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Prof Helen Spencer-Oatey - Additional Information

Recent research projects

  • Manager of the Global PAD initiative. The Open House section of it provides a range of resources. Helen has led the development of most of the intercultural resources.
  • Director of the Globally-Oriented Curriculum Project (April 2009 - March 2010), which formed one of the themes of the Kings-Warwick project. Outputs are available on the Global People website.
  • Manager of the Sino-UK e-Learning Programme (eChina-UK) on behalf of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (2002-2009). This Programme involved a number of British and Chinese universities working collaboratively to develop e-learning courseware in a range of subject areas. The final phase of the Programme drew together learning across all the projects on intercultural effectiveness in international education projects (the Global People Project). The Programme had £4 million of investment from HEFCE.
  • Steering committee member of the LACE Project (Languages and Cultures in Europe) (2006-2007). This project, which was commissioned by the Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism Directorate of the European Commission, investigated the development of intercultural skills in primary and secondary schools in 12 different European countries. It was completed in the autumn of 2007.


The following article was one of the Top-10 most cited articles in the Journal of Pragmatics, 2007-11:

  • Spencer-Oatey, H. (2007) 'Theories of identity and the analysis of face', Journal of Pragmatics, 39 (4), 639 - 656.

Plenary Conference/symposium presentations

  • Global Personnel: Competency Development, Challenges and Opportunities. Plenary presentation at the Global Human Capital 2013 symposium, Tokyo, 27 Feb - 1 March 2013. The event was organised by Nikkei Business Publications.
  • Relational Concerns in Intercultural Workplace Teams: Theoretical Insights from the Study of Emotions. Plenary Presentation at the Sixth International Symposium on Politeness, METU, Ankara, 11-13 July 2011.
  • Understanding Intercultural Competence for Business. Insights from the eChina-UK Programme. Plenary address at the first Chinese national conference Intercultural Business Communication, University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, China, 22-23 May 2010.
  • Identity construction in the workplace: Insights from an international project. Plenary speaker at the 2nd Dialogic Language Use Conference on the theme Constructing Identity in Interpersonal Communication. University of Helsinki, 19-21 August 2009.
  • Developing 'Global People': Insights from International Partnerships. The Contribution of a Discourse Approach to the Learning/Teaching of Intercultural Communication. Plenary address at the BAAL/CUP Seminar: Key Themes in Intercultural Communication Pedagogy, University of Sheffield, 9-10 July 2009.
  • Developing competence in intercultural interaction: what are we aiming at? Keynote address at the First Symposium on Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication in the Spanish-speaking world. Birkbeck, University of London, 25–26 June 2009.
  • Achieving understanding in Chinese-British Collaborative Education Projects. Plenary speaker at the international conference Issues in Interpreting Meaning, University of West of England, Bristol, 23 –25 April 2009.
  • Applying social pragmatics to the realities of intercultural interaction: insights and limitations. Keynote address at EPICS III, 3rd Symposium on Intercultural, Cognitive and Social Pragmatics. Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain, 20–22 February 2008.
  • Cross-cultural Research: Pitfalls and Possibilities. Keynote speaker at the Association for French Language Studies Symposium, Cross-Cultural Pragmatics at a Crossroads: Speech Frames and Cultural Perceptions. University of East Anglia, 3–4 November 2006.
  • Quality Assurance and Learner Support in Online Education: eChina–UK Case Study. Guest speaker at the International Forum on Quality Assurance in Online Education, Beijing, 14–15 October 2006. Organised and sponsored by the China Education Association for International Exchange and Michigan State University.
  • Insights into International Collaboration Processes. Guest speaker at the International Symposium English in Higher Education in the 21st Century, University of Warwick, 6 July 2006. (Part of the 3rd meeting of the International Academic Consortium for the 21st Century, AC21).
  • International Teamworking in eChina–UK: Finding Third Spaces around Memorisation and Reflection. Keynote speaker at the conference, Celebrating Third Spaces in Language Teaching, Learning and Use, University of Leicester, 27–28 June 2005.
  • Chinese Students' Adjustments to Britain: How are they coping and how can we help? Keynote speaker at the conference Responding to the Needs of the Chinese Learner in Higher Education, University of Portsmouth, 17–18 July 2004.
  • Working collaboratively across nations: the eChina–UK experience of trying to get started. Keynote speaker at the SIETAR UK Symposium, The Business of Culture, Kings College London, March 2004.
  • Developing a Framework for Non-Ethnocentric 'Politeness' Research. Keynote speaker at the International Colloquium EDICE (Studies in Spanish Politeness Discourse), Stockholm, Sweden, Sept. 2002.