I am the Director of Applied Linguistics and English Language (ALEL). I have been part of the teams producing both Master's and undergraduate modules. I chaired the production of a new second level module - Worlds of English (U214) and this is currently leading me in some interesting new research directions. I have taught English in UK language schools, and overseas in Sweden, Malaysia and Australia. I worked for ten years as a member of the COBUILD team researching and writing English language dictionaries and reference materials, and have a long standing interest in disciplinarity, particularly as revealed in academic writing within higher education. More recently, I have been investigating the discipline of English Studies both in the UK and internationally: what constitutes the research and teaching area under the umbrella of English Studies and how do the different areas of interest inform approaches to English.
1. The development of the discipline of English studies in global contexts. In particular I am interested in how English language study is incoorporated
within the subject area of English in higher education.
2. Using detailed textual analysis to focus on areas such as Thematic patterning, metadiscourse and the semantic contents of grammatical subjects in order to analyse different genres of academic writing including computer mediated discussions: student essays written by native speakers studying geography; international students writing dissertations in business administration; published research articles in a variety of disciplines; answers written by international students in response to the IELTS examination academic writing component; essays and computer mediated discussions in the fields of applied linguistics and health and social care; psychology articles written in English by non-Anglophone context scholars.
3. Learning to argue through on-line conferencing: This research project looked at the discourse of students participating in on-line tutorial conferences. Contributions resulting from different tutor strategies to encourage reflection and critical engagement on-line were compared to the final written assignments produced by students. Findings relate to stutor strategies and to the hybrid nature of both on-line and assignment writing.
Funded Research Projects
Supporting analysis of the English language. Open Uuniversity Scholarship of Assessment Funded project 2016-17.
How can employability be integrated into assessment on E304? New models of assessment and tuition scholarship project. Open Uuniversity Scholarship of Assessment Funded project 2013-14.
Challenges in Residency - HEA Digital Literacies in the Disciplines project. 2013-14.
The discipline of English Language Studies- a global perspective? HEA Discipline Workshop Seminar Series 2011-12.
The effectiveness of interventions to support greater participation in, and more purposeful use of online forums on undergraduate English Language studies modules. Open University Scholarship grant (2011-2012)
English Studies in East European Higher Education: Post-Accession Bulgaria and Romania. Leverhulme Trust funded ‘International Network’ grant (2008-2009)
Trajectories of knowledge production: English medium academic writing in national, transnational and international contexts (2007-2008)
(Economic and Social Research Council funding)
Supporting undergraduate students’ acquisition of academic argumentation strategies through computer conferencing (2005-2006)
(Higher Education Academy funding)
Academic argument - the role of asynchronous electronic conferencing (2002 to 2003)
(Learning and Teaching Innovation Committee funding, Open University)
Academic argument- using new technologies to move students from collaborative to individual forms of argumentation (2001 - 2002)
(Learning and Teaching Innovation Committee funding, Open University)
IELTS 2000 A linguistic analysis of Chinese and Greek L1 scripts for IELTS Academic Writing Task 2 (2000-2001)
(British Council and International English Language Testing System Funding )
Research Degree Supervision
2003 Sarah North, Emergent disciplinarity in an interdisciplinary course: theme use in undergraduate essays in the history of science, PhD.
2005 Gab’sile Lukhele, Academic Writing in global open distance learning: Case studies of an MBA programme in Ethiopia, Russia and the United Kingdom, MPhil.
2006 Sylvia Jones, Arguing on-line and off: an investigation of students' argumentation in the context of computer-mediated discussions and individually written assignments, PhD.
2010 Doris Scharinger, Thematic structure of PhD thesis abstracts in English, MRes.
2011 Maria Leedham, L1 Mandarin students and L1 English students in UK HE: How and why does their use of lexical chunks differ?
Ongoing Jane Cobb A comparative investigation of multiple perspectives on dialogic feedback on academic writing. EdD.
Ongoing Amy Aisha Brown Discourses of the English Language in the Japanese Twitter Community. PhD.
Ongoing Theron Muller Experiences and Reflections of Emerging Scholars Pursuing Academic Publication. PhD
Research Degrees Examined
2002 PhD Title: Investigating textual structure in native and non-native English research articles: Strategy differences between English and Indonesian writers, University of New South Wales, Australia.
2003 EdD Title: Students’ notions of ‘audience’ as revealed by the academic writing of a group of Open University undergraduate students, The Open University, UK.
2004 PhD Title: Person-oriented and process-oriented teachers: An investigation of the links between ESOL Teachers’ Personal Belief Systems and approaches to teaching, Aston University, UK.
2005 PhD Title: A rhetorical analysis of examination essays in three disciplines: The case of Ghanaian undergraduate students, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
2006 MPhil Title: A retrospective analysis of learning through cooperative dialogue: Dialogic acts, plausible inferences and empathy, The Open University, UK.
2006 Masters by Research Title: Comparing text structures in English and Spanish in discussion genre at university level, University of New South Wales, Australia.
2007 PhD Title: Dialogic learning in tutorial talk: a case study of semiotic mediation as a learning resource for second language international students, University of Adelaide, Australia.
2009 PhD Title: Awareness Raising of Language Learner’s Writing Strategies in an Omani EFL context, University of Leeds.
2013 EdD Title: Teacher classroom practices, beliefs and attitudes towards teachers' target and first language use in public primary EFL classrooms in Cyprus. The Open University, UK.
2014 PhD Title: Revisiting the writing process in the digital age: the writing processes and practices of science and technology undergraduates at Lancaster University. University of Lancaster, UK.
I have been involved in the production of both master’s level and undergraduate level English language modules as well as teacher training materials for Brazilian English teachers. I was involved in the setting up of the cross-faculty English language and literature degree (http://www3.open.ac.uk/courses/bin/p12.dll?Q01B39) and am currently working on a new grammar module.
I have contributed to the teaching of a Master's module Teaching English to speakers of other languages worldwide (E841), and to undergraduate modules - English grammar in context (E303), Exploring the English language (U211), Children's literature (EA300), Worlds of English (U214), Languages and cultures (L161) and I'm currently working on Exploring English grammar (E304).
|CREET: Educational Studies Research Cluster||Cluster||Faculty of Education and Language Studies|
|CREET: Language and Literacies Research Cluster||Cluster||Faculty of Education and Language Studies|