Marie-Louise Brunner

PhD dissertation project

Negotiating intercultural communication: Discourse strategies in ELF Skype conversations

In my PhD thesis, I analyze how speakers from different linguacultural backgrounds use English as a Lingua Franca to communicate via Skype. I am particularly interested in two main areas: (1) How do interlocutors negotiate meaning in interaction, i.e. how do they communicate what they mean when it comes to unknown words or untranslatable concepts, and (2) how do they negotiate their own and their interlocutor’s various (personal, regional, national, transnational) identities. Regarding the negotiation of meaning, I analyze realizations of assertive language use and innovation, functions of code-switching, the use of definitions, and functions of non-verbal elements in interaction. For the negotiation of identities, I focus, in particular, on the discussion of culturally specific items, othering, and the negotiation of culturally problematic topics.

My thesis not only contributes to the field of English as a Lingua Franca through the use of new, multimodal data, it also provides an overview of valuable and concrete strategies for using English as a Lingua Franca in international contexts.

Adjunct Lecturer in English Linguistics

Saarland University

Head of the intercultural communication program

Trier University of Applied Sciences

Courses offered in the winter semester 2017/18

  • Proseminar Variation in English (Saarland University)
  • Intercultural Communication (Trier University of Applied Sciences; together with Stefan Diemer)

Past courses

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Winter semester 13/14
  • Summer semester 14
  • Winter semester 14/15
  • Summer semester 15
  • Winter semester 15/16
  • Summer semester 16


Advanced seminars

  • PS Discourse Analysis (Summer semester 14)
  • PS Pragmatics: Language in context (Winter semester 14/15)
  • PS Discourse Analysis (Summer semester 15)
  • PS English as a World Language (Winter semester 15/16)
  • PS Variation in English (Summer semester 16)
  • PS Discourse Analysis (Winter semester 16/17)
  • Seminar Focus on Language: Communicating in a Globalized World (Trier University of Applied Sciences) (Winter semester 16/17)
  • PS English as a World Language (Summer semester 17)
  • Seminar Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Management (Trier University of Applied Sciences) (with Stefan Diemer) (Summer semester 17)



Lecture Series New Trends in International Communication – Doing Business in a Digital World (with Stefan Diemer) (Summer semester 17)

Exam theses supervised

  • De Bourge, Michelle. 2016. "It's my turn to talk!" - Competitive and non-competitive overlap in Project Runway. Bachelor thesis, Saarland University.
  • Scheidhauer, Friderikke. 2016. Identity expression in British musicians’ lyrics. Bachelor thesis, Saarland University.

Marie-Louise Brunner

Doctoral researcher

Lecturer, English Linguistics and Intercultural Communication

Coordination of Continuing Education Program, Trier University of Applied Sciences

Tel.:06782 / 17 1103


Office:C 5.3, 4.07 (only on seminar days)


Schedule an appointment here.