Professor Gary Chambers

Professor Gary Chambers


Having taught modern foreign languages and classics in secondary schools in Cleveland and London, I joined the School of Education, University of Leeds in 1989. As Professor of Education I play a full part in the research, administrative and teaching activities of the School of Education.


  • Head of Scholarship
  • Head of MA TESOL Studies

Research interests

My main research interest is in motivational perspectives of learners and teachers of foreign languages, although I have also done work on other aspects of foreign language learning and teaching. Initial Teacher Education with special reference to recruitment and retention has also been an area in which I have been engaged.

Currently I am part of a team led by Professor Alice Deignan collaborating on an ESRC-funded project investigating The linguistic challenges of transition from primary to secondary school (2018-21). I completed a British Academy funded project (2012-14) on Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 Transition in Modern Languages. The pupils’ voice in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. This work was informed by three other projects (one based in Germany, the other two in the UK) relating to pupils’ and teachers’ perspectives on transition from primary to secondary school in MFL.

I was Project Director for a two-year, TDA-funded evaluation of three websites supporting initial teacher training (2008-10). I was also a member of the "Becoming a Teacher" (BaT) team, which conducted a five-year longitudinal study into the nature and impact of experience in Initial Teacher Training, Induction and Early Professional Development, funded by the DCSF, GTC and TDA (2003-09).

Following a four year project into pupils’ motivational perspectives of learning German, I published a book on its findings: Motivating Language Learners: Multilingual Matters, 1999. This was followed by an edited book in 2001: Reflections on Motivation, CILT.

I have published widely on the above topics and have spoken at numerous conferences. Between 1996 and 1999, I was Editor of the Language Learning Journal. I am a member of the Editorial Board of this journal as well as Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching and Deutsch Lehren und Lernen.

<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>

Student education

I am Head of MA TESOL studies and make a major contribution to this programme's modules. I also teach on our undergraduate module provision.

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>