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- English as a global lingua franca (ELF)Sociolinguistics, identity and semiotics in an era of globalisationTranslanguaging and transcultural communicationCritical approaches to English Language Teaching and English Medium Education (EMI)Language policy in the Spanish-speaking world
My research expertise is in the sociolinguistics of language in an era of globalisation, and particularly in the symbolic, ideological and social aspects of the use, teaching and learning of English for intercultural communication purposes. I am interested in the investigation of how language ontologies, identities and social meanings shape and are shaped by linguistic practices in educational and non-educational contexts where English is seen and/or used as an international lingua franca. In addition to explaining how and why linguistic and semiotic variability may emerge in diverse communicative settings, I seek to understand the potential symbolic, discriminatory, and material consequences that can result from regulatory discourses on the legitimacy of speakers and language use.
Although my research has so far been primarily set in Spanish-speaking countries, I also investigate approaches to English as a Medium of Instruction across different educational settings in the world. I publish on these and other related topics in a variety of international academic outlets.
My research interests include the sociolinguistics of language in an era of globalisation, and particularly in the symbolic, ideological and social aspects of the use, teaching and learning of English for transcultural communication purposes.
In recent projects, I have investigated how we (de)construct ideas about (English) language, culture, ‘legitimate’ speech and speaker categories through elicited metalinguistic talk. I am also interested in exploring 1) how ideologies, identities, stances, positions and variable linguistic practices are negotiated by multilingual users of English in naturalistic everyday interaction; 2) the transformational power of dialogic approaches in the development of critical language awareness; and 3) language policy and sociolinguistic justice-informed approaches to different roles and functions assigned to English across varied communicative and institutional settings.
Current research projects:
- 'Decolonising English in Higher Education: issues of empowerment, access, sociocultural diversity and global citizenship in English language education in multilingual universities', Funded by the British Council Widening Participation Grant Scheme (£190,000), with Dr Will Baker (PI) - ongoing
- ‘The transformative power of critical metalanguage: promises and pitfalls’ – Focus group study (on-going). ESRC funded.
Previous research projects:
- 'Classroom Discourse in EMI courses in Turkey: On the Dynamics of Translanguaging Practices' (2020-2021) as UK consulting partner in collaboration with Prof Yasemin Kirkgoz (PI), Dr Ali Karakas and Dr Vildan Inci Kavak. Funded by the British Council 'New Connections in EMI Turkey Research Partnership Fund 2020' (£14,000, complete).
- ‘Exploring the impact of ELF awareness in EMI: Transforming attitudes, policies and practices?’ Impact Case Study co-led with Prof Jennifer Jenkins for the REF2021 (2018-2021, complete). Supported by UoS ICS funding.
- ESRC-funded PhD project, ‘Orienting to English as a global lingua franca: voices from the Spanish-speaking world’ (completed in 2016).
In Southampton I have also worked as a research assistant to a variety of large-scale research projects on English language policy in the international university (with Prof. Jennifer Jenkins as PI in 2012), and the learning of Spanish as a Second Language (LANGSNAP; SPLLOC2; Languages Learning at Key Stage 2, with Prof Ros Mitchell between 2009-2015).
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I teach in a variety of English Linguistics and TESOL programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Examples of undergraduate (UG) and masters (PGT) modules in which I am a tutor/coordinator include:
- LING1002 – From English to Englishes;
- LING2011 – Variation and Change in English language
- LING1009 – Language, ideologies and attitudes
- LING6042 – English Medium Instruction in Global Education
At PGT level I have also taught LING6004 – Description of Language; LING6001 – Research and Enquiry in Applied Linguistics; or LING6041 – Approaches to Language Teaching Methodology.
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I joined the department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in Southampton as a staff member in 2017. At this institution, I also completed an ESRC-funded PhD in Applied Linguistics (2016) and an MA in Applied Linguistics and Research Methodology (2009). Prior to this, I had studied a BA in English Philology (English Linguistics, Culture and Literature) at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain.
My doctoral research explored the (re)production and contestation of ideologies of English as a global language through students’ metalinguistic discourse in the Spanish-speaking world. This project was shortlisted for the international Joshua A. Fishman Award in 2018, as one of the 10 best PhD thesis produced on an topic pertaining to the sociology of language.
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