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.

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 section), especially those that offer innovative interdisciplinary angles to questions relevant to language education research.

<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 programmes in the School of Education and supervise MA dissertations and PhD theses.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education
<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>