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Dr Richard Smith

See 'Publications' and 'Plenary talks etc.' tabs above for comprehensive publication and presentation lists with links





Centre for Applied Linguistics
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0)24-7652-4987

Research Interests

As an applied linguist and language teacher educator, I am interested in a range of language learning and teaching issues, especially in relation to the worldwide learning and teaching of English for speakers of other languages, I have particular professional / research interests and aim to supervise research students in the following broad areas: Histories of language teaching & applied linguistics; Critical issues in ELT/TESOL; Language textbook research; 'Local pedagogies' in ELT/TESOL, including approaches to teaching English in 'difficult circumstances'; Pedagogy of autonomy, including language teacher autonomy; Capacity-building in ELT/TESOL research, including teacher-research.


Before coming to Warwick in January 2000, I taught in France and - for a period of 13 years - Japan. My doctoral research was in the area of history of language teaching, and in 2002 I founded the Warwick ELT Archive, a unique collection of materials relating to the history of teaching English as a second/foreign language, c.1880-1980. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Henry Sweet Society for the History of Linguistic Ideas and, until recently, co-edited the Society's journal, 'Language & History'. In 2008 I was elected joint convenor of the AILA (International Association of Applied Linguistics) Research Network on Learner Autonomy (re-elected for 2011-14) and served as coordinator of the IATEFL Research SIG from 2011 to 2015. Currently I am chairing the steering committee of the International Festival of Teacher-research in ELT 2017. I am also a member (formerly, Deputy Chair) of the Board of Trustees of the A.S. Hornby Educational Trust, am a founding coordinator of the AILA Research Network on History of Language Learning and Teaching (, a member of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and Key Concepts Editor for the ELT Journal (Oxford University Press).

Research Projects

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  • Smith, Richard, Bullock, Deborah, Rebolledo, Paula, Robles López, Andrea, 2016. 'By teachers for teachers' : innovative, teacher-friendly publishing of practitioner research. English Language Teacher Education and Development Journal, 20, pp. 116-125, View
  • Smith, Richard, Kuchah, Kuchah, 2016. Researching teacher associations. ELT Journal, 70 (2), pp. 212-221, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2015. Building 'applied linguistic historiography' : rationale, scope and methods. Applied Linguistics, 37 (1), pp. 71-87, View
  • McLelland, Nicola, Smith, Richard, 2014. Introduction : building the history of language learning and teaching (HoLLT). Language & History, 57 (1), pp. 1-9, View
  • Smith, Richard, McLelland, Nicola, 2014. An interview with John Trim (1924–2013) on the history of modern language learning and teaching. Language & History, Volume 57 (Number 1), pp. 10-25, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2013. Harold E. Palmer, IRLT and 'historical sense' in ELT. IRLT Journal, 12, pp. 1-8, View
  • Rixon, Shelagh, Smith, Richard, 2012. The work of Brian Abbs and Ingrid Freebairn. ELT Journal, Volume 66 (Number 3), pp. 383-393, View
  • Smith, Richard, Bowers, Roger, 2012. A. S. Hornby and 50 years of the Hornby Trust. ELT Journal, Vol.66 (No.1), pp. 1-9, View
  • Hunter, D., Smith, Richard, 2012. Unpackaging the past : "CLT" through ELTJ keywords. ELT Journal, Volume 66 (Number 4), pp. 430-439, View
  • Kuchah, Kuchah, Smith, Richard, 2011. Pedagogy of autonomy for difficult circumstances: from practice to principles. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Vol.5 (No.2), pp. 119-140, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2011. Harold E. Palmer's alternative 'applied linguistics'. Histoire Epistemologie Langage, Vol.33 (No.1), pp. 53-67, View
Books and Chapters
  • Rixon, Shelagh, Smith, Richard, 2017. A history of IATEFL : the first fifty years of the international association of teachers of English as a foreign language: Faversham, IATEFL, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2015. The concept, or spirit, of "Teachers Research!". In: Bullock, Deborah; Smith, Richard; (ed.), Teachers Research!, Faversham, Kent, United Kingdom, IATEFL, pp. 1-12, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2015. Exploratory action research as workplan : why, what and where from?. In: Dikilitas, K.; Smith, Richard; Trotman, W.; (ed.), Teacher-researchers in Action: , IATEFL, pp. 37-45, View
  • Smith, Richard, Connelly, Tom, Rebolledo, Paula, 2014. Teacher-research as CPD : a project with Chilean secondary school teachers. In: Hayes, David; (ed.), Innovations in the continuing professional development of English language teachers, London, British Council, pp. 111-129, View
  • Smith, Richard, Barkhuizen, R. C., Vieira, F., 2013. Teacher education and autonomy : where's the real story?. In: Barfield, A.; Delgado Alvarado, N.; (ed.), Autonomy in Language Learning : Stories of Practices: , IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG, pp. 150-161, View
  • Smith, Richard, Gray, John, Freeman, Diana, Kiai, Alice Wanjira, Tanaka, Mayumi, Banegas, Dario Luis, 2013. ELT coursebooks : past, present and possible. In: Pattinson, T.; (ed.), IATEFL 2012 : Glasgow Conference selections : 46th International Conference, Glasgow, 19-23 March 2012, Kent, IATEFL, View
  • Smith, Richard, Negash, N., Franca, V, Qiang, W., Phyak, P., Ajjan, M., Kuchah, Kuchah, Saleem, M., Sarwar, Z., Coleman, H., 2012. Investigating large classes. In: Pattison, T.; (ed.), IATEFL 2011 : Brighton conference selections : 45th international conference, Brighton, Canterbury, IATEFL, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2011. Teaching English in difficult circumstances : a new research agenda. In: Pattinson, T.; (ed.), IATEFL 2010 : Harrogate conference selections : 44th international conference, Canterbury, IATEFL, View
  • Smith, Richard, Rebolledo, P., Shamim, F., Wyatt, M., 2015. Supporting teacher-research : challenges and opportunities. IATEFL 48th International Conference, Harrogate, United Kingdom, 02-05 Apr 2014, Published in IATEFL 2014 Harrogate Conference Selections, pp. 197-201, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2014. Transformations in ELT : contexts, agents and opportunities. NELTA 18th International Conference, Nepal, 16-18 Feb 2013, Published in NELTA Conference Proceedings 2013, pp. 12-22, View
  • Pinter, Annamaria, Mathew, Rama, Smith, Richard, 2016. Children and teachers as co-researchers in Indian Primary English classrooms, British Council, Report, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2015. Book review : Teacher research in language teaching : a critical analysis. ELT Journal, Oxford University Press, pp. 205-208, Book Review, View
  • Smith, Richard, Sky, Gosia, 2015. The state of ELT research in the UK (Part II). ELT Research, IATEFL, pp. 21-24, Journal Item, View
  • Smith, Richard, 2014. Teacher development, teacher-research, and autonomy. Independence, IATEFL Learner Autonomy SIG, News Item, View
  • Smith, Richard, Knagg , John, 2012. The state of ELT research in the UK (Part I). ELT Research, IATEFL, pp. 5-7, Journal Item, View

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