Educational linguistics

Educational Linguistics, an interdisciplinary research area, has become an area of world-leading scholarship at the University of Stirling since 2014.

It is a field of study which focuses on varied domains of education. It approaches ‘education’ as a process and investigates both formal sites of teaching and learning as well as other social settings in which people interact to learn, engage, and understand. Educational linguistics seeks to comprehend how texts shape people’s lives, how interactions open up and close down social possibilities and how social structures are reproduced and challenged through language and other forms of meaning-making.

Our researchers



British Council

April 2021. Widening Participation grant (01.04.21 – 20.09.22) £189,834. English as a school subject: learning effective practices from low level primary English language teachers. £189, 834 with CIs at the Universities of Aston (UK), Malawi (Malawi), Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (Mexico), Uzbekistan State World Languages (Uzbekistan) and BRAC Institute of Educational Development (Bangladesh) has been awarded British Council (PI Fiona Copland).

AHRC Network

Grant. 1.11.2020 – 30.4.2022. £36,245 ETHER: Ethics and Aesthetics of Encountering the Other: New Frameworks for Engaging with Difference (CI Creese)


Grant, 20.10.2020 – 31.12.21 £192,630 ‘Supporting separated migrant children to thrive during COVID-19’ (2020, (PI Copland)

British Council

English Language Teaching Research Partnership (ELTRP). 01.07.2019 – 31.07.2021 2. Global practices in teaching English to young learners: 10 years on. £19,804. (PI Copland)

Recently Completed

AHRC: GCRF Grant. 1/7/2019 - 31/12/2020. £59,997. Languaging in post-conflict zones: Educating for success in Colombia, Lebanon and South Africa. (AH/T005408/1) (PI Creese)

AHRC: GCRF Grant. 1/11/16 - 31/5/18. £184,732. Overcoming Barriers to University Education in South Africa. (AH/P009433/1) (PI Creese)

AHRC: Large Grant. 1/4/2014 – 31/3/2018. £1,973,527. Translation and translanguaging: Investigating linguistic and cultural transformations in superdiverse wards in four UK cities (TLANG) (AH/L007096/1). (PI Creese)

British Council English Language Teaching Award 1.07.2015 – 30.06.2016 - Masters programmes in ELT: A survey of UK provision and student experiences. £16,804. (PI Copland)

Conferences and public events

We are an active group who organise and host seminars, conferences and public events regularly.

Examples include:

  • Public Meeting: the group hosted Professor Claire Kramsch as a Carnegie Centenary Scholar from February to May 2017.
  • International Conference: ‘Languaging in times of change’, 26 and 27 September 2018. A major international conference, brought state-of-the-art expertise to discussions of interdisciplinary language research.
  • One Day Conference: ‘Who is the language learner’ in 2017
  • Seminar: Festival of Social Sciences event in 2015 on language learning in Scotland.
  • Research Training: In 2019, a two-day researcher development event (24th July 2019), funded by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, delivered training in Linguistic Ethnography to 27 early- and mid-career researchers.


Blackledge, A. and Creese, A. (2019). Voices of a City Market Bristol, Multilingual Matters.

Blackledge, A. and Creese, A. (2021). Interpretations - An Ethnographic Drama. Bristol, Multilingual Matters.

Copland, F. & Donaghue, H. (2021). Analysing discourses in teacher observation feedback conferences. Routledge

Copland, F. & Donaghue, H. (2019). Post observation feedback. In: Walsh S & Mann S (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teacher Education. Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 402-416.

Copland, F. Mann, S. & Garton, S .(2020). Native-English-Speaking Teachers: Disconnections between theory, research, and practice. TESOL Quarterly, 54 (2), pp. 348-374.

Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2019). Translanguaging and public service encounters: Language learning in the library. Modern Language Journal,103 (4). 800–814.

Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2019). Stereotypes and chronotopes: the peasant and the cosmopolitan in narratives about migration. Journal of Sociolinguistics.

Lowing. K. (2017). The Scots language and its cultural and social capital in Scottish schools: a case study of Scots in Scottish secondary classrooms. Scottish Language, 36.

Lowing, K. (2017). To see ourselves as others see us: constructions of Scotland’s place and identity within a changing Scottish curriculum and context. In: Stevens D & Lockney K (eds.) Students, Places and Identities in English and the Arts. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 123-134.

Doctoral supervision

We have an active group of home and international doctoral students. Doctoral students engage in a broad range of topics in educational, socio- and psycho- linguistics locating their study sites in many parts of the world. Through establishing a collaborative and egalitarian environment, students take part in Faculty activity as well as individual study, learning and exchange.

Current doctoral students and their working titles

Budur Alharbi - ‘Narrative inquiry into the experiences of Saudi female ESL teachers’

Yiao Dai - Teaching English as a foreign language for minority students in China: perspective from teachers

Emi Kobayashi - Learning to Teach English as a Foreign Language in Japan: A Linguistic Ethnographic Study of Post-Observation Feedback Conferences

Luke Lawrence - The construction and co-construction of 'native speaker' and 'non-native speaker' teacher identities: A linguistic ethnographic study

Graham Mackenzie - Perceptions of English Medium Instruction Teachers in Japan: Professional Development, Agency and English as Social Capital

Luqman Mayi - Christian missions and English language teaching in Thailand: practices and perspectives of missionaries and Thai learners

Nahoko Mulvey - A Linguistic Ethnography of Language Practices and Ideologies at Two Japanese as a Heritage Language Schools in England

Ming Ni - Chinese Master’s Students’ Translanguaging Practices in the UK Classroom: A Linguistic Ethnographic Study

Leelajini Paranjothy - Rituals of the Ibans of Sarawak, Borneo.

Rev Mediyawe Piyarathana - The Efficacy of Role-Playing Language Games in the Development of Productive Knowledge of Lexis in EFL: A Study Based on the Bhiksu University of Sri Lanka

John Player - Literacy, power and practices: taking a discourse-ethnographic approach to exploring adult literacy practices in the context of drug related deaths and the recovery movement in Scotland

Ce Qiao (Joe) - Investigation of Modesty and its Impacts on Chinese Learners’ Unwillingness to Speak Out in Classroom: A Case Study of Chinese Postgraduate Students in a UK University

Rosicler Saloan Reinboldt - Identity construction and perception of violence by female residents of a domestic violence shelter

Betül Seda Usta - Lessons from the Turkish barber: languaging, identity construction and co-learning in Scotland's Turkish barbers

Shaikha Al Shabibi - Lesson Study: A Collaborative Professional Development Approach for Omani Cycle One Teachers

Zhe Zheng - Teachers’ Identity Construction Practice and Beliefs in an English Language Program at a Multilingual Chinese University