School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Spencer Hazel

Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics & Communication



I joined ECLS in 2016, following a decade moving between the University of Luxembourg, Roskilde University (Denmark), the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Nottingham. This mobility has characterized much of my life, starting in childhood and continuing through my adult years. I spent some 25 years living, studying and working in a range of inspiring places around the world, and trying (not always successfully) to navigate the linguistic and cultural labyrinths in which I would find myself. This has ultimately informed my wider interests in the world, with much of my research also seeking out international settings - multilingual workplaces, language classrooms, Higher Education, the Arts and the like – to explore how people from different walks of life come to make sense of one another.

With a rich international history that stretches back through the years, the North East is an ideal place to pursue these interests. Furthermore, Newcastle has become a very different, internationalised city from the one I left as a young boy many years ago, and therefore a great place to be carrying out this line of research.

As well as an earlier career in theatre, I am also interested in the media, and recently received a British Science Association Media Fellowship 2016. This gave me the opportunity to spend a month working as science writer for The Times.

Roles and responsibilities

Acting DPD 4053F MA CCC & International Marketing

Director of Equality & Diversity, ECLS

Academic Lead Athena Swan, ECLS

Member of REF Internal Quality Audit committee, ECLS

Member of Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute (NUHRI) steering committee

Peer review and editorial work

Social Interaction - International Journal for Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality (Editorial Board); Research on Language and Social Interaction (ROLSI); Applied Linguistics; Classroom Discourse; Qualitative Research Journal; Journal of Pragmatics; Modern Language Journal; Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education; Forum Qualitative Social Research; International Journal for the Semiotics of Law; Journal of Interaction Research and Communication Design (Advisory Board); Guest Editor work: Journal of Pragmatics (2014; in prep.); Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (forthcoming)

Scientific committees: International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (IIEMCA); American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL); Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP); Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the Internationalised University (CALPIU)


My research interests are in workplace interaction, with recent research output dealing with such settings as service encounters, corporate business meetings, business workshop facilitation, guidance counselling in higher education, classroom interaction, healthcare, research-focused activities, theatre rehearsals, and forklift truck driving. I also have a background in theatre, and publish on the 1990s UK theatre scene.

Most settings that I have investigated have been linguistically dynamic, and I am especially interested in exploring the ways through which people make use of the body and other resources from the surround to facilitate communication. I adopt an interaction analytic approach to do so, drawing on Ethnomethodological Conversation Analysis, micro-ethnography, and video analysis.

Over the past years, I have been involved in a range of projects on internationalised, multilingual settings. At the University of Luxembourg I was attached to the Codiscilea project (Competences for Organizing Discourse-in-Interaction and Science Learning), exploring the discourse of elementary school science classrooms. At Roskilde University, I carried out my PhD research as a member of the Research Centre for Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the Internationalised University (CALPIU), and postdoctoral research in the project Language and Interaction in the Global Corporation (LINGCORP). This line of research is still ongoing, and with colleagues in Denmark, I continue to work as a member of the research project Transient Multilingual Communities (TMC).

My research in these projects has focused first and foremost on resources such as talk, gaze, gesture, body posture and material objects that people make use of in their interactions. This work was carried through in the project Social Objects for Innovation and Learning (SOIL) at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding.


I am currently teaching the module 'Understanding Multimodal Interaction', and contribute also to 'Reflective Practice and Second Language Teacher Development' and 'Research Methods'