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Professor Chris Kennedy


Chris Kennedy, who recently retired as Professor and Head of the Centre for English Language Studies, University of Birmingham, started his teaching career as a volunteer in Nigeria, followed by several ELT jobs in Africa and South-East Asia, before joining the University of Birmingham to set up ELT teacher development and applied linguistics programmes. He has worked as teacher, trainer, adviser, manager, consultant, and academic in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia, and South America. He is a Past President of IATEFL, and was Chair of the British Council English Teaching Advisory Committee for many years. He has had two secondments from Birmingham, the first to work for the British Council as an ESP specialist in Tunisia, the second as Chief Executive of CfBT, an international educational charity. His research and publications focus on language policy, ELT curriculum innovation (including teacher development), and English as global language, with interests also in primary level ELT, professional communication, and applied corpus linguistics. He has been frequently invited to give plenaries at international conferences and has conducted ELT consultancies and courses for Education Ministries, the British Council and DfiD in over 50 countries, including recent ELT policy evaluation consultancies in North Korea, Iran and Turkey. He is an Honorary Fellow of CAL and is teaching on the MA module ‘English in International Development’.

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 Heather Vernon (, who will direct you to an appropriate colleague.