You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Gerry Howley

Dr Gerry Howley

Profile summary

Professional biography

Gerry (she/her) has been a Lecturer and Staff Tutor in Applied Linguistics at the OU since September 2019.

I began Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) in 2006. My interest in 'non-native', specifically migrant, language use led me to go on to do an MA in Applied Linguistics at the University of Salford in 2009 and then my PhD in Sociolinguistics in 2011. Between 2015-2019, I worked as an Associate Lecturer at a variety of institutions, including Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Sheffield. I taught and led a range of Sociolinguistics and Applied Linguistics modules, including creating a new module based on my research entitled Language, Migration and Identity. 

As Staff Tutor at the OU, I am now Line Manager and responsible for the staff develpment of a large team of Associate Lecturers. I am Lead Staff Tutor on L201 English in the world, as well as being Cluster Manager on LB170 Communication skills for business and management, L101 Introducing English language studies, E302 Language and creativity, and L106 Beginners Spanish. I am Staff Tutor on the production team for our new postgraduate module L804 Core concepts in linguistics. 

I am co-lead on a Praxis funded scholarship project examining the effectiveness of TMA video feedback in reducing the gap between student and tutor and improving the tutor-student relationship. 

Research interests

My research lies at the interface of Sociolinguistics, Phonetics and Second Language Acquisition, in particular, the acquisition of accent and dialect variation in language contact settings. My research interests revolve around a fascination with people. I am interested in a broad range of topics, including multicultural urban Englishes, multilingualism, youth language, ethnicities, language politics, second language acquisition, and research methodologies.

I conduct mixed methods research, using participant observation to contextualise quantitative findings from phonetic data. I am passionate about the ways in which ethnography can illuminate our view of people’s behaviours, relationships and interactions.

In scholarship, I co-lead an ongoing PRAXIS funded project investigating the tutor-student connection when video feedback is provided in assessments. Project title: Video feedback for speaking TMAs: The emotional impact of hearing the tutor (project number 2022/23 07 XAM)


Attitudes to the language and identity of Romanian Roma migrants in a UK school setting (2020)
Matras, Yaron; Howley, Gerry and Jones, Charlotte
Intercultural Education, 31(3) (pp. 359-375)