Professor Keith Johnson

Emeritus Professor

Research Interests

Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and Language Education. Keith was one of the first three members of the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Reading. He later moved into Reading's Department of Linguistic Science, then went as Senior Lecturer to the University of Essex (Department of Language and Linguistics), and to Lancaster in 1994.

Keith's main interest is language teaching, and he has published various books of teaching materials, including Now for English (for young learners) and Communicate in Writing (academic writing materials). He has also written and co-edited a number of background books such as The Communicative Approach to Language Teaching (edited with C.J. Brumfit), Communication in the Classroom (edited with K. Morrow), and Communicative Syllabus Design and Methodology. His most recent publications are Language Teaching and Skill Learning (Blackwell, 1998), Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Linguistics: A handbook for language teaching (Blackwell, edited with H. Johnson, 1999), Designing Language Teaching Tasks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Expertise in Second Language Learning and Teaching (Palgrave Macmillan, edited, 2005), and An Introduction to Foreign Language Learning and Teaching: Second Edition (Longman/Pearson Education, 2008). He was founding editor of the journal Language Teaching Research (Sage Publications).

Keith has traveled widely as a consultant, and has been involved in various language teaching projects, including the Bangalore Procedural Syllabus project. He has also held Visiting Professorships at the University of Vienna and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. A main current interest is in the study of language teaching expertise - areas of expertise shown by language teachers and others working in the language teaching profession (task designers, materials writers, textbook evaluators etc.). He has been involved in a number of externally funded research projects in this area: looking at expertise in task design (as part of a team supported by the ESRC, then individually supported by The Leverhulme Trust); looking at the practices of expert teachers of non-language skills (e.g. teachers of music, sports) and considering their implications for the language teacher (supported by the AHRC). Keith's work in expertise has been taken forward by the research group known as LATEX, for LAnguage Teaching EXpertise research group. Click on LATEX for further information.

Since becoming Emeritus, Keith has maintained his interest in language teaching expertise, but is also working within another applied linguistic area - looking at Shakespeare's language. More details of his work here, and of his personal interests, can be found on Keith's home page:

Exploring the repair procedures used in non-linguistic skill teaching and assessing their relevance for language teaching: the 'START' project.
Johnson, K., Jackson, S. 1/05/2007 In: Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching. 3, 1, p. 33-50. 18 p.
Journal article

Comparing language teaching and other-skill teaching: Has the language teacher anything to learn?
Johnson, K., Jackson, S. 1/12/2006 In: System. 34, 4, p. 532-546. 15 p.
Journal article

Revisiting Wilkins' 'Notional syllabuses'.
Johnson, K. 11/2006 In: International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 16, 3, p. 414-418. 5 p.
Journal article

Water balance and cation levels in Drosophila: can early physiological decline predict aging and longevity?
Johnson, T.K., McKechnie, S.W., Clancy, D.J. 02/2006 In: Journals of Gerontology, Series A. 61, 2, p. 146-152. 7 p.
Journal article

Expertise in second language learning and teaching.
Johnson, K. 2005 Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.

The 'general' study of expertise.
Johnson, K. 2005 In: Expertise in Second Language Learning and Teaching. Palgrave Macmillan 11 p. ISBN: 1-4039-2096-6.

Designing Language Teaching Tasks.
Johnson, K. 2003 Palgrave Macmillan. 196 p. ISBN: 0333984862.

Is it a wood or are they trees? (Pit Corder memorial lecture, delivered at BAAL annual meeting, 2001).
Johnson, K. 2002 In: Unity and diversity in language use. British Association for Applied Linguistics p. 138-151. 14 p.

An introduction to foreign language learning and teaching.
Johnson, K. 2001 Harlow : Longman Pearson. 336 p. ISBN: 0582290864.

Designing language teaching tasks : the first 6.1 minutes.
Johnson, K. 2001 Lancaster : Lancaster University, 45 p.
Working paper

What task designers do.
Johnson, K. 07/2000 In: Language Teaching Research. 4, 3, p. 301-321. 21 p.
Journal article

Language teaching task design guide : draft version : volume 1.
Samuda, V., Johnson, K., Ridgway, J. 2000 Lancaster : Lancaster University, 96 p.
Working paper