Associate Professor Caroline Jones

Caroline JonesPosition

Director of Impact and Engagement at the MARCS Institute


Associate Professor Jones is a researcher within the Speech & Language Program in MARCS, and the current Director of Impact & Engagement. At University level she is a Theme Champion for Education & Work, one of the four University Research Themes.

Caroline received her PhD in Linguistics in 2003 from University of Massachusetts. Her previous academic positions were teaching-research roles in Education at University of New South Wales (Lecturer, 2005-07) and University of Wollongong (Senior Lecturer, 2007-13).

Research Interests

Caroline's research centres on three main questions:

  1. How can we increase the success and sustainability of language revitalization initiatives, for a range of teachers, learners, and contexts?
  2. How can we improve early language assessment and intervention (0-3 years), especially for multilingual children, in clinical and inclusive early childhood contexts?
  3. What strategies support communication between elderly people, including people with dementia, and their families, carers, and care staff?

All her current projects are funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (on which Caroline is a CI), with additional collaborative funding from AIATSIS, Prime Minister & Cabinet and in-kind support from industry partners. This funding supports Masters and PhD student projects as well as project-based research staff.

Current projects in language revitalization include:

  • publication of the Ngarinyman Dictionary (a 25 year collaboration with community members and linguists including Caroline, to be published by Aboriginal Studies Press in 2019, with funding from AIATSIS)
  • trialling and evaluation of a free dictionary webpage creation tool (developed with RA work by WSU PhD student Jesse Tran) - contact Caroline if you would like to try it out (it makes nicely formatted webpages out of a structured dictionary text file)
  • evaluation of training strategies and resource development (including ChunkBank, a database of everyday communicative expressions) by WSU PhD student and teacher Mark Richards in collaboration with Jilkminggan NT community members led by Josie Lardy
  • evaluation of strategies to use gestures to teach preschoolers to understand and speak Gathang language by WSU Aboriginal MPhil student and teacher Anjilkurri Rhonda Radley in collaboration with Port Macquarie preschools and community, Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Cooperative (NSW)
  • development and user evaluation of a corpus visualization tool by WSU computer science PhD student Jesse Tran, to make it easier to 'see' what is in a language corpus, how much there is recorded by particular community members, in particular languages, speech styles etc.

Current projects in early language assessment and intervention:

  • development and evaluation of inclusive early intervention, including training for early childhood professionals, in supporting children's language outcomes
  • evaluation by parents and professionals of the effectiveness and appropriateness of a practical short form of the OZI (Australian English version of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Inventories) for multilingual assessment of children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in South West Sydney, within the MECSH nurse home visiting program, by WSU MPhil student and speech pathologist Kate Jones
  • development of ERLI, a parent checklist of children's first words and gestures, developed with and for Aboriginal families in remote northern Australia, in partnership with Sunrise Health Service NT and The Smith Family
  • trial of ERLI with PLUM and HATS checklists as a low-tech way for health workers to help identify children 0-3 who need hearing assessment or speech therapy, in collaboration with Australian Hearing, National Acoustic Laboratories, and Wurliwurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service NT
  • trial of ERLI within standard clinical intake practices for urban Aboriginal children in Sydney, in collaboration with Sydney Children's Hospital Network (Randwick)

Current projects in supporting communication with elderly people:

  • investigation by WSU PhD student Maddie Radnan of the extent and role of language interaction in promoting engagement for elderly aged care residents and day centre clients using Time Travelling with Technology, a form of reminiscence therapy supported by Google Street View

Qualifications and Recognition

  • Australian Research Council Future Fellowship 2013-2017
  • PhD Linguistics - University of Massachusetts 2003
  • B.A. University of Sydney 1995

Research & Publications

For a full listing of my publications, please see my publications page (opens in a new window)

Contact Details

Phone +61 2 9772 6303
Location Western Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)