLAC 2023; however, all MICOLLAC 2023 participants are welcome to attend.

A nominal fee is charged for attending this series of pre-conference workshops, to be paid as an add-on to the conference fee. Please register by May 30, 2023, to ensure that you do not miss any of the workshops.

*Note that the pre-conference workshop fee paid is for the entire series of workshops.

All participants will receive a certificate stating their participation in the workshops.


Session 1: Discourse Analysis with SFL Framework (Transitivity and Attitude Analysis)
Assoc Prof. Dr Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor
Date and Time: 11 July 2023 @ 1400HRS


Systemic Functional Linguistics is a theory of language focusing on language functions and germinated from the foundation that language is an instrument of social interaction which has evolved to meet our communicative needs in society (M.A.K Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004) and how people use language with each other in accomplishing social life. Meanwhile, Critical Discourse Analysis is an approach to discourse analysis that concentrates on social inequality and how texts are structured to explore power and ideologies (Fairclough, 1995). Fairclough uses the notion of ‘orders of discourse’, where combinations of discourse, genres, styles and so forth are related systematically to the social structure. This builds on Foucault’s notion of discourse formation, or “a system of rules which make it possible for certain statements but not others to occur at particular times, places and institutional locations” (Fairclough, 1992, p. 40). Texts are analysed with a view to their social effects since language plays a crucial role in enacting ideologies and (re-)creating relations between the powerful and the powerless.   The appraisal system (Martin & White,2005) in systemic functional linguistics is used to highlight the ways speakers evaluate people, actions and things and position their audience. The system is also used to negotiate, convey and interpret interpersonal relationships. For example, lexical and grammatical patterns influence the audience’s reaction to the meaning of a text. Appraisal analysis is a theoretical approach to analysing evaluation (of people, actions, things) and the management and positioning of ‘voices’ (both actual voices, such as in the use of projection and potential voices through the use of modality and concession to acknowledging alternative positions) in texts. Eggins and Slade (1997) stated that a ‘…one of the least understood and most under-researched areas in linguistics is the domain concerned with interpersonal assessment’. (p. 124).

This workshop introduces how the Critical Discourse Analysis approach can be utilised using Transitivitiy analysis and Appraisal Analysis to discover the attitudinal stance of social actors. In the case of this research, questions revolve around how different social actors are represented in news genres and government policy documents and whether there are patterns of distribution of meaning that construe actors as consistently different in terms of their social power.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Noor Fazelah Mohd Noor started her teaching career as a secondary school teacher and took unpaid leave to work as a childcare assistant teacher in the Ohio State University childcare centre. In 1998, she taught English in Sign Language at a Malaysian polytechnic specifically for Hotel and Catering Students. She pursued career advancement at Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia as the University Campus Interactive (UCITV) Producer and lecturer with an interest in radio broadcasting part-time as a university DJ. Her current research revolves around Systemic Functional Linguistics, especially in Media Discourse, Political Discourse and Literary studies focusing on the attitudinal stance of the social actors.

Session 2: Tips to Enjoy Your Research Journey
Dr. Sharon Sharmini Victor Danarajan

Date and Time: 17 July 2023 @ 1000HRS


It is easy to feel guilty and blame ourselves for something that goes wrong in our research, but we often find it difficult to have fun or joy. It is undeniable that this research journey can be hard and lonely. Past studies have also indicated that there are challenges and hiccups in the research process, but that should not stop us from savouring life and enjoying the journey. Thus, this workshop aims to highlight the importance of having a positive state of mind and focusing on your strengths as a mechanism to help you achieve your goals. It is also to remind you of the passion that drove you to first start this research journey and how to achieve a balanced life.

Sharon Sharmini is a Senior Lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her PhD is from the University of Otago in New Zealand and explores how examiners assess a thesis with publications. She also completed her post-doc at Pennsylvania State University, where she focused on the Indian diaspora in America and Malaysia. Her research interests lie in doctoral assessment, sociolinguistics, and feedback. Her publication with Clinton Golding, ‘What examiners do: what thesis students should know’, in Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education has been viewed over 80,000 times.

Session 3: Demystifying the PhD
Dr. Diana Abu Ujum and Dr Hasyimah Mohd Amin

Date and Time: 21 July 2023 @ 1200HRS

Do you feel like quitting your PhD? This session will attempt to share a balanced perspective on the pros and cons of quitting a PhD. Participants will be able to discuss their personal experiences and share their perspectives with others. By the end of the session, participants will have a better understanding of the decision-making process by considering the pros and cons of quitting a PhD and making an informed choice. Join us for a thoughtful and reflective exploration of the pros and cons of quitting a PhD!

Diana Abu Ujum, Ph.D, obtained her Doctoral Degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia.She is currently a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her most recent journal and book chapter publications delve into local popular romance fiction and social networking. Her research interests encompass postfeminist fiction, popular fiction, social networks and digital humanities.

Hasyimah Mohd Amin, Ph.D, received her Doctoral Degree from the University of Sydney, Australia in 2020. She is currently teaching at the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her research interest focuses on African American women’s contemporary fiction.

Session 4: Conversation Analytic Transcription with CLAN
Ms. Lai Xuehua

Date and Time: 24 July 2023 @ 1430HRS


CA(Conversational Analysis)-style transcription aims to capture nuanced speaker interactions as well as unique paralinguistic elements.It has been extensively used for both verbal and non-verbal communications. Since a few years ago,  a number of transcription softwares have been developed. They provide researchers with easy access to data and seamless transition between transcriptions and data. This workshop will give a hands-on instruction on one of them, the CA version of the CLAN (Computerized Language Analysis) software, which is under constant development by the CHILDES and Talkbank project. CLAN is an annotation and statistical analysis tool that has a wide user base in the fields of first language acquisition and CA.

Lai Xue Hua is currently PhD candidate in Conversation Analysis at UPM. In the meantime, she is also senior lecturer in English Language at Guangdong Vocational School of Electronic Technology. Her research interests are in English Discourse Analysis and English Language Teaching.

Session 5: Mind the Gap: Understanding the Problem Statement
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Noritah Omar

Date and Time: 27 July 2023 @ 1400HRS


“A problem well stated is a problem half solved” Charles Kettering

A badly written problem statement (statement of the problem) in research can lead to difficulty in developing and defining the focus of the research.  The problem with the problem statement is that its significance is usually underestimated, especially by novice researchers. This can be observed in the claim by many novice researchers, that it is sufficient to simply state that “there is a gap” to signify the problem statement.  This workshop will discuss the confusion regarding the problem statement, define and explain its significance, and show how the gap in the research can be addressed persuasively in relation to its purpose. Participants will have the opportunity to evaluate their own problem statements, learn to improve them through given examples, and learn how to write a persuasive problem statement.

Noritah Omar received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.  She is currently an Associate Professor with the English Department of the Faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her areas of specialisation are in literature and English studies, critical theory and methodology, narrative inquiry, and gender studies.  She has also conducted research and published articles and book chapters on gender and Islam, Malaysian and Singapore Literature, Islam and modern Malay literature, Islam and contemporary popular culture, issues in higher education, methodology in literary research, and ethics in research. 

Session 6: Transcribing with SayMore and ELAN
Ms. Seng Hui Zanne

Date and Time: 28 July 2023 @ 1000HRS

One of the challenges of conducting qualitative research is managing multiple files of raw data and transcribing the data from audio or video recordings into text for analysis. Transcription is a tedious and time-consuming task that can take between three and ten hours to transcribe a one-hour recording. Therefore, choosing an appropriate transcription support tool is important to save time and budget. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to two annotation tools – SayMore and ELAN – that can support manual transcription. SayMore is a free tool that assists in language documentation projects. Some features in SayMore allow users to manage metadata and the workflow of a project by keeping track of information about the project, people and recordings. Transcription and translation can be done easily and directly in SayMore with the automatically segmented audio. ELAN is a free software for annotating audio and video recordings. With ELAN, users can create text annotations on audio or video recordings. The annotations can be a transcription, a translation, a word, a sentence or any description of the recordings. The annotations can be created in multiple layers and time-aligned. The workshop will focus on transcription with SayMore and ELAN by showing the process step by step. The workshop will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the two tools.

Seng Hui Zanne is a lecturer at the Academy of Language Studies in Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Pulau Pinang. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in French Language and a Master’s degree in Discourse Studies. Her research interests are in discourse studies, intercultural communication and foreign languages.

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