Skip to main content

Meriel Bloor

Meriel can be contacted on


Meriel Bloor has been an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Applied Linguistics since her retirement from Warwick University in the year 2000. Before retiring, she directed the MA in ESP and lectured largely in Linguistics and Discourse Analysis. Her main research areas were needs analysis, course design, methodology and materials in ESP/EAP, focusing on linguistic and discoursal needs for specific professions and academic disciplines. She also applied her research to the teaching of academic writing to overseas students and other EAP issues, which she taught for many years on in-service courses. She had a background in structural and transformational grammars but became increasingly interested in Halliday’s systemic functional grammar (SFL) which she sees as having direct applications to language teaching, particularly at the level of syllabus design.

Before joining Warwick, Meriel taught English in the UK (where she was involved in research into reading and, for a short time, in teacher training), and for twelve years in Ethiopia and Botswana, working largely in ESP. From 1977 to 1984, she lectured on the MSc in ESP at Aston University. At various times in her career, she has served on national examination boards for English, and she designed and developed the first version of the Warwick English Language Test (WELT).

While at Warwick, she travelled widely to contribute to the Centre's co-operative projects in Greece, Malaysia (where in collaboration with Hilary Nesi she advised on the preparation of university textbooks for EAP), Sri Lanka (where she worked with the education authorities to develop a test of communicative English for the non-formal sector) and Zambia. She was also sponsored by the British Council to work on short courses in Austria, Botswana, Hong Kong, Mozambique, Poland and Venezuela, and directed the British Council Summer School in ESP for four years when it was based in Warwick University.

She has published widely in journals, contributed chapters to edited books. She has written textbooks and collections of tests for African schools with various co-authors. Since retiring she has focused her research on linguistic analysis and discourse analysis and their application to educational and other social issues. Her major recent books, written with Thomas Bloor, include The Functional Analysis of English, London: Arnold (2nd Edition 2004) and The Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis, London: Hodder Arnold (2007). She is research active and is presently planning a new book. A representative selection of her publications is listed below.

Publications since 1990 (books are marked with asterisks)

*1990. A M Bloor, (with Neville Grant and E Pfumojena) Reading for a Purpose 3. Longman Zimbabwe 1990.

1990. (with C Beedham) `English for Computer Science and the formal realization of communicative functions', Fachsprache (Language for Specific Purposes) 11.1:13-24.

1990. `The University of Warwick English Language Test.’ Language Testing Update 7: 34-38.

1990. 'The English language testing explosion.' The Journal of International Education, Vol 1, No. 3: 35-49. ISSN 0959-0099

1991. (with T. Bloor) 'The role of English in resurgent Africa' in R Clark and N Fairclough (eds), Language and Power, British Association for Applied Linguistics and Centre for Information on Language Teaching. 32-43. ISBN 0 948003 19 7

1991. (with T. Bloor) 'Cultural expectations and socio-pragmatic failure in academic writing' Review of English Language Teaching, Vol 1, No. 2, 1991, 1-13. ISSN 0961 6063

1991. 'The role of informal interaction in the teaching of English to young learners', in C Brumfit, J Moon and R Tongue (eds), Teaching English to Children, Collins, 1991,. 127-141 ISBN 0-000-370288-X

1992. 'Communication in the primary classroom' in Kennedy, C and J Jarvis (Eds), Ideas and Issues in Primary ELT, Walton-on-Thames, Nelson 1992, 139-149. ISBN 0-17-556265-2

1992. (with T Bloor) 'Given and new information in the thematic organization of text and application to the teaching of academic writing', Occasional Papers in Systemic Linguistics, Vol 6, 1992, pp33-44. ISSN 0954 3058

1993. (with T Bloor) 'How economists modify propositions', in W Henderson, T Dudley-Evans and R Backhouse, Economics and Language, London and New York, Routledge, 1993, 153-169, ISBN 0.415.08159.9.

1994. ‘English language proficiency in British universities: monitoring quality and raising standards.’ The Journal of International Education. 5.1:22-32. ISSN 0959 0099

*1995. M. Bloor (with Thomas Bloor) The Functional Analysis of English. London: Arnold.

1995. ‘Council of Europe revisited: lessons for the future?’ in D. Graddol and S. Thomas (Eds) Language in a Changing Europe. Clevedon: British Association for Applied Linguistics and Multilingual Matters.

1996. ‘Developing sustainable courses for adults: organising principles in course design. In Sustaining Language Training In Government Institutions. Puncak, West Java: The British Council in association with the Organizers of the ECSCS Project.

1996. ‘The English of Computer Science: linguistic issues and learners’ problems.’ In Hewings, Martin and Tony Dudley- Evans (Eds) Evaluation and Course Design in EAP. Review of English Language Teaching Vol.6.1:180-192. ISBN 0 13 2361 42 6

1996. (with M. Bagwasi, C.Formson, B.Shreck & E. Thekiso). ‘Towards a set of criteria for the evaluation of communication skills courses in reading and writing.’ In Issues in Applied Linguistics. CELTE, University of Warwick & CELS University of Birmingham. Pp 35-40. ISSN 1362-0908

1996. ‘Academic writing in Computer Science.’ In E. Ventola & A. Mauranen (Eds) Academic Writing: Intercultural and Textual Issues. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. ISBN 90 272 5053 7

1997. ‘The English Language and ESP teaching in the 21st century.’ In In Francoise Meyer et al (Eds.) English for Specific Purposes in Latin America. Merida, Venezuela: Unversidad de Los Andes.

1997. ‘Approaches to the teaching of academic writing.’ In Ventola, Eija (Ed.) Akateeminen Kiroittaminen (Academic Writing). Helsinki: Helsinki University Press pp71-83. ISBN 9515702666

1998. ‘Lexical and grammatical choices in innovative language use in Computer Science.’ In A. Sanchez-Macarro & R. Carter (Eds) Linguistic Choice Across Genres. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 158. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. ISBN 90 272 36631 (Eur.)

1998. ‘English for Specific Purposes: the preservation of the species.’ English for Specific Purposes. 17.1: 47-66. ISSN 0889-4906.

1999. ‘Variation in the methods sections of research articles across disciplines: the case of fast and slow text.’ In Paul Thompson (Ed.) Issues in EAP Writing Research and Instruction. Reading: Centre for Applied Language Studies. ISBN 0-704-491-36666

2000. ‘English for Specific Purposes: prospects for future research and development.’ Invited Paper in Annual Report of the Special Interest Group on ESP, Japan Association for English Language Teaching. Tokyo.

2001. ‘Purpose and attitude in written text.’ In Proceedings of 1st National Conference of Ethiopian ELT Network. 

2001. (with Thomas Bloor) ‘There’ll be some changes made: predicting future events in academic and business genres.’ In Martin Hewings (Ed.) Academic Writing in Context. Birmingham, UK: The University of Birmingham Press. ISBN 1-902459-26-1

*2004. M. Bloor (with Thomas Bloor) The Functional Analysis of English. Second Edition. London: Arnold. ISBN 0-340-80680-X

2004. Towards a systemic functional model for comparing forms of discourse in academic Writing.Systemic Functional Linguistics in Action, Ilha do Desterrro, (Journal of English Language, Literatures and Cultural Studies) Vol 46: 83-115. Florianopolis, Brazil. ISSN 0101-4846.

*2007. M. Bloor (with Thomas Bloor) The Practice of Critical Discourse Analysis: An Introduction. Hodder Arnold. 2007. ISBN 978-0-340-91237-9.

Research Supervision

Please note that although academic colleagues associated with the Centre make an important contribution to its research activities, they do not supervise research students. If you are interested in applying for a place on our doctoral programme, please contact Elaine Roberts who will direct you to an appropriate colleague.