Dr Lou Harvey

Dr Lou Harvey


I joined the team at Leeds in January 2014, having been involved in TESOL since 2004. I studied at the University of Edinburgh, after which I completed my CELTA and briefly taught English as a Foreign Language before moving to Bratislava, Slovakia, where I taught English for two years. After another short period of teaching in Scotland, this time in Glasgow, I moved to Manchester for postgraduate study. I then taught in both the public and private sectors in Manchester, before settling at the University of Manchester to teach English for Academic Purposes and to tutor on the Manchester Leadership Programme.

I am a keen choral singer, recovering pianist and dilettante fiction writer, and am fascinated by how we communicate and learn at the intersections of art and language.


  • Programme Leader BA TESOL
  • School Equality and Inclusion Officer
  • Deputy Director, Centre for Language Education Research

Research interests

I am an intercultural and narrative researcher specialising in language and intercultural learning, with particular interests in higher education and in arts and performance practice. My current interests lie in the relationship between learning and voice in collaborative, co-produced, and publicly-engaged research, especially in arts-related settings. I was a University Engagement Fellow in 2016-17 and am committed to public engagement as a field of research in its own right, particularly as it relates to public pedagogy.

Recent funded work has included a co-produced project with theatre company Cap-a-Pie, funded by Arts Council England and the University of Leeds Cultural Institute, to adapt my research for public performance. This led to a work-in-progress theatrical piece, The Translator, performed at Slung Low in Leeds in June 2017. I was also awarded the Society for Research in Higher Education Newer Researchers Prize in 2016 for the project Developing Dramatic Enquiry for intercultural learning among UK HE students, also co-produced with Cap-a-Pie. This piloted Dramatic Enquiry as a methodology for researching students' intercultural experiences and enhancing their intercultural learning. During 2018 I have been co-investigator on a HEFCE GCRF-funded project, led by Professor Paul Cooke (Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures), investigating the relationship between participatory arts, learning and voice for children on a youth leadership programme in South Africa.

<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 Language Education (2014)
  • MSc Educational Research (2010)
  • MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (2008)
  • MA (Hons) English Language and Literature (2005)

Professional memberships

  • Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)
  • International Association of Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC)
  • British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)

Student education

I supervise PhD students working in the areas of language learner and teacher identity, internationalisation and study abroad, migrant children's experiences in school, and metaphor and language education. I welcome inquiries for projects related to any of my research interests.

I also lead and co-teach undergraduate modules on research methods, social and cultural aspects of language education, and education in multilingual contexts. I have also taught postgraduate modules on English-language teaching and language description.

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>