Persuasive communication

Centre for Language Studies | Faculty of Arts | Radboud University Nijmegen

Wyke Stommel

Assistant professor


From 1996-2001, Wyke studied Dutch Language and Literature at Utrecht University, with a specialisation in Sociolinguistics and Linguistics. She worked in the field of language teaching and development (Dutch as a second language, teacher education program, language programs for young children) until she returned to academia in 2005, with a Marie Curie Fellowship for a PhD-project in Frankfurt / Main. She wrote a dissertation on the discourse of an online support group on eating disorders, focusing on how new members entered the forum. After her graduation in 2009, she worked as a postdoc-researcher at VU University, studying e-mail and chat counseling for people with moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Besides her research, she lectured on Language, Media and Communication, Conversation Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Genre Analysis and Journalism. Since August 2012, Wyke is an Assistant Professor in Dutch Language and Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, working for the BA and MA-programs of Business Communication and Dutch Language and Culture.


Wyke’s main line of research is the analysis of the ways in which participants interact in institutional contexts, such as the police, medical and counseling settings. Her analyses, grounded in conversation analysis, focus on actions (e.g., requesting or giving advice, formulating, displaying empathy), on how these actions are designed and developed, and how institutional norms, identities and relationships are displayed, oriented to and contructed through them. One strand of her research deals with the specific question how online/ digital institutional interaction is organized in comparison to spoken alternatives. She has examined chat and e-mail counseling, telephone counseling, police interviews with adults and with children, medical consultations and online forum interaction. Wyke has co-initiated the Microanalysis Of Online Data (MOOD) network and is currently the chair of the Anéla Working Group Interaction Analysis (AWIA).


In 2016 Wyke received a Marinel Gerritsen grant together with Tessa van Charldorp (UU) for a study of ethnicity, culture and nationality in Dutch police interrogations.

In 2014, Wyke was funded by the Netherlands Foundation for Mental Health (Fonds Psychische Gezondheid) for a study of chat counseling, specifically focusing on metacommunication as a strategy to restore problematic interaction. Together with postdoc Margot Jager she conducted a conversation analysis of problematic chat sessions from the Dutch Alcohol and Drugs Info chat service and Korrelatie – a general chat counseling service.

Since 2013, Wyke supervises phd-student Guusje Jol on her project “Interviewing child-witnesses: managing multiple institutional tasks in language use“.

In 2012, Wyke was awarded an NWO-grant for a project in cooperation with Trimbos Institute (program “Comprehensible language use”) Begrijpelijke taal → in which she compared mutual understanding in chat compared to telephone counseling (co-financed by Centre for Language Studies and help service Sensoor). This project encompassed a collaboration with a user group of counseling practitioners from Trimbos, Sensoor and other chat/phone counseling services.


Conversation analysis, (institutional) interaction, health communication, (online) counseling

For publications and other information: See Wyke’s profile page