Dr Martin Wedell

Dr Martin Wedell


I have recently retired after many years as Head of International Education at the School of Education,  during which time I was closing involved in planning and managing many of the School's international links.

Before coming to Leeds I had more than 20 years of experience, as a teacher, teacher educator, materials writer, test designer and project planner in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, China and Hungary. With my local colleagues I was involved in:

  • planning, designing and implementing new M.A degree courses in TEFL/English and ELT at Beijing Normal University and Beijing Foreign Studies University in P.R.China
  • editing and communicative test writing for the Communicative English for Chinese Learners (CECL) textbook series at Guangdong Foreign Studies University. P.R.China
  • designing, implementing and managing a new three year  pre-service B.Ed in ELT at Kossuth Lajos University, Debrecen, Hungary
  • designing a distance learning, degree-level, upgrading programme for diploma level English  teachers in Hungary
  • examining, test writing and moderating for national English exams at primary,secondary and university level in Kenya, China, Hungary and the UK

More recently I have been involved in projects including

  • The development of an 'integrated' initial teacher education programme for future English teachers in Chile
  • The planning,design,and coordination of a joint MA TESOL programme with Guangdong Foreign Studies University in China
  • The development of a Guide for the planning of teacher education programmes to support implementation of TESOL curriculum change initiatives in India
  • The development of in-service trainers'capacity to provide contextually relevant support for English teachers in Guangdong Province in China
  •  Research into the development of basic education curricula that acknowledge the skills and cultural backgrounds of ethnic minority learners in Guizhou Province in China

Research interests

English is part of the state school curriculum in almost every country in the world today. The aims of English teaching are almost always expressed in terms of developing learners' communication skills. Yet few learners emerge from state system education with such skills. My research focus is on English Language curriculum change as complex educational change . It asks questions such as:

  • What frameworks can we develop to help us systematically study contexts in which English is being taught and learned?
  • What are the main challenges  that English curriculum reforms pose for existing educational norms in different contexts?
  • Which partners in any change process are likely to be challenged in what ways? 
  • How may they be supported?
  • What are the implications of all the above for the manner in which we think about  the local planning and implementation of  the complex  TESOL change processes which are so often passed down from 'on high' ?

 Other areas of interest

  • The content and process of initial and in-service TESOL teacher education curricula, in the light of  current thinking about teacher learning and learning teaching
  • TESOL teacher educator/trainer training - a critical prerequisite for  ANY teacher education/development
  • The washback and impact. of high stakes English tests
  • Possible roles for ICT in  teacher  development  programmes
<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. Educational change management. University of South Wales
  • MA Applied Linguistics, University of Reading
  • Diploma in Teaching English Overseas/PGCE, University of Manchester
  • BA Economic and Social History, University of Kent
  • PG Cert In Ecological Horticulture, UC Santa Cruz, USA

Professional memberships

  • RSA

Student education

I have taught most areas of the English Language Teacher Education curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In recent years I have taught TESOL curriculum and TESOL change, The Practice of Supproting Language Teacher Learning and Contexts and Approaches in TESOL on the Leeds and China MA programmes.

I have supervised approximately thirty PhD students to successful completion, and have been an internal and external examner for numerous PhD theses at Universities in the UK and overseas.

I have been external examiner for MA TESOL programmes at Exeter, St Andrews and Hull.

<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>