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Professor Ema Ushioda

Job Title
Applied Linguistics
+44(0)24 765 23808
Research Interests

As a person of Japanese heritage born and raised in Ireland, I have had a longstanding interest in language, culture and identity, particularly in motivational perspectives on engaging with different languages and cultures. Much of my research revolves around issues of motivation and autonomy in language learning and their implications for classroom practice and teacher education. My preference is for qualitative methods of inquiry.


I have been working in language education and language teacher education since 1982, and have taught in Japan, Ireland and the UK. I obtained my PhD in 1996 from Trinity College, Dublin, where I also coordinated a research-and-development project to set up institution-wide language programmes, and then pursued postdoctoral research funded by Atlantic Philanthropies to promote language learner autonomy in Irish secondary schools. This project involved designing and evaluating a version of the Council of Europe's European Language Portfolio. I moved to Warwick in 2002 where I have been teaching primarily on our MA and PhD courses. I became Director of Graduate Studies in 2013, before serving for five years as Head of Department from 2018 to 2023.

Title Funder Award start Award end
Syntactic priming as implicit learning: comparing second and first language speakers Leverhulme Trust 02 Oct 2017 02 Feb 2022
Investigating the predictive validity of TOEFL iBT scores and their use in informing policy and pedagogy in a UK university setting Educational Testing Service 15 Jun 2013 31 Aug 2015
The impact of teacher training at pre-service and early in-service levels on teacher performance in the classroom Anglo Mexican Foundation, The 01 Apr 2014 20 Dec 2014