Research Centre for Learning and Teaching

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 (EFL) 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 integrating teaching thinking, esp. higher order or critical and creative thinking, into second language classrooms as well as in its positive impact on learners, learning outcome and professional development. I have been supervising PhD projects on experimenting different teaching pedagogy of embedding teaching thinking into EFL curriculum.


I 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, I have been a consultant for a number of research projects on teaching innovations and professional development.

Roles and Responsibilities

Admission tutor

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 English as a foreign language and impacts on learning outcomes; 2) professional development of second language teachers (esp. on mediation and classroom discourse); 3) impact of teaching thinking and overall development of learners. Other related research interests include language and thinking, code-switching and creativity, 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 I was secretary of Chinese Centre of North East of England.

I set up a Sunday Mandarin Chinese school in Newcastle and was head teacher from 1998-2004.

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

Current Work

Co-researcher on a comparative study examining different learners' development of critical learning skills in postgraduate taught programmes in Accounting and Finance and in Applied Linguistic and TESOL in Newcastle University, funded by University Education Development Fund, 2018-2019.

Critical Skills for Life and Work, an Erasmus funded project on developing the professional intercultural communicative competence of highly-skilled refugees.

Researching into feasibilities of integrating teaching thinking into the EFL curriculum, and impacts on teaching pedagogy, learning motivation and English in use (e.g. 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

I am currently supervising 4. PhD students. Three students are researching on impact of integrating teaching critical thinking or thinking dispositions into L2 in Chinese university contexts. They focus on revealing performance of critical thinking or different disposition through examining students talk. One student investigates students' perceptions and experience of developing critical thinking over a 12-month MA programme in the UK.

Ngoc Thin Pham- The Learning Journeys of Confucian Heritage Culture Students to become Critical Thinkers: Longitudinal Evidence from Chinese and Vietnamese Postgraduate Students in the UK

Jing Jiang - Investigating the impact of integrating Community of Inquiry in an EFL flipped classroom on students’ critical thinking in classroom discussion (China)

Chang Liu - Can a Six Thinking Hats approach mediate Chinese university students’ pre-writing process in English argumentative writing? (China)

Qin Yin- An investigation of critical-thinking-mediated group discussions in an EFL university classroom in China (China)

Successful PhDs:

2022-Maaly Jarrah - Engagement in reflective practice upon the completion of a professional development course: An ethnographic case study exploring EFL teachers’ experience in their teaching contexts in Kuwait (Kuwait)

2021-Abduh Almashy - An Investigation into the Impact of Extensive Reading Activities on the Development of EFL Speaking competences: A Quasi-Experimental Study of Saudi University Students (Saudi Arabian) 

2021-Yuqi Xiao - Developing English as a foreign language students’ critical thinking during the process of collaborative writing (China)

2019-Vanlee Siriganjanavong - A comparative analysis of abstracts written by novice and professional writers: a synergy of genre-based and corpus-based approaches (Thailand)

2019- Woralak Bancha (IphD) - Impact of oral group reflection on beliefs and practice of Thai university teachers of English relating to vocabulary teaching in reading.

2018- Rungsima Jeanjaroonsri (IphD) - Thai university students' perceptions of the learner-centred approach

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

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

2015- Sandra Morales Rios (IPhD) - How in-service language teachers become effective users of CALL for online teaching and learning: a case study of their development processes in a transformative online teacher training and development course.

2015- Chia-Lin Kuo (IPhD)- A quasi-experimental study of formative peer assessment in an EFL writing classroom.

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

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

2010- Mamour Turuk (PhD) - Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Integrative Teaching of Reading and Writing in ESL Writing Classroom, Sudan.

2010- Mei-hui Chen (IPhD) -Infusing thinking skills into speaking an L2 classroom, Taiwan.

Esteem Indicators

Consultant for Chinese BAYU project which aimed to recruit distinguished Overseas scholars to help improve the quality of higher education through introduce teaching thinking (2016), and building up an international thinking community between overseas experts and university teachers, pre- and in-service school teachers (2016-2018).

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 for British Journal of Educational Studies, Curriculum Journal

Article editor for SAGE Open.

External examiner for PhD students


Postgraduate Teaching

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

Research Methods in Applied Linguistics