Renowned forensic linguists conduct ISSFLA Summer School in UST

The 17th edition of the International Summer School for Forensic Linguistic Analysis (ISSFLA) was held on July 7, 8, and 10, 2023, following the IAFLL Biennial Conference in UST. The Summer School, conducted at the 11th floor of the Bl. Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Building, was attended by 17 select participants coming from the different regions in the country. 

For this edition, three advanced courses were offered to those who already have a solid background in  forensic linguistics. These were: (1) Authorship Analysis taught by Prof. Tim Grant, the Director of the  Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL) at Aston University, Birmingham, UK, (2) Interpreted Interviewing taught by Prof. Georgina Heydon of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in Melbourne, Australia and (3) Identifying Deceptive Texts taught by Dr. Isabel Picornell of QED Limited, UK. All three are past presidents of the International Association for Forensic and Legal Linguistics (IAFLL).

            As distinguished forensic linguists, Grant, Heydon, and Picornell have served numerous times as expert  witnesses in court cases in the UK and Australia and have helped solve criminal cases by providing evidence in court through detailed linguistic description and methodological rigor on how suspects, witnesses, and victims use language.

Since the goal of forensic linguistics is to avoid the miscarriage of justice and to help improve its delivery in any legal setting, Grant, Heydon, and Picornell trained participants to: analyze the features of texts, letters, email messages; identify features of fraudulent emails and police transcripts that highlight deception; profile the author of such texts; and conduct investigative interviews that adhere to the PEACE (Preparation and Planning, Engage and Explain, Account, Closure, and Evaluate) model used by the police in interviewing suspects and witnesses.

This is the second time that UST has hosted the summer school. The first one was held in 2016 at the UST Graduate School, during its 12th edition. The International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis  (ISSFLA) is managed by Prof. Malcolm Coulthard and the training sessions are usually held in Europe.

ISSFLA 17 was made possible through the efforts of Dr. Marilu Rañosa-Madrunio, the course  coordinator, and Dr. Isabel Picornell, the course director. The goal of the ISSFLA training is to advance the field of FL in the country with the participants conducting FL research in their own respective regions.

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