My research interests include: educational linguistics, grammar and language teaching in schools, cognitive linguistics and its pedagogical applications, stylistics and the analysis of poetry, post 16 teaching, issues in post 16-higher education transition
I am interested in what linguistics can offer education, and in particular the value of functional and cognitive approaches to language study in pedagogical contexts. I am currently working on a book (to be published by Routledge 2014) that explores how insights from cognitive linguistics might be used in learning and teaching about grammar and linguistic meaning. I am also interested in the strategies and practices schoolteachers from literature backgrounds use to develop their subject knowledge when teaching English language topics and specifications, and in the extent to which teachers from language backgrounds continue to use research in language and linguistics in their classroom practice.
With a background in stylistics, I am also passionate about the value of using linguistics in the service of literary interpretation and criticism, and about the development of a fully integrated 'English language and literature' in the classroom. I am currently a co-researcher with Dr Andrea Macrae (Oxford Brookes University) and Dr Billy Clark (Middlesex University) on a higher education academy funded project investigating sixth form-undergraduate transition issues in language-literature teaching. Part of this work involves proposing a revised notion of what integrated language-literature work might look like in schools.
I am also continuing to develop my work in cognitive stylistics, particularly in the application of text world theory and other cognitively-oriented analytical frameworks to poetry. My research monograph, the first book-length study of a major English poet (John Keats) using text world theory, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in August 2013, and I am also working on an extended analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's 1916 war poems using Ronald Langacker's Cognitive Grammar.