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Professor Richard Smith - Research Students

I am currently supervising the following research students:

  • Nick White (historical study of the influence of private sector language teaching on the development of ELT methodology)
  • Zhang Yi (pragmatics in Chinese university English textbooks: ELT textbook design and use) [joint supervision with Prof. Jo Angouri]
  • Yang Zening (how language teachers enact and develop agency for social justice in rural China)
  • Li Xi (Chinese students’ attitudes towards English in a changing context)

Most years I take on one or two new research students. Please get in touch with a draft proposal if you would like to discuss this possibility before making a formal application (


On the left: Research students Mais Ajjan (following successful completion of her PhD) and Harry Kuchah Kuchah, with Richard and Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme winner Priyah Anmpalagan. On the right: Richard with Harry on the day he submitted his PhD thesis and with Anyarat Nattheeraphong (Ying) after she was awarded her PhD).

I have previously supervised the following students to successful completion of a PhD or EdD degree:

Eight Expert Indian Teachers of English: A Participatory Comparative Case Study of Teacher Expertise in the Global South (Jason Anderson, PhD, 2021).

Building the Bridge of Affordances: Exploring Teacher Research Support in a University Language Centre (Abdullah Al-Rawahi, PhD, 2021).

Aspects of the Cambridge ICELT ethos: An In-depth Exploration of Discourse in One Iteration of a Globalised In-service Language Teacher Training Course (Gabriel Ernesto Vargas Gil, PhD, 2021)

Localizing Global English Language Textbooks: A Critical Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Identity Construction in Global, Regional and Local Editions. (Suha Alansari, PhD, 2019)

Malaysian Primary School Teachers’ Use of and Cognitions about Digital Technology for Literacy Instruction: A Case-based Investigation (Saiful Zainal PhD, 2019)

Exploring Criticality in Teaching English for Academic Purposes via Pedagogy for Autonomy, Practitioner Research and Arts-enriched Methods (Ana Inés Salvi, PhD, 2018)

A Comparative Investigation of Conceptions of Research and Its Value within Undergraduate ELT Teacher Education Programmes (Ceren Őztabay PhD, 2015)

Appropriate Pedagogy for Critical Reading in English in the Japanese Secondary School Context: An Action Research Investigation (Mayumi Tanaka, PhD, 2015)

An Investigation into the Match or Mismatch between a Saudi Medical School English Programme and Workplace Use of English: An ESP Case Study, from Needs Analysis and Sociolinguistic Perspectives (Elham Ghobain, PhD. 2015)

Context appropriate ELT pedagogy: an investigation in Cameroonian primary schools (Harry Kuchah Kuchah, PhD, 2013)

Teachers’ Beliefs about Appropriate Methodology in Thai Secondary Level English Education (Anyarat Nattheeraphong, PhD, 2013)

Teaching and Learning under Difficult Circumstances: Teachers’ Strategies and Student’ Perspectives with Specific Reference to the Syrian University Context (Mais Ajjan, PhD, 2012)

Biography of an English Language Textbook in Kenya: A Journey from Conceptualization to the Classroom (Alice Wanjira Kiai, PhD, 2012)

Ideal and Reality of Textbook Selection: An interview and questionnaire-based investigation in the Taiwanese tertiary context (Shu-er Huang, EdD, 2011)

Understanding Students' Learner Autonomy through Practitioner Research (Yi-Chu Wei, Sherri, PhD, 2011)*

Communicative Language Teaching and the ELT Journal: A Corpus-Based Approach to the History of a Discourse (Duncan Hunter, PhD, 2009)

A Case Study Based Inquiry into the Adoption and Adaptation of Communicative Language Teaching in Chinese Universities (Xue, Qingqing, EdD, 2009)

Social Networks, Language Learning and Language School Student Sojourners; A Qualitative Study (Pi-Chu Wu, EdD, 2008)*

Cultures and Learner Behaviours: A Qualitative Investigation of a Thai Classroom (Chutigarn Raktham, EdD, 2008)*

Constructing concepts of learner autonomy in language education in the Chinese context: a narrative-based inquiry into university students' conceptions of successful English Language Learning (Xiaoli Jiang, PhD, 2008) 

Plagiarism and International Students: An Investigation in the British Higher Education Context (Nadezhda Yakovchuk, PhD, 2007)

Dimensions of Questioning: A Qualitative Study of Current Classroom Practice in Malaysia (Habsah Hussin, EdD, 2006)

Teaching and Learning English as an International Language in Portugal: Policy, Practice and Perceptions (Luis Guerra, PhD, 2005)

Supporting East Asian Undergraduates in British Higher Education: The Impact of a Learner Training Intervention (Androulla Athanasiou, PhD, 2004)

* = supervised 50-50 with Ema Ushioda