Amal Basheikh


Leeds has been a great place for me to grow both personally and professionally. 

In the School of Education:

  • Organising the Research Students' Education Conference (RSEC) with a fantastic team for two years, face-to-face in 2019 and online in 2021, was a great learning experience. 
  • Attending the Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) meetings is always exciting and gives me food for thought. 
  • Presenting in one of the CLER Conversation Series with a group of my Saudi colleagues was a new adventure, and I benefited from the discussion with experts afterwards. 
  • Writing my first publication for Hilary Place Papers was superb because of the supportive feedback from the editorial team.
  • Participating in our school annual conference and PGR forums helped me grow and glow. 
  • I was lucky to be part of the BAAL 2017 organising team to explore how such big conferences are planned and coordinated. 

Besides being a PhD researcher, I love volunteering and supporting communities: 

  • I was the president of the Saudi society at Leeds University Union in 2019-2020
  • I organised several events for Saudi students across the UK 
  • In the summer of 2018, I started an initiative called 'Read Arabic in Leeds' with the Twitter account @ArabicBooksUK that aims to make Arabic books reachable in cafes around the city centre and provide books borrowing and encourage recycling books among Arabic readers in Leeds.

Research interests

I have always been interested in understanding how individuals learn languages and how mobile devices enhance and support language learning and practice. During my master's degree, I came across the concept of learner autonomy, which inspired my doctoral research. 

In my doctoral research, I explore how female university students in Saudi Arabia use smartphones to facilitate their English language learning and whether smartphones give them control and independence over their learning. 

My main research interests include: 

  • Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL) 
  • Mobile-Assisted Language Learning (MALL)
  • Online Informal Learning 
  • Learner autonomy 
  • Self-Directed Learning (SDL)


  • MA TESOL and ICT
  • TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Training Certification

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education
  • Centre for Digital Learning