Linguistics at Newcastle

Staff Profile

Dr Mei Lin

Senior Lecturer



I am a senior lecturer, teaching at the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) programme. Prior to joining the TESOL team at Newcastle, I taught English as a foreign language at a secondary school and universities in China for 10 years, and worked on national research projects on educational policies and thinking skills in England. My current research interest is on embedding teaching thinking, esp. higher order or critical and creative thinking, into second language classrooms as well as its impact on learning outcome and associated professional development activities. I am interested in supervising PhD projects on developing teaching pedagogy on critical thinking in EFL classrooms.  


Mei was Degree Programme Director of the MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) for more than 10 years. In addition to the teaching at the MA programme, Mei has been working as a consultant for a number of research projects on teaching innovations and professional development. Prior to joining the TESOL team at Newcastle, she had taught English as a foreign language at a secondary school and universities for 10 years in China, and managed a few national and local research projects on educational policies and thinking skills in England.

Roles and Responsibilities

Personal tutor
Senior tutor 
Chair of Board of Examiners 
ECLS rep for HASS INTO Liaison Group
Chair of PEC Committee for MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL and CCC programmes


BA in English
MA in English Linguistics and English Language Teaching
PhD in Education



IATEFL (International Association of Teaching of English as a Foreign Language)
BAAL (The British Association for Applied Linguistics)


Research Interests

My research interests are centred around integrating teaching higher order thinking into English as a second or foreign language curriculum. These can be broken down into several foci: 1) innovative pedagogy in teaching thinking and impacts on learning outcomes;  2) professional development of second language teachers (esp. mediation and classroom discourse); 3) impact of teaching thinking on particular language skills and competence. Other research interests include bilingual maintenance; bilingual code-switching, and bilingual education, and teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

Other Expertise

Mandarin Chinese, educational policies, systems and foreign language teaching and learning in China
From 1997-2006 Mei was secretary of Chinese Centre of North East of England.
She set up a Sunday Mandarin Chinese school in Newcastle and was head teacher from 1998-2004.

She has provided a number of professional development workshops on how to integrate teaching thinking into second language education programme.

Current Work

Co-researcher on a transition project that explores the main difficulties that international students encountered and strategies adopted at the Master’s level of academic study in a new cultural context, with a particular focus on students’ understanding of critical thinking and process of academic writing.
Researching into feasibilities of integrating teaching thinking into the EFL curriculum as a compulsory subject, and impacts on teaching pedagogy, learning motivation and learning English in use.

Future Research

Integrating teaching thinking into secondary EFL curriculum
Higher order thinking in developing L2 speaking, reading and writing competence and proficiency

Research Roles

Co-researcher on ‘Transition: International Postgraduate Students’ Transitions: linguistic, academic and engagement in learning’, 2011-
Co-researcher on ‘Transition: International Postgraduate Students’ Transitions: linguistic, academic and intercultural’, 2009.
Co-researcher on ‘Six Thinking Hats and Developing Thinking Skills of English Major Students at Fuzhou University’ 2009-2012, Fuzhou, China.
Consultant for a project on ‘Curriculum Design and College English’, Hohai University, Changzhou, China. 2009-
Co-Principal Investigator with Sue Robson on ‘Developing and Evaluating a Model for Thinking Skills Intervention in the Asian Context’, funded by the British Council China Studies Grant. 2000- 2004.
Project team for ‘An Evaluation of Thinking Skills Taxonomies for Post-16 Learners’ funded by LSDA 2002-3 led by David Moseley.

Postgraduate Supervision

Mei is currently supervising 5 PhD students researching on pre-service teacher development, higher order thinking of postgraduates in writing, and integrating teaching thinking into L2 classes at different levels. She will be willing to supervise students who are interested to investigate processes of developing a critical voice in L2 (using reflective tools, e.g. Think Aloud), reciprocal roles of critical reading and writing in L2, or ways to help teachers generate higher order thinking talk to improve L2 speaking, reading and writing skills.

Current 1st supervision
Maaly Jarrah (PhD) -  Exploring experience of learning to be reflective practitioners of English language teachers in Kuwait 
Abdul Almashy (PhD) - An investigation into the impact of extensive reading on the development of Saudi university students' speaking skills
Vanlee Siriganjanavong (IphD) - Evaluation of English Language Teacher Education Programme, Thailand
Rungsima Jeanjaroonsri (IphD) - Thai university students' perceptions of the learner-centred approach
Yuqi Xiao (IphD) - Collaborative writing on Chinese university students' critical thinking.

Woralak Bancha (IphD) - Impact of oral group reflection on beliefs and practice of Thai university teachers of English relating to vocabulary teaching in reading. 

Successful PhDs:

2017- Rezon Alharbi (Acquisition of lexical collocations: a corpus-assisted contrastive analysis and translation approach

2016- Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani ( Can creative circles improve reading comprehension and creative thinking of Saudi third-grade middle school EFL learners?

2015- Sandra Morales Rios (

2015- Chia-Lin Kuo (

2014- Yue Lin (Infusing higher order thinking skills in secondary school in China on reading and writing).

2013- Darrett Naruemon (Evaluation of English Language Teacher Education Programme, Thailand)

2010- Mamour Turuk (Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Integrative Teaching of Reading and Writing in ESL Writing Classroom, Sudan)
2010- Mei-hui Chen (Infusing thinking skills into speaking an L2 classroom, Taiwan)

Esteem Indicators

Mei is a visiting professor, Fu Zhou University, China, 2010-2013.
A successful bid for a thinking skill research project in L2 classes, and received national recognition in China in the Fifth round of Chinese National Grants for Foreign Language Education, 2010
Consultant for Curriculum Reform and College English Teaching, a 11th 5 Year Plan project in Jiangsu Province, China by Hohai University, 2009-2011
Reviewer of papers for the BAAL and AILA conferences 2009-
Reviewer for Genesee, F. et al. Review of Educating English Language Learners: A Synthesis of Research Evidence. For ‘British Journal of Educational Studies’ 2007
External examiner for PhD student in teacher development at Northumbria University


Postgraduate Teaching

Module leader:
English Language Teaching Methods
Thinking Skills in English Language Teaching


Research Methods in Applied Linguistics
Pedagogical Grammar and Lexis

Bilingualism and Bilingual Education