Born in London, but having spent my youth not only there but also in Bangladesh and Scotland, I now spend most of my time in Japan.
I have spent the majority of my working life in Japan, and am currently an EFL lecturer at Nanzan University. During my 11-year teaching career, I have taught all ages from babies right up to the elderly, but I now teach only university undergraduate and postgraduate students. Although I have predominantly taught general English discussion classes, I also teach writing, IELTS and reading courses.
My undergraduate degree was in Journalism Studies at the University of Stirling, while I later completed a Masters in Applied Linguistics at the University of Birmingham. The former degree became useful as I was allowed to develop my own course in Journalistic Writing while working at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies (my previous job). I have also developed courses in IELTS, which I have been doing for over five years.
As well as English I am also able to speak Japanese. In my free time I enjoy playing and watching football, cooking and playing the piano.
My main area of research interest is in corpus linguistics. Having become interested in the use of corpora in the language classroom, also known as DDL (data-driven learning), during my MA, I did my Master’s dissertation on the effectiveness of using DDL to teach phrasal verbs (find out more). I continued this line of research by investigating student reactions to a more direct application of DDL in the language classroom, where students were trained to use tablets and their phones to work together to learn advanced vocabulary; this research is due to be published shortly. I now wish to go further in my investigative work in this area, and research both the effectiveness of corpora for (SLA) second language acquisition across different proficiency levels, and explore the learning processes that take place during DDL, as well as there place in SLA theory. These are the lines of inquiry I will be exploring for my doctoral research.
I also retain an interest in journalism and the media in general from my time as an undergraduate student. As mentioned above, I developed a course in Journalistic Writing, and wrote an article outlining the process I went through in doing so (find out more). Related to this is research I am currently undertaking in media literacy. A colleague and I have been surveying hundreds of students to ascertain their own assessment on their levels of media literacy, as well as distributing questionnaires to teachers to learn their assessment on their students’ proficiency in this area.
Finally, I am interested in language tests, mostly due to my experience working for IELTS and Eiken. A piece of research I would like to undertake is an investigation into the reasons behind the variation in average IELTS scores across different countries.
- Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Journalism Studies
- Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics
- Certified IELTS Examiner