Professor Vivian Cook
Emeritus Professor

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5284
  • Address: 1.10 KGVI
    King George VI Building
    School of ECLS, University of Newcastle
    Queen Victoria Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU


Vivian Cook worked at Ealing Technical College, North East London Polytechnic and Essex University, teaching EFL, first and second language acquisition and language teaching methodology. Since 2004 he has been Professor of Applied Linguistics at Newcastle. He is chiefly known through books on second language learning, Chomsky and spelling. Current interests include the English writing system and the multi-competence view of L2 acquisition, in particular bilingual cognition. Founder and first President of the European Second Language Association. Founding co-editor of Writing Systems Research since 2009. He maintains extensive websites on SLA, writing systems and vocabulary, accessible through

Research Interests

I have worked in several areas of first and second language acquisition, language teaching methodology, linguistics and EFL. Currently I am concentrating on writing systems particularly of English but also cross-language writing system acquisition, on the multicompetence theory of second language acquisition which looks at the second language user as a distinct type of person from the monolingual cognitively and linguistically, and on the language of the street, studying the monolingual and bilingual signs in two city streets in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Postgraduate Teaching

I teach modules on the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL on Core Issues in SLA and on The English Writing System.