School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Professor Paul Seedhouse

Professor of Educational and Applied Linguistics



Roles and Responsibilities

REF Coordinator for Applied Linguistics

ECLS Director, iLAB:Learn

Co-ordinator, Applied Linguistics and Communication Research Group

DPD MA Applied Linguistics Research


Academic Qualifications

1979 University of Durham. BA(Honours)Class 2:1,German(French subsid.)

1992 University of Aston. MSc in Teaching English.

1996 University of York. D Phil. Title of thesis: ‘Learning Talk: a Study of the Interactional Organisation of the L2 Classroom from a CA Institutional Discourse Perspective.’

2016 Newcastle University. D Litt. Title of thesis: ‘Spoken Interaction as a Complex System’.

Professional Qualifications

1983 International House London. RSA Cert TEFL

1984 Durham University School of Education. PGCE

1989 Centre for British Teachers, Brunei. RSA Dip TEFL


I am a member of the British Association of Applied Linguistics, the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society and the British Science Association.


Research Interests

The knowledge which is created by my research is of how people communicate in professional settings. I portray spoken interaction as a complex, holistic, adaptive system. Specifically, I uncover how the organisation of interaction in an institutional setting is related to the institutional goals. Close examination of the detail of the interaction can reveal issues and problems which can then be tackled through policy or training. 

To get free electronic access to a number of my publications, please go to

 My Google Scholar page is    


Current Work 

I am PI on Video Enhanced Observation Europa, a €270K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for School Education grant.

I am PI on Linguacuisine, a €324K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Adult Education grant.

I am Co-I on Propic, a €76,780 Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education grant.

Details of the grants are below.


Research Roles

REF Coordinator for Applied Linguistics for the 2013 and 2020 exercises.

Editorial Board member for the journals:  Language Teaching, Classroom Discourse, English Profile Journal, Novitas Royal, Bellaterra, ARECLS.

Co-editor, Edinburgh University Press Book Series 'Studies in Social Interaction'. 

 ECLS Director, iLAB:Learn 

Chair, Applied Linguistics Research Group

Postgraduate Supervision

PhD students who have completed are Ghaleb Rababah, Jim Ackers, Aboubaker El-Aswad, Eda Ustunel, Chris Jenks, Navaporn Sanprasert, Kitcha Thepsiri, Buthayna Al-Garawi, Hanan Waer, Olcay Sert, Chen-Ying Li, Saad Al-Mutairi, Dorine Lugendo, Aki Imuro Siegel,  Sumita Supakorn, Cihat Atar and Andy Harris.
I am currently supervising:  Jaeuk Park, Ming-Fen Lo, Khansaa Martakush, Monthon Kanokpermpoon, Miaomiao Zuo, Saziye Savaskan .

Esteem Indicators

The Modern Language Association of America awarded me its twenty-fifth annual Kenneth W. Mildenberger Prize in 2005 for my book The Interactional Architecture of the Language Classroom: A Conversation Analysis Perspective. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding work in the fields of language, culture, literacy, or literature with strong application to the teaching of languages other than English. The book was also shortlisted for the British Association for Applied Linguistics Book Prize 2005.

The book Conceptualising Learning in Applied Linguistics, for which I was first editor, was runner-up in the  British Association for Applied Linguistics Book Prize 2011.

The French Digital Kitchen project won the 2012 European Language Label prize.  

I have given invited plenary talks at conferences in Denmark, UK, Italy, Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Turkey, Finland, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

For videos of my talks on the IELTS Speaking Test, Digital Kitchens and on task-based interaction go to: and and

I am currently external examiner for:
University of Edinburgh MSc Applied Linguistics

I have been external examiner for 13 UK doctorates as well as for theses in Australia (2), Finland, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.Expert list member, EU Comenius and Erasmus programmes.


 I currently have 3 funded projects:

1) I am Co-I on Propic: Promoting professionalism, innovation and transnational collaboration in foreign and second language and teaching - integrating research-orientation and mobile technologies in teacher education. This is a €76,780 Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education grant.

2) I am PI on Video Enhanced Observation, a €270K Erasmus Plus KA2 Strategic Partnerships for School Education grant.  Paul Miller and Jon Haines, who run the spin-off company Video Enhanced Observation Limited (VEO), are part of the project team.  The consortium brings together 6 partners from 5 countries and aims to improve the quality and efficiency of education and training by using an innovative technological approach to support initial teacher training and continuing professional development. The project builds on work undertaken by Newcastle University spin-off company VEO Ltd, which has developed an iPad App for classroom observation – the VEO, Video Enhanced Observation. This App adopts a novel and data-driven approach to classroom observation by enabling the observer to tag a whole range of different aspects of both teaching and learning, which can then be reviewed.

The project partners are: edEUcation ltd UK; Padagogische Hochschule Karlsruhe Germany; Lapin Yliopisto Finland; Hayatboyu Ogrenme Akademisi Dernegi Turkey; Regionalen inspectorat po obrazovanieto-Haskovo Bulgaria.

The main outputs are:

• an enhanced App

• an online platform hosting a set of training modules

• a portfolio of best practice resources

• a community of practice

• a series of case studies

• a research report and publications.

The project will customise the App so that it can be used across a range of different country contexts and will create a set of downloadable training resources. These will tested with 20 trainees or existing teachers in each of four schools or training organisations in each country, a total of 400 teachers. Additionally through the dissemination strand, the project will reach a further 250 key stakeholders including School Leadership teams, Teacher Training Organisations including HEIs, NGOs, Teaching Unions and National Ministries. Within the exploitation strand, partners will exploit their networks to reach European wide organisations.

The project has a research strand, which will analyse the methodology and its impact. This will ensure maximum access at a European level and inform policy development. Having published empirical evidence will enhance credibility of VEO with teachers and head teachers.

The anticipated impact will be evidence of improved teacher performance, improved confidence and motivation in teachers and a demonstration of how this technology can be used to provide a more targeted, effective and cost-effective method of professional development.

Website -


3) Paul Seedhouse and Rob Comber have received an Erasmus Plus grant of €323,886 for the Linguacuisine project, starting on September 1 2016.

Whereas our previous EU-funded Lancook or European Digital Kitchen project produced sensorised digital kitchen equipment, we will create for the new Linguacuisine project free downloadable smartphone and tablet apps (android and Apple). These will enable users to be guided through cooking a range of recipes in 6 different European languages. The phone or tablet will speak to the users in the foreign language and offer multimedia help to users in terms of photos and videos. Users will be able to access different levels of help to support their language learning depending on their levels of competence. As no sensors are involved, users will let the phone or tablet know when they are ready to move to the next step.

The main aim is to create a sustainable model for the production and use of multimedia materials for learning languages, cuisines and cultures based on user-generated content in support of a community of practice in those areas. Working with Action Foundation in Newcastle and the national organisation the Workers Educational Association, we will take 20 participants who would like to improve their digital skills, including migrant and refugees. We firstly provide them with digital, transferable and language skills. We will co-design the app and authoring tool with them, thus ensuring that the apps will be usable by most social groups in the EU. Then we enable them to use the authoring tool to author a multimedia social recipe for language learning. We will develop of online communities of practice in 6 EU languages which bring people together in sharing and cooking the recipes. Dissemination activities will ensure that people across the EU will share and author social recipes themselves.

Objectives are:

  • To produce a downloadable  tablet and smartphone app (android and iphone) which will enable users to be guided through cooking a recipe in 6 official EU languages. Further languages can easily be added using the authoring tool.

  • To create an online community of practice with access via the apps.

  • Participants will learn aspects of a foreign languages, cuisines and cultures by using the apps.

  • To develop a certification system for the digital competence which participants develop.


The needs addressed are: improving basic skills, specifically digital competence, and engaging people who would like to improve their digital skills (including refugees and migrants) with technology; certifying and assessing levels of digital competence; learning foreign languages, cultures and cuisines;

Information on the project and (from 2018) the free downloadable Linguacuisine app will become available on Project partners are: Hellenic Open University; University of Modena and Reggio Emilia; Workers Educational Association; Action Foundation.


Industrial Relevance

Able to record and analyse communication in institutional settings. Close analysis of details of the interaction can uncover the sources of communication problems and suggest solutions to these.

Applications of digital technology to language learning. 


Postgraduate Teaching

I am module leader for the following modules : Spoken Interaction in Language Learning and Testing Contexts , Research Methods in Applied Linguistics for Doctoral Students.  I also teach on the HASS Faculty research training programme.