Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia , Valencia, Spain


As well at lecturing at Coventry University, I conduct research in the fields of Applied Linguistics, English Language Teaching and Second Language Acquisition. I’ve been conducting research most of my working life having started out as a research officer in the steel industry, often climbing in and out of of blast furnaces on Teesside and in South Wales. Those days are long gone now after taking the plunge into Language Teaching in 1990 in South Korea and subsequently Applied Linguistics through my PhD. Of course my current research cannot beat jumping in and out of blast furnaces but then someone has to do the dirty work!

My current research areas include:

Political Discourse

The microanalysis of discourse in institutionalised settings particularly political contexts with special reference to the House of Commons in the UK. The key principle of microanalysis is that through small observations great findings emerge. Use the category link ‘political discourse’ on the main menu to find research related to this field or visit my external blog neutralfooting

Academic Monologue

This research looks at the linguistic analysis of spoken monologues, typically oral presentations made by non-native speakers of English. The challenge of monologues, compared with dialogues, is that the speaker has to package the speech in a more structured and coherent way since the collaboration and negotiation with the interlocutor is largely removed. For many non-native speakers (students of English) this is a massive challenge. I’m particularly interested in how speakers can use suprasegmental features to structure and segment their monologues. Search for ‘phonology’ and ‘oral presentations’ from the categories link above or visit my external website erHelloEveryone

Language and the Mind

I also muse from time to time on the relationship between language and the mind. How does language shape the way we think and the reality we perceive? Are we language? What does it mean to ‘be someone in a language’ (which is the title of this website)? For posts on this topic, search the categories for ‘psycholinguistics’ or visit the website Language and the Mind


I also tend to research small areas that relate to my teaching such as grammar, phonology, dissertation writing, MOOCs, coherence in NNS.

PhD Candidates

If you are interested in doing your PhD in one of the fields above then please email me to discuss your project before applying to Coventry. It’s always better to discuss a project with a potential supervisor before putting in a formal application so that the proposal can be sharpened up.