Dr Martin Lamb

Dr Martin Lamb


I've been at Leeds since 1999 having previously spent 16 years working abroad, as a VSO English teacher in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and then as a teacher and teacher trainer on various British Council-managed ELT projects in Indonesia and Bulgaria. I have also taught EFL in Sweden and Saudi Arabia.

For my first ten years at Leeds I was heavily involved in the department's work in Oman; a large-scale BA programme for Omani teachers of English that ran from 1999-2009, and an MA TESOL run in cooperation with Majan College from 2008-10. Since then I have been programme leader of the MA TESOL Studies (for students with less than 2 years' teaching experience), the MA TESOL, and am now leading the MA TESOL China, which is run in association with Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, in Guangzhou.

I am Director of International Education in the School, helping to establish teaching and research collaborations with overseas institutions, and also responsible for incoming and outgoing Study Abroad students.


  • Director of International Education
  • Programme Leader MA TESOL (China)
  • Study Abroad Coordinator (incoming and outgoing)

Research interests

Ever since I began training as a History teacher in the early 1980s, I have been interested in what interests learners - what engages them in class, what motivates them to spending time studying outside of class, and how these change over the years, influencing their academic achievement and ultimately their trajectories in life. Many issues and processes are common across the curriculum, and indeed daily life, but some are also unique to the learning of languages. In recent years I've developed a particular interst in how the teacher affects learner motivation through their methodology and personality. One recent research project (with my colleague Martin Wedell) was a British Council-funded investigation into ‘inspiring’ English teaching in state schools in China and Indonesia.

View Dr Lamb's talk on this subject

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (Leeds)
  • MA Linguistics for ELT (Lancaster)
  • RSA DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English Language to Adults)
  • PGCE (Durham)
  • BA Hons (Oxon)

Professional memberships

  • British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL)

Student education

I teach a number of different Masters modules, specifically on approaches and contexts in TESOL, L2 oral communication, assessing language learning, and developing practical teaching skills. I also teach a 3rd year undergraduate module  'Globalization, identity and English language education'. I am a personal/academic tutor to international study abroad students, and supervise several doctoral students working on various aspects of learner or teacher motivation.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>