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Professor Richard Smith - Research Students

For 2023/24 and 2024/25 I am at full capacity and am not accepting any new candidates for PhD supervision.

I am currently supervising the following PhD research students:

  • Nick White (Oral history research into the development of ELT methodology, 1960s onwards)
  • Zhang Yi (ELT textbook use in Chinese online classrooms) [joint supervision with Prof. Jo Angouri]
  • Li Xi (History of English teaching in China, with a particular focus on late 19th-century missionary education)
  • Azadeh Moladoost (Teachers' feedback-seeking behaviour for professional development)
  • Laurent Ahishakiye (Teacher associations in Sub-Saharan Africa from a decentring ELT perspective)
  • Ashish Joe S.S. (History of English language education during the nineteenth century (1790–1920s) in Southern India) [joint split-site supervision with Prof. Sunita Mishra, University of Hyderabad]
  • Elyanora Menglieva (Introducing exploratory action research into pre-service teacher education in Uzbekistan)
  • Shambhavi Singh (Developing an enhancement approach to teacher development in tribal areas in India)


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

Before 2025/26, I am not taking on new PhD students. From then onwards, I may be willing to supervise in areas directly connected with my own research work, in particular in the field of history of language learning and teaching / history of applied linguistics (Smith 2016, Smith 2022). If your research falls within one of the areas I'm working in, it'd be advisable to send a draft proposal (according to guidelines here) before making a formal application (