School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

What we do

What we do

We place emphasis on multidisciplinarity, empirically-driven theory advancement, and the impact of these advancements on real-world language and communication.

Please find a few examples of our current projects below:

Case Studies


The Linguacuisine project addresses the future of the equality of access and participation in learning linked to two core skills gaps recognised by today’s changing Europe: digital skills and language skills.

A collaboration between Newcastle University (UNew, UK), Action Foundation (UK), Hellenic Open University (HOU, Greece), Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE, Italy) and Workers’ Educational Association (WEA, UK), and funded by a €323,886 Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership grant, the project will promote learning of digital literacy, languages, cuisines and cultures.

It will do this by the co-design of downloadable apps and social recipes by means of an authoring tool to develop an online community of practice. We aim for mass adoption of these learning materials with a focus on social inclusion.


PRO-COM is a new research group located in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS), Newcastle University. We work with clients to help improve communication in the workplace, to create centres of excellence in spoken communication and to promote interactional competence.

Our research and consultancy team come from a wide range of academic specialisms: including Social Psychology, Corpus Linguistics, Discourse Analysis and Interaction Analysis, but we all have a shared interest in language use and communication. These varied research expertise help us to highlight effective communication practices and offer suggestions for improving communication from a range of perspectives.

Our clients come from all walks of life, including education, business, medicine and technology. We work with any type of organisation, large or small, public or private. Our central belief is that effective communication lies at the heart of every successful enterprise. What's more, based on the research expertise we have acquired over many years, we know that we can help clients improve their workplace communication as a way of attaining excellence in their professional practices.


SETTVEO project is funded by the British Council. The focus of this study is the use of technology enhanced learning in a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) context. Using technology is an important means of promoting teacher development and improving collaboration and reflective practice (RP).

The aim of this study is to enable teachers to reflect on their practice through the use of SETT (Self Evaluation of Teacher Talk) and VEO (Video Enhanced Observation). The use of an effective teacher development framework such as SETT with the innovative video technology of VEO (i.e. tags and online community) will help teachers to gather and interpret their own teaching evidence and that of others. This will fosterteachers’ necessary skills to identify and make meaning of what is relevant and what can be improved in their teaching through individual and collaborative reflective practice.  Understandings of teaching and learning, we suggest, can be greatly enhanced through an up-close, fine-grained and detailed understanding of classroom interaction. In this study, then, teachers will be encouraged to collect evidence using SETTVEO and use that evidence to both reflect on current practice and improve their classroom interactional competence (CIC, Walsh 2013). 

English in contexts of global tourism

This project run by Alan Firth and Adam Brandt looks at how English is used in diverse tourist-vendor encounters in South East Asia. We have given papers on this at Newcastle University, Conference on 'Economic Encounters' at University of Maastricht and at a Conference in Kolding, Denmark. Our first paper on the data will appear in Journal of Pragmatics in 2017.

ATIAH - Approaches and tools for internationalisation at home

Higher education internationalisation is more than mobility – if universities are to become truly ‘international’ they have to start ‘at home’. This is the motto of ATIAH, a new Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership between three leading European universities: Newcastle University, KU Leuven and Università di Bologna. The project is lead in Newcastle by Alina Schartner and Sue Robson. 

Over the next 2 years the consortium will be working together to develop a set of innovative resources and tools for internationalisation at home, including:

1.       An audit tool for universities seeking to review their current practice
2.       An online toolkit for an ‘internationalising university experience’ module
3.       A framework for evidencing good practice internationalisation

The resources are aimed at educators, students, staff development and professional service units, and those in a leadership position in higher education institutions in Europe and beyond.

Critical skills for life and work - Developing the Professional Intercultural Communicative Competence of Highly-Skilled Refugees 

This is an Erasmus+ funded project which aims to design and implement effective training tools for enhancing key skills and competences of (a) highly-skilled refugees and (b) the language teachers who work with them, and so enhance the employability and societal integration of skilled refugees.

  • Professional intercultural communicative competence for work and life (aimed at highly-skilled refugees)
  • Teaching professional intercultural communicative competence (aimed at volunteer teachers)