Find a Supervisor
I would be happy to supervise projects in experimental psycholinguistics, experimental cognitive linguistics, bilingual cognition, linguistic and cultural relativity, first, second and additional language learning. For more information see my research interests section.
My current PhD students are working on the following topics:
Construction of Islam in the BBC sitcom Citizen Khan
Metrosexuality in Malaysia
Discourses of infertility in blogs, news and clinic websites
Representation of dialect in fiction
Children's books containing same-sex parent families
Language around schizophrenia in the British press
Previous PhDs I have supervised include:
A corpus-based examination of the concept of political correctness in British broadsheet newspapers
The language of marriage rituals in Botswana
Combining corpus approaches and CDA to examine discourses of terrorism in the British and Chinese popular press
Combining corpus approaches and CDA to examine discourses of homophobia in a right-wing political organisation
A corpus study to compare lexical bundle use of Chinese learners of English with native speakers of English
A corpus study of keywords to examine gender identity in British and Malaysian children's writing
The construction of gender identity in Iranian bloggers
A corpus-based comparison of two academic books about Wahhabi Islam
I would be happy to receive applications in any of these areas: first language acquisition (especially formal and functional aspects of syntax), sentence processing, language and Theory of Mind development, cognitive/ usage-based linguistics & construction grammar.
I welcome PhD proposals that are related to my research interests. At present, I am in particular interested in supervising projects on the following topics: 1) Comparison of multiple corpora using statistical techniques and visualisation 2) Phraseology (e.g. collocations) in spoken and written learner corpora 3) Corpus-based sociolinguistics and development of new statistical methods 4) Investigation of different linguistic features in the new Trinity Lancaster Corpus of spoken L2 English
I am especially interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of language testing (in particular, testing reading, testing listening, and testing for academic purposes), and second language reading and listening research. Topics covered by my current and graduated PhD students include: testing listening (e.g., listening-to-write and listening-to-speak tasks, academic listening needs), testing reading (e.g., reading item difficulty and processing, reading test specifications, reading-to-write tasks, reading test washback), language assessment literacy training (e.g., of item writers, teacher trainers), test development (e.g., item writer guidelines, item writing), testing Language-in-Use, test validation (e.g. of university admissions tests).
Pragmatics (particularly involving sociopragmatics, politeness theory, speech act theory, corpus-based pragmatics); History of English (specifically Early Modern English) (particularly involving historical pragmatics, historical sociolinguistics, historical corpus linguistics); Stylistics (particularly involving the stylistics of drama, corpus stylistics); the language of Shakespeare.
I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas and their combinations: vocabulary learning in L1 and L2; L2 spoken production; corpus linguistics; English for academic purposes; English for specific purposes; bilingual education and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL); research using the Trinity Lancaster Corpus of spoken L2 English; using corpora in language learning and teaching.
I am happy to supervise PhD students undertaking projects that use corpus approaches to investigate forensic linguistic questions, particularly in the area of pragmatics, but also more generally in the area of discourse analysis. I especially welcome projects that focus on aggression, deception, and/or manipulation.
I am willing to consider PhD applications in areas coherent with my research interests. I am especially eager to supervise students in the following two areas:
- The development of new corpus-based methods, or the extension of existing methodologies;
- The application of these methods in different areas of the humanities and social sciences.
I am also interested to supervise projects that extend established corpus methods to "new" languages - non-European languages and minority languages in particular - especially with regard to topics in descriptive or theoretical grammar.
Please refer to the indicative list of topics studied by my current and previous PhD supervisees available elsewhere in my profile.
I would be happy to receive applications in any of these areas: cognitive-typological linguistic theory (especially construction grammar and the usage-based model), language change and the history of English, dialect grammar, as well as the arsenal of research methods used in all these areas of linguistics.
I am interested in supervising students who wish to carry out research in the following areas: phonetics, sociophonetics, bilingualism, language contact, L2 speech, dialect variation, phonetic fieldwork, speech perception, South Asian languages and Englishes. Please note that I am happy to receive applications in second language acquisition, but I will only consider projects in this area that have a well-defined phonetic component and address interesting theoretical questions (e.g. testing models of bilingual or L2 speech learning, such as L2LP, SLM, PAM-L2).
I am interested in receiving PhD students in the following areas: psychological aspects of second language (L2) acquisition including L2 speech production and comprehension, cognitive processes of L2 learning, the role of cognitive and affective variables in L2 learning, language learning motivation, self-regulation, learner autonomy, special educational needs in language learning and teaching.
I am interested in supervising PhD theses in the area of second language acquisition. In particular, I would be interested in (psycholinguistic) projects about tasks, priming, learner-learner interaction, and computer mediated communication (CMC) that make use of our lab (eye tracking, E-Prime, InputLog a.s.o.). In addition to English, I may work on the source/target languages German, Dutch, French, Italian.
The role of written texts in health care contexts (including studies of patients' information searching and learning strategies via for example websites)
Ethnographic studies of literacy practices in various settings (e.g. institutions, workplaces, communities, etc.)
Linguistic landscape research: the role of writing and visual in the cultural production of space
Literacy teaching and learning in schools
Adult literacy education in the so-called developing countries
I am interested in supervising research studies on all aspects of language testing. My particular areas of research focus are testing language for specific purposes, the scope and definition of language constructs in particular contexts, speaking assessment, language assessment literacy, test users’ perspectives, and test impact.
I am excited by the prospect of working with international students and others in all areas pertaining to digital language learning, digital literacies, and computer-mediated communication.This may include ethnographic studies of highly diverse student populations in digitally mediated environments, case studies of digital/multimodal pedagogies in English as an additional language (EAL) or foreign language (EFL) classrooms, or studies of digitally-mediated task-based learning. Alternatively, prospective postgraduate students may be interested in exploring language learners' out-of-school digital literacies practices, particularly their dis/connections to formal educational contexts. These studies might be conducted in richly resourced contexts (ex. where bandwidth and/or electricity are not issues, and where a range of digital devices are available), or they might be conducted in contexts where necessity is driving innovations in the use of mobile technologies. The same topics could be explored from the perspective of teacher education and development. Equally, I invite proposals from students with interests in multimodality, particularly those working within a social semiotic frame. Again, these proposals may address the needs of language learners,and might connect to any of the following: the the reweighting of meaning across semiotic systems and the increasing need for EAL/ESL/EFL pedagogies to address students' visual literacies; the potential of multimodal practices and/or tasks in language development; and curricular challenges and demands related to such pedagogies. A third area of possible study is research in highly diverse classrooms, and explorations of pedagogies which draw on students' multilingual resources to further their academic success. Such research might attempt to deepen our understanding of the ways in which students' multilingualism could contribute to perspective-taking, abstract reasoning, and/or creativity. Research in this area might also be designed to help us to understand how multilingual learners come to understand themselves as resourced and/or disadvantaged by the relationship between their home language(s), English and (potentially) their additional languages. Finally, I will always welcome proposals froms students who wish to research content-based language teaching in any of its multiple forms (ex. CBLT, CLIL). This may include work with immigrant and/or refugee populations in English dominant countries; studies in EFL contexts where core subjects in primary and/or secondary school are taught in English; research in contexts where English is an official language but where significant numbers speak other home languages; investigations of EAP pedagogies in post-secondary and/or professional contexts; or explorations of content-based designs outside mainstream educational contexts. Research in this area might focus on a specfic group of learners, a disciplinary context, teacher training and development, or policies and practices. Again, I am particularly interested in those adopting a social semiotic/SFL frame as well as those whose specific research questions might address issues of register, or who wish to delve into grammatics.
My research looks at the following six questions, so I am interested in supervising projects on the following:
1. What role do individual differences (e.g., working memory, intelligence, etc.) play in implicit and explicit learning?
2. How does explicit knowledge affect implicit learning?
3. What is the role of frequency in language acquisition?
4. What is the nature of the (implicit) learning mechanism?
5. How do we measure implicit and explicit knowledge?
6. How are implicit and explicit knowledge represented in the mind and, ultimately, the brain?
My research is concerned with the interaction between structured social relations, people’s goals and interests, and the part played by discursive patterns in sustaining or challenging these. I welcome applications that propose to explore such relationships, including those using corpus-assisted approaches. Currently, I am the co-investigator on a project that is researching the discursive representation of animals (see http://animaldiscourse.wordpress.com/), and supervising two PhD students working on related topics, and would be interested in further proposals in this area. My interest in how people talk and write about non-human animals arises from a more general concern with the links between language use and social relationships and processes. I am also collaborating with a political scientist on research into parliamentary language, and would welcome PhD proposals in related areas.
I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:
Metaphor in discourse: study of metaphor in literature, politics, science and health communication; corpus-based approaches to the study of metaphor.
Cognitive stylistics: integration of linguistic analysis with theories of cognition (e.g. Schema theory, Blending theory) in order to study literary texts; the linguistic construction of fictional text worlds; the linguistic construction of minds in fictional and non-fictional narratives.
Corpus stylistics: application of corpus methods to the study of literary texts.
Medical Humanities/Health communication: language use in communication about health and illness, including particularly metaphors and narratives.
I am now retired so am unable to take on any more PhD students, However I am still available for external examining.
Topics I most recently supervised include:
- gender and swearing in Kuwaiti Arabic
- changing gender representation in EFL textbooks in Hong Kong
- children's picturebooks featuring two-Mum and two-Dad families
- gender and language use in the Italian parliament
- the construction of middle-aged women in two Hong Kong TV series
Pragmatics (i.e. historical pragmatics, speech act theory, politeness theory, corpus-based pragmatics, presupposition-entailment-implicature studies). Cognitive linguistics (including cognitive grammar, construction grammar, radical construction grammar, chunking theory, dialogic syntax) and functional approaches to grammar. Intersubjectivity (to be intended as the codified interplay between theory of mind and language). Linguistic cognitive control (to be intended as the codified interplay between cognitive control and language). - Chinese/Sinitic linguistics (including any aspect of Mandarin grammar, in particular aspectual and modal systems, language change and reanalysis, language teaching and intercultural pragmatic approaches to Mandarin and other Sinitic languages). - Language typology (addressed either on a synchronic or a diachronic level).
I am interested in supervising doctoral students working in literacy studies, including workplace literacies, academic literacies, audit cultures and accountability, digital literacy practices, literacy practices in religious communities, and adult literacy; linguistic ethnography; communities of practice and situated learning; institutional ethnography; and discourse analysis.
I am particularly interested in supervising students in the areas of online political resistance, critical discourse analysis and language policy, also more broadly in the areas related to my other research interests (see 'Research Interests' on my staff profile). I am currently supervising or co-supervising students working on: parliamentary debates in Kenya, Arabic media constructions of Iraq; the cultural impact of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the English and German-speaking world; UK Uncut and Twitter; Latin-American identity in the UN mission in Haiti; language policy among proofreaders in Slovenia; public discourse on the financial crisis in Portugal; linguistic identities in Southern China; the construction of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in the press; student academic writing.