Professor Maggie Kubanyiova


I am Professor of Language Education and Director of the Centre for Language Education Research (CLER) in the School of Education. Prior to coming to Leeds in December 2017, I was Reader in Educational Linguistics at the University of Birmingham where I also directed an MA TEFL programme (2007-2017). I began my career as a language educator and language teacher educator in Slovakia, Thailand and the UK.

My research has emerged from this experience and broadly concerns the role of language education across a diverse range of human relationships and interactions. I have used primarily discursive and ethnographic approaches to investigate questions of language teachers’ development in multilingual settings, language learners’ lives across diverse contexts of L2 use, language learning opportunities in classroom discourse, moral and political dimensions of language teachers’ work, and research ethics.

My recent co-edited special issue of the Modern Language Journal (with Anne Feryok; 2015) has proposed new research directions in language teacher cognition research, my research monograph Teacher Development in Action (Palgrave, 2012/2016) adopted a grounded theory ethnographic approach to offer novel insights into language teachers’ change and my book Motivating Learners, Motivating Teachers: Building Vision in the Language Classroom (Cambridge University Press, 2014; co-written with Zoltán Dörnyei) was highly commended for HRH the Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Award.

I have held several international visiting research fellowships, including at the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Auckland (2018), the School of Cultures, Languages, and Linguistics, University of Auckland (2016; U21 Staff Fellowship) and the Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii (2011; Educational Review Early Career Fellowship). I regularly share my research through national and international keynote addresses, colloquia and talks and serve as a member of editorial boards of international journals in the field.


  • Director of Centre for Language Education Research (CLER)

Research interests

My current research takes an interest in aesthetic and ethical dimensions of language learning, language teaching and language teacher education. I am particularly intrigued by theoretical intersections among linguistics, philosophy and the arts as crucial to re-imagining both the role and the sites of language (teacher) education in diverse societies. My current AHRC project brings linguists, philosophers and artists together in a theoretical, methodological and practical exploration of how people of diverse worldviews, past memories and future visions encounter their differences.

I remain committed to research approaches and methodologies that allow a deep and ethically engaged encounter with specific people in their social worlds.

I am open to expressions of interest from prospective PhD scholars who share this research orientation and welcome proposals on any of the themes of my past and current scholarship (see more details in my publications/presentations section), especially those that offer innovative interdisciplinary angles to questions relevant to language education research.

Selected Keynote Lectures and Symposia presentations

“The Promise of ‘Disturbing Encounter’ as Meaningful Language Teacher Education” Eleventh International Conference on Language Teacher Education, Minnesota, USA, 30 May-1 June 2019 (invited keynote)

“Beyond Cognitions as Propositions: Language Teacher Cognition in Discursive Data” BAAL/Routledge international symposium, January 2019 (invited keynote)

“Beyond Themes: Learning How to See Motivation in Qualitative Data” FOLLM (Forum on Language Learning Motivation) Symposium, University of Warwick, May 2018 (invited keynote)

“Language Teacher Motivation and Vision through Moments of Students’ Engagement with L2 in the classroom” CIER International Symposium on the Future of Foreign Language Education in a Global World, University of Toyama, Japan, December 2017 (invited keynote)

“Developing a pedagogy of language teacher education for changing times” The Tenth International Conference on Language Teacher Education, February 2-4, 2017 at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA (invited colloquium paper co-presented with Graham Crookes, University of Hawai’i; colloquium organizers: Judy Sharkey, University of New Hampshire & Megan Madigan, University of Maryland)

“The courage to teach languages in the 21st century”, International Association for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) Hungary, 2016 (invited keynote address)

“Towards seeing language learning and teaching as a ‘moral symphony’”, Psychology of Language Learning International Symposium; Jyväskylä, Finland, 2016 (invited keynote address)

“Re-envisioning the roles and tasks of language teachers in an age of globalisation”, American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), Orlando, FL, USA, 2016 (invited colloquium paper co-presented with Graham Crookes, University of Hawai’i; colloquium organizer: Heidi Byrnes, University of Georgetown)

“Understanding language teachers’ sense making in action: Assessing the promise of grounded theory ethnography for teacher identity research”, AAAL, Toronto, Canada, 2015 (invited colloquium paper; colloquium organizers: Peter DeCosta, University State Michigan & Bonny Norton, University of British Columbia)

“Language teacher cognition in applied linguistics research: Revisiting the territory, redrawing the boundaries, reclaiming the relevance”, AAAL, Toronto, Canada, 2015 (colloquium organizer, with Anne Feryok, University of Otago, New Zealand)

Recent blogs

Kubanyiova, M. Covid-19 Disrupts 'Single-Story' Research into Language Education 

Books and edited volumes

Kubanyiova, M. (2016). Teacher development in action: Understanding language teachers’ conceptual change. Basingstoke: Palgrave (paperback edition)

Kubanyiova, M. & Feryok, A. (Eds.). (2015). Language teacher cognition in applied linguistics research: Revisiting the territory, redrawing the boundaries, reclaiming the relevance [Special issue]. Modern Language Journal, 99(3)

Dörnyei, Z. and Kubanyiova, M. (2014) Motivating learners, Motivating teachers: Building vision in the language classroom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kubanyiova, M. (2012). Teacher development in action: Understanding language teachers’ conceptual change. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Kubanyiova, M., & Yue, Z. (2019). Willingness to communicate in L2: Persons' emerging capacity to participate in acts of meaning making with one another. Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning, 1(1), 42-66.

Kubanyiova, M. (2020). Language teacher education in the age of ambiguity: Educating responsive meaning makers in the world. Language Teaching Research, 24(1), 49-59.1-11. doi: 10.1177/1362168818777533

Kubanyiova, M. & Crookes, G. (2016) Re-envisioning the roles and tasks of language teachers in the post-centenary era of modern language education research. Modern Language Journal, 100(s1), 117-132. 

Kubanyiova, M. (2015). The role of teachers’ future self guides in creating L2 development opportunities in teacher-led classroom discourse: Reclaiming the relevance of language teacher cognition. The Modern Language Journal, 99(3), 565-584. 

Kubanyiova, M., & Feryok, A. (2015). Language teacher cognition in applied linguistics research: Revisiting the territory, redrawing the boundaries, reclaiming the relevance. Modern Language Journal, 99(3), 435-449.

Hobbs, V., & Kubanyiova, M. (2008). The challenges of researching language teachers: What research manuals don’t tell us. Language Teaching Research, 12(4), 495-513.
Kubanyiova, M. (2008). Rethinking research ethics in contemporary applied linguistics: The tension between macro- and microethical perspectives in situated research. Modern Language Journal, 92 (4), 503-518.

Kubanyiova, M. (2006). Developing a motivational teaching practice in EFL teachers in Slovakia: Challenges of promoting teacher change in EFL contexts. TESL-EJ, 10 (2), 1-17.

Chapters in edited volumes

Kubanyiova, M. (2020). The knowledge base of language teachers. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The concise encyclopedia of applied linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kubanyiova, M. (2020). Language teacher motivation research: Its ends, means and future commitments. In M. Lamb, K. Csizér, A. Henry, & S. Ryan (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan handbook of motivation for language learning. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Kubanyiova, M. (2019). A discursive approach to understanding the role of educators' possible selves in widening students' participation in classroom interaction: Language teachers' sense making as ‘acts of imagination’. In H. Henderson, J. Stevenson & A.-M. Bathmaker (Eds.), Possible selves and higher education (pp. 59-77). New York: Routledge

Kubanyiova, M. (2017). Understanding language teachers' sense making in action through the prism of future self guides. In G. Barkhuizen (Ed.), Reflections on language teacher identity research (pp.100-106). New York: Routledge.

Kubanyiova, M. (2015). Ethics in research. In C. Coombe & J. D. Brown (Eds.), Cambridge guide to language research (pp. 176-182). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kubanyiova, M. (2014). Motivating language teachers: Inspiring vision. In D. Lasagabaster, A. Doiz & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), Motivation and foreign language learning: From theory to practice (pp. 71-89). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Kubanyiova, M. (2014). The knowledge base of language teachers. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied linguistics: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kubanyiova, M. (2013). Towards understanding the role of faith in the development of language teachers’ identities: A modest proposal for extending the research agenda. In M. S. Wong, C.Kristjánsson & Z. Dörnyei (Eds.), Christian faith and English language teaching and learning: Research on the interrelationship of religion and ELT  (pp. 85-92). New York: Routledge.

Kubanyiova, M. (2013). Ethical debates in research on language and interaction. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics (pp. 2001–2008): Wiley-Blackwell.

Kubanyiova, M. (2009). Possible selves in language teacher development. In Z. Dörnyei & E. Ushioda (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 Self (pp. 314-332). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Kubanyiova, M. (2005). Promoting cohesive groups in the language classroom. In E. Szórádová (Ed.), Retrospective and perspectives in education: Proceedings from an international research conference (pp. 315-321). Nitra: Faculty of Education, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra.

Kubanyiova, M. (2004). Reflective supervision: Lessons from the facilitative classroom. In A. Pulverness (Ed.), IATEFL 2004 Liverpool Conference Selections (pp.100-101). Canterbury: IATEFL.

Book reviews

Kubanyiova, M. (2013). Review of Towards an understanding of language learner self-concept, by Sarah Mercer. ELT Journal 67(1), 134-7.

Kubanyiova, M. (2009). Review of Teacher cognition and language education, by Simon Borg. System 37, 172-3.

Kubanyiova, M. (2009). Review of Teacher development: Knowledge and context, by Qing Gu. To appear in Comparative Education 45, 573-575.

Kubanyiova, M. (2002). Review of The quick reference plain English guide, by Martin Cutts. The English Teacher: An International Journal 5 (3), 345-347.

Pedagogical articles

Kubanyiova, M. (2018). Creating a safe speaking environment. Part of the Cambridge Papers in ELT series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kubanyiova, M. (2009). Motivating Thai university students with radio drama. In A. Smith & G. Strong (Eds.), Adult language learners: Context and innovation (pp. 141-147). Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Kubanyiova, M. (2004). Leave them alone! English Teaching professional, Issue 31, 13-14.

Kubanyiova, M. (2003). Let their imagination run wild: A collection of simple activities for any circumstance, The English Teacher: An International Journal 6 (3), 353-359.

Kubanyiova, M. (2002). Drama with Thai students: A couple of tried ideas on how to start, The English Teacher: An International Journal 5 (2), 178-180.

Pieces in online and print media

“Why do we need languages?” Interview for e-PROFIT  13 May 2015

“Teachers as Eyewitnesses of Change” Interview for ELT Forum, Slovakia, 23 March 2014

Opinion piece: “Let’s Focus the Reform on the Teacher”, 16 April 2005, SME (Slovak national newspaper)

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


  • PhD in Applied Linguistics (Nottingham)

Professional memberships

  • American Association for Applied Linguistics
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics

Student education

I contribute to a range of sessions and modules across MA TESOL and MA Education programmes in the School of Education and supervise MA dissertations and PhD theses.

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="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>