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The University of Southampton
Academic Centre for International StudentsPart of Humanities

Dr Robert Baird BA, ACC, CELTA, MA, PhD

Senior Teaching Fellow

Dr Robert Baird's photo

I am a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Academic Centre for International Students, part of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton.

I have been involved with English language teaching since 2001, working predominantly in East Asia before arriving at the University of Southampton in 2007.

During my MA and PhD studies at the University of Southampton, I developed an interest in the interplay between ideas of language, identification practices and contextualised communication, especially related to the development of and engagement with ‘academic literacies’.

I have taken various roles at the university, including teaching, supervision, coordination, tutoring, lecturing and curriculum/assessment design. I am also a founding member of the Centre for Global Englishes (CGE), which is involved in the study of various aspects of the global proliferation of English. My personal research interests relate to Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics and Academic Literacies, especially in the areas of English-medium higher education, Intercultural Communication and English as a Lingua Franca.

Research interests

My PhD studies focused on the experiences, perceptions and positionings of students using English for their postgraduate studies in East Asian English-medium settings, and this interest has expanded to wider contexts and wider applications. I engage critically with ways that ‘language’, ‘culture’, ‘attitude’ and ‘community’ can be framed in research, policy documents and teaching practices, and try to offer more holistic insights, frameworks and suggestions to reflect diverse language practices, functions and users.

As exemplified in an article co-authored with Will Baker and Mariko Kitazawa [Baird] entitled ‘The Complexity of ELF’, I am interested in incorporating aspects of integrationism, phenomenology and performativity into English language studies and applications, in the hope that open approaches to communication and communicators can better inform teaching, assessment and research in this area.

One vehicle for my research engagement is the Centre for Global Englishes (CGE), of which I was a founding member. The centre collaborates with researchers around the world to promote findings and mutual engagement in the field. I am also the editor-in-chief of CGE’s Working Papers, ‘Englishes in Practice’, which is published through De Gruyter Online.


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I am the curricular lead for Reading and Writing at the University of Southampton’s Academic Centre for International Students, and I coordinate and teach on pre-sessional and in-sessional English language programmes. I also coordinate the Curriculum Innovation module ‘Intercultural Communication in a Global World’, and have contributed to various other modules on the MA Applied Linguistics pathways as well as other undergraduate modules.

I try to take a functional approach to teaching and materials development, engaging students with both inclusive pedagogical practices and the awareness raising of the rationales and goals behind them. I am particularly interested in stepping beyond surface-level ideas of language, knowledge and communication by encouraging students to develop critical understanding and skills that are grounded in social practices and processes.

As well as teaching and leading content and language modules, I am also involved in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiatives, internationalisation activities (including involvement with the Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC) at National Taiwan University) and supervision of postgraduate students.

Dr Robert Baird
Room 2142, Building 65, Avenue Campus
University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Tel: 02380 598336

Room Number: 65/2173

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