Luke Mawer

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I completed my BA degree in Creative Writing at the University of Leeds in 2007. Shortly after which I moved to Daegu, South Korea where I became an English instructor. I lived there for over seven years teaching at private language institutions, colleges and universities. During this time I undertook an MA degree with The University of Sunderland in TESOL. Since 2016, I have been lecturing at a college in Abu Dhabi and started my PhD in Education in 2017.   

What motivated you to undertake your PhD at Leeds?

As I became more involved in academia, both as a result of working in education and completing my masters degree, I have taken a keener interest in the research activities within the field. Not only would I like to become an active participant in this process, but I would also like further my contributions to the field in a teaching capacity within higher education.  

What is it that makes you passionate about this area of study?

There are few things in this world that are almost universally experienced and that can have the profound effect on our lives, as education. It has the power to help transform our perspectives and prospects, enrich us with knowledge and provide us with the skills necessary for life. 

Tell us about your research topic.

The topic that I am researching is the relationship between teacher cognitions and the use of technology in language education. I am investigating how teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and knowledge pertaining to technology affects how it is used within the field of language learning and teaching. I am particularly interested in the contextual considerations of teachers and how their thoughts can affect the way in which they teach.

How has your experience been so far?

I am a big fan of the University of Leeds and have been since studying my BA here back in 2004. Unfortunately, as a part-time student on full-time employment, I do not get to spend as much time at the University as I would like.   

What do you think of the facilities?

While I do not spend a lot of time on campus, when I am there the facilities are excellent. Additionally, it is a great help that the online learning and research facilities allow me to conduct my research without needing to be on campus on a regular basis.  

How would you describe the research environment in the School?

My supervisors and the training staff are very supportive. Additionally, the training and courses offered through the Organisational Development and Professional Learning website are wide ranging and helpful. 

What do you think of Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a fantastic city, it has a bustling city centre which is great for shopping during the day and its night-life has plenty of options for whatever you are into. It’s a good size without being overwhelming; you get to know the place pretty quickly, however there is always somewhere new to explore close by.  

What would you say to someone considering a research degree?

If you are happy with your supervisors and the course then Leeds is a great place to undertake your research degree. You will have the backing of a fantastic set of staff and excellent facilities.  

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to continue to work in academia, hopefully taking up a post as a lecturer / assistant professor while building up a body of research.