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Dr Virpi Ylänne

Dr Virpi Ylänne

Senior Lecturer

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 5049
3.34, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision

I have been a member of the Centre for Language and Communication Research for the past 25 years. I have expertise in Discourse Analysis, Interactional Sociolinguistics, and qualitative research methods.  My research interests fall within ageing and identity in talk, text and image (e.g. advertising) and institutional discourse.

My current administrative role is Director of our MA programmes (PGT Director). We have four MA programmes (Applied Linguistics; Forensic Linguistics; Language and Linguistics; Language and Communication Research), which are described on our web pages:

I'm also a member of the ENCAP Research Ethics Committee and the PGR Extenuating Circumstances committee.

I gained my BA Humanities (Linguistics) from Hatfield, PGCE in TES/FL and MA in Applied Linguistics from University of Wales, Bangor, and PhD from University of Wales, Cardiff.

With regard to my research, I was involved in the '˜Language and Tourism as a Global Cultural Industry' strand of the Centre's Leverhulme-funded Language and Global Communication project (2001-2006). During 2004-2007 I co-directed (with Dr Angie Williams) a three year ESRC-funded project on Images of Elders in UK Media: Perceptions and Representations which focused on print media and TV advertising, using Content Analysis and Discourse Analysis of focus group discussions as methods. An edited volume Representing Ageing: Images and Identities (2012, Palgrave Macmillan) followed up some of the themes from the research project.

I have organised workshops and symposia around this theme, too, at the Sociolinguistics Symposium (2008), the VII European Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Bologna, 2011), Cultural Gerontology conference (Galway, 2014) and NordMedia conference (Tampere, 2017). I have also carried out collaborative research on community pharmacy interactions from a Discourse Analytic point of view. My current research project examines discourses of parenting at a later age, focusing on news media and personal narratives. I'm also a member of a research team investigating nurse handover interaction in a hospital ward.

Professional memberships

Member of European Network in Aging Studies (ENAS)

Speaking engagements

  • Invited keynote at Ages2020, Milan, Italy, October 29th-30th 2020.
  • Invited keynote at Age Talks? Communicating Ages in the Communication Age, Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary, May 9th 2019.
  • Invited speaker at COST Action IS1402 on Ageism, October 26th 2018, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Invited keynote at Ageing and Old Age in the Media and Elderly People’s Media Use symposium, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, May 4th 2017.
  • Invited speaker at 5th International Symposium in Communication and Consumption (COMUNICON 2016), ESPM, Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 13th 2016.

Committees and reviewing

Member of the scientific committee of Sociolinguistics Symposium 2020, Hong Kong.

Member of the organising committee and scientific committee of ALAPP (Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice) conference, Cardiff University, September 17th-19th 2018.







  • Ylanne, V. 2015. Representations of ageing in the media. In: Twigg, J. and Martin, W. eds. Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology. Routledge International Handbooks London: Routledge, pp. 369-376.









I typically contribute to one of the Year 2 core modules, Discourse (SE1362), and convene the Year 2 module Language and Gender (SE1403). I also taught a Year 3 module Lifespan Communication (SE1327) for many years. At the MA level, I usually contribute to Qualitative Research Methods (SET012) and/or to Discourse and Social Interaction (SET005). In spring 2020 I will also be teaching Critical Approaches to Discourse (SET037).

Research interests

My research interests are in discourse and social interaction and discursive representations of age(ing) and lifespan identities.

My research has concentrated on media representations of older people and ageing; institutional discourse and discourses of tourist identities.

My recent research project has examined news coverage of older first time parents and personal narratives of parenting at middle age. I am also researching representations of ageing in the media, especially advertising, and aim to criticlly examine (visual) ageism. I am currently preparing an edited volume on Ageing and / in the Media from an international perspective.

I am also involved in a project and a recipient (with colleagues) of an ESRC Impact Initiator Award looking at hospital nurse handover sessions.

Postgraduate supervision

I currently supervise doctoral studies on mitigation and facework in Prime Minister's Question Time (Areej Dawood).

I am particularly interested in receiving PhD proposals from students interested in carrying out research on aspects of age identity and representations of ageing and middle/older age, using qualitative methodologies. I'm also interested in supervising projects on aspects of institutional talk in, for example, health care settings.

Past projects

In the past I have supervised PhD students on topics such as

  • 'Functional semantic analysis of Yoruba death notices in English' (Dr Ayo Banji, 2003)
  • 'Portraying older age in television advertisements: a comparative study between the UK and Taiwan'™ (Dr Chin-Hui Chen, 2011)
  • 'Older workers' talk: Discursive representations of age, work and retirement identities' (Dr Sheila Gewolb, 2016)
  • 'Representations of contemporary feminist protest in Germany and the UK’ (Dr Sophie Payne at Reading University, 2018); co-supervised with Dr Melani Schroeter, AHRC DTP funded
  • 'A nexus analysis of domestic video chat: actions, practices, affordances, and mediational means' (Dr Dorottya Csenge Cserzö, 2019)