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Research, scholarship and knowledge exchange

The School of Languages and Applied Linguistics is one of the UK’s largest, most dynamic and internationally active departments in the area of Applied Linguistics and Language Studies. Our research in languages and applied linguistics deals with language as a social practice in various contexts, notably language in education and higher education, in the workplace and the professions, in politics and the media, and in various cultural environments. Some of our specific areas of focus include:

We are also involved in a number of projects and initiatives linked to recent and current events, such as‘Researching public understanding of COVID-19 restrictions’, an initiative looking into how language shed light on ideas of “right” and “wrong” when interpreting Government guidelines on social distancing and face-coverings. Another example of responsive research is our collaboration with the Deaf Action charity on a knowledge exchange project to establish the needs of deaf people and their communities to produce new OU British Sign Language curriculum.

Academics in the School belong to the following research groups: the Open Languages Research Group (OLRG), the Applied Languages and Linguistics Research Group (ALLRG), and the Language, Literature and Politics Research Group.

Through the Graduate School, our staff supervise more than 20 PhD and EdD students, who form a vibrant multidisciplinary community and constitute a central part of our activities. To learn more, please visit our Study with us page.

To learn more about our global development research, visit the Global Development Centre website.