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 new 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
Prior to taking up my current post at Leeds I was a lecturer in sociolinguistics at King’s College London for three years. I remain a Visiting Research Fellow in the Centre for Language, Discourse and Communication at King’s. I’m an active member of the UK 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. In 2012, the conference took place at the University of Copenhagen. The next conference will be at the University of Manchester on 11th-12th September 2014 (click here for details).