Postdoctoral Research Fellow
In a decade of working in TESOL, I have held teaching and research positions in Europe, the Middle and Far East, the USA and my home country of the UK. These positions have typically centred around the teaching and assessment of academic writing. In these roles, I have led modules and designed assessments for a number of language and discipline specific programmes. In line with this practical experience, the majority of my academic research is underpinned by an interest in assessment. My work primarily looks at how the use of corpus linguistics as a methodology can inform our understandings of how we assess writing and perhaps most importantly, how writers themselves use language features to complete assessments. Although this interest was originally connected to my work with second language writers, developments in my career mean I have also more recently developed experience and interest in first language writers and their particular struggles with academic and specific disciplinary writing as new entrants to university. My doctoral thesis is one such example of this work. My thesis looks at the relationship between the use of collocations and writing quality scores in a corpus of first and second language learner essays from the First Year Composition programme at a large public university in the US.
I have also had the opportunity to become involved in and lead a number of academic projects. These have included a co-authored book with Dr. Philip Durrant and Dr. Mark Brenchley to be published by Cambridge University Press and managing a co-edited book with Dr. Christine Coombe to be published by Palgrave Macmillan. I have also written a number of book chapters for Palgrave Macmillan, Springer and Routledge in addition to being involved in assessment projects with the British Council.
In my current role at the University of Exeter, I am part of the team working on the ‘Writing the Future’ project funded by the Qatari National Research Fund and led by Dr Abdelhamid Ahmed, Dr. Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh and Professor Debra Myhill. The project is driven by a corpus of Arabic and English essays produced by Arab university students. The bulk of the project analyses this corpus for differences in how students use features of metadiscourse to perform a variety of functions and the relationship these features have with writing quality judgements. The corpus analysis of these features is then supported by extensive ‘writing conversations’ with the students themselves to uncover their own understandings of the metadiscourse they use in their essays.
- University of Exeter, Doctorate in Education (TESOL Pathway) Sept 2015 – 2020
- University of Stirling, Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), October 2020.
- University of Stirling, M.Sc in TESOL with Applied Linguistics (2014)
- Randolph School of English, Cambridge CELTA, Edinburgh. (2011)
- University of Stirling, B.Acc (Hons) Accountancy & Business Law (2010)
Research group links
I have an interest in the following areas of language teaching and assessment:
- The assessment of writing and vocabulary.
- The role of corpus linguistics in assessment.
- Test design and validation.
- The use of standard and non-standard language models for assessment in EMI contexts.
- The use of technology in test design, administration and feedback practices.
- How teachers develop their sense of language assessment literacy.
Links to some of the projects I have contributed to are below:
How Language Teachers Understand Assessment Edited by Christine Coombe:
'Writing the Future' funded by the Qatari National Research Fund and led by Dr Abdelhamid Ahmed, Dr. Esmaeel Abdollahzadeh and Professor Debra Myhill:
Publications by category
Publications by year
External Engagement and Impact
TESOL Gulf Board Member
Guest Editor for Special issue on Writing Assessment in Honour of Glenn Fulcher (Language Teaching Research Quarterly). (2020-2021)
Journal of Asia TEFL Editorial Board (Since 2018)
TESOL Journal Peer Reviewer (Since 2018)
TESOL Convention Proposal Reviewer (Since 2018)
TESOL Arabia Proposal Reviewer (Since 2019)
TESOL China Assembly Proposal Reviewer (Since 2019)
Book Reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan (HE / Language and Linguistics) (Since 2019)