Skip to main content
Skip to navigation
MSc in ICBP
CELTA at Warwick
Language learning and teaching
Language structure, variation and change
Language teacher education and development
Professional and workplace communication
Working, relating and adapting across cultures
Past Research Theses
Doctoral Alumni Network
MA TESOL Quick Fire Dissertation Presentation Event 2019
Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey
Centre for Applied Linguistics
University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0)24 76523200
Global People - helping individuals and organisations develop global fitness - the intercultural competence needed for today's multicultural, diverse world.
My main research interests are: - Social pragmatics, especially the interrelationship between language use and the management of interpersonal relations (face theory, politeness theory, rapport management theory). - Intercultural interaction, including cross-cultural pragmatics, intercultural discourse, and the interface between culture, language and behaviour. - Intercultural adaptation and change, including issues of identity and hybridity, culture shock, intercultural competence and development. - Culture and pedagogy.
My educational background is in both psychology and linguistics, and throughout my career I have worked at the interface of the two disciplines. My first teaching experience was in Hong Kong, where I taught English language to sixth-form (pre-university) students, as well as to adults taking evening classes at a British Council language school. Later I spent 7 very happy years working at Shanghai Jiaotong University, training teachers of English language from colleges and universities in the eastern region of China. After completing my PhD at Lancaster University, I lectured at the University of Luton for 10 years and established the first MA in Intercultural Communication in the UK. In 2002 I started managing the major inter-governmental eChina-UK Programme on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and found it a transforming experience. I joined the University of Warwick in September 2007.
View Current Projects
View All Projects
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Dauber, Daniel, 2019. What is integration and why is it important for internationalisation? A multidisciplinary review.
Journal of Studies in International Education
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Dauber, Daniel, 2019. Internationalisation and student diversity : opportunities for personal growth or numbers-only targets?.
Vigier, Mary, Spencer-Oatey, Helen, 2018. The interplay of rules, asymmetries in language fluency, and team dynamics in culturally diverse teams : case study insights.
Cross Cultural and Strategic Management
, 25 (1), pp. 157-182,
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, 2017. Transformative learning for social integration : overcoming the challenge of greetings.
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Dauber, Daniel, Jing, Jing, Lifei, Wang, 2017. Chinese students' social integration into the university community : hearing the students' voices.
, 74 (5), pp. 739-756,
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Kádár, Dániel Z., 2016. The bases of (im)politeness evaluations : culture, the moral order and the Eastâ€“West debate.
East Asian Pragmatics
, 1 (1), pp. 73-106,
Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Dauber, Daniel, 2016. The gains and pains of mixed national group work at university.
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
, 38 (3), pp. 219-236,
Messelink, H. E., Van Maele, J., Spencer-Oatey, Helen, 2015. Intercultural competencies : what students in study and placement mobility should be learning.
, Volume 26 (Number 1), pp. 62-72,
Wang, Jiayi, Spencer-Oatey, Helen, 2015. The gains and losses of face in ongoing intercultural interaction : a case study of Chinese participant perspectives.
Journal of Pragmatics
, 89, pp. 50-65,
Žegarac, Vladimir, Spencer-Oatey, Helen, Ushioda, Ema, 2014. Conceptualizing mindfulness-mindlessness in intercultural interaction.
International Journal of Language and Culture
, 1 (1), pp. 75-97,
View All Publications
Update your user profile on Ideate