Elizabeth Thomson is a researcher, teacher, manager and trainer with experience in the tertiary, public service and private sectors across Australia, New Zealand and Japan. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK. Currently, she has a number of roles. She is a Partner in the business, Coaching to Clarity, a workplace and personal coaching business that assists people to authentically connect with their feelings and needs in order to clearly communicate with themselves, their friends, family and work colleagues. She is writing an online course on the Language of Compassion.
Concurrently, Elizabeth is also an Adjunct Professor at University of Wollongong and Charles Sturt University. She is currently supervising two PhD candidates working on Wiradjuri language descriptions and pedagogies for speaking within the linguistic tradition of Systemic Functional Linguistics.
Recently at Charles Sturt University (CSU), Elizabeth managed a team of 30 Educational Designers and Media Technologists responsible for rolling out university wide e-learning technologies, learning and teaching policies and course design frameworks across 8 campuses for predominantly on-line and distance education learning.
Prior to CSU, Elizabeth managed a four-year project of curriculum reform at the Defence Force School of Languages. This entailed an organisational restructure of teaching professional and support staff and a redesign and redevelopment of the suite of offerings in a configuration that would be within the framework of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF). The redesign required primary research on the genres used in the defence workplace as part of the needs analysis process.
Her research interests fall into two categories: linguistic description and applied linguistics. The linguistic descriptive work arises from her interest generally in the science of language, and specifically, in Japanese. Using Systemic Functional Linguistics, she has investigated the grammar of Japanese above the clause, that is, how the language constructs coherent text. Her PhD was a description of the textual meta-function in Japanese which works to create linguistic coherence. This work has led to extensive study and publications into the genres of Japanese, looking at genres within news, education, literature and genres of the workplace. In addition to text construction in Japanese, she has also co-published on appraisal resources in Japanese, English and Vietnamese. Most recently she has turned her descriptive interest towards the language of compassion, looking at the features of empathy in English.
Following on from her descriptive linguistic research, she has applied this knowledge to produce a research record in language education and training. For example, in higher education, she has published on Japanese language curricula and academic writing in English. In addition, in the VET and corporate sectors, she has researched and published on curricula and professional development in Languages Other than English (LOTE).
She has been commissioned to do research on the relationship between language, diversity and social inclusion in the Australian Department of Defence, resulting in a report to government, Battling with Words.
She has extended her research interests from language course design to course design in higher education in general, taking much of her learned experience in language education and applying it more broadly in multiple disciplines.
In addition to her reputation as a teacher, Elizabeth is well known as a scholar of descriptive linguistics with a record of HDR students and examinations.
When not engaging in professional activities, Elizabeth is learning to paint, enjoys sewing, knitting, spinning and crocheting. She is also a keen sea kayaker and hiker.