Associate Professor in English Language
School of English
University of Leeds
Being a sociolinguist means that I’m interested in the multiple ways in which language interacts with social phenomena. I’m especially interested in the relationship between language variation and identity (particularly social class). On 1st August 2011 I spoke to Stephen Fry about whether we still judge each other by the way we speak for his Radio 4 programme Fry’s English Delight. You can listen to an extended version of the interview here.
In addition to language variation and social class, my other academic interests include regional/social dialectology, language and gender, linguistic ethnography, language ideologies, classroom discourse, dialogic pedagogy and teacher professional development. My book (written with Adam Lefstein), Better than Best Practice: Developing Teaching and Learning through Dialogue offers a new way of thinking about classroom practice, professional development, and improving teaching and learning. For more information see: dialogicpedagogy.com. Reviews of the book can be found here.
I joined the School of English at Leeds in February 2014 after three years as a Lecturer at King’s College London (2011-2014) and just over two years as a Research Officer at the Institute of Education, University of London (2008-2011). In 2011, I also spent one semester as Guest Professor in the Department of English Studies, University of Ghent. I remain a Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication at King’s, where I teach on the annual summer school in ‘Key Concepts and Methods in Ethnography, Language and Communication’. I’m also currently Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Studies, VIA University College, Aarhus, Denmark. I visit Aarhus twice a year to run research training and workshops in Linguistic Ethnography. I’m an active member of the Linguistic Ethnography community and I’m currently on the co-ordinating committee for the Linguistic Ethnography forum (a Special Interest Group of the British Association of Applied Linguistics). In 2008 I co-founded (with Fiona Copland & Sara Shaw) the inter-disciplinary conference ‘Explorations in Ethnography, Language & Communication’. I co-organised the conference for three years (2008-2010), and it has now been incorporated as the biennial meeting for LEF.