School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Elaine Lopez

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL



I joined Newcastle University as Lecturer in Applied Linguistics in September 2016, moving from the University of Leeds. My interest in Applied Linguistics developed whilst I was teaching EFL in private language institutions overseas, and on returning to the UK I spent a decade working and studying in Yorkshire. My primary research area is formal linguistic (generative) approaches to Second Language Acquisition and the application of this research to the language classroom.

I am the Degree Programme Director (DPD) for the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL, and the co-covenor of the Language and Cognition Research Group.


PhD Linguistics, University of York 2015


MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL, University of Sheffield (pass with distinction) 2010

BA English Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield (first class honours) 2009

Previous Positions

Lecturer in TESOL, University of Leeds (January 2015-September 2016)

Associate Lecturer in TESOL (English for Academic Purposes), Sheffield Hallam University (2009-2013)

Various ELT roles in Indonesia, Mexico and the UK (2002-2009)


My research interests run across a continuum from formal linguistic (generative) approaches to the Second Language Acquisition (SLA) of morpho-syntax, to more applied work around learning and teaching. My doctoral research was a teaching intervention which investigated the classroom application of generative SLA research into the acquisition of determiners. The project took an interdisciplinary approach to grammar instruction by connecting theoretical research on the English article system to classroom practice. I have also completed small-scale research projects in the areas of L2 vocabulary development, Focus on Form, and the L2 acquisition of Spanish complement clauses. Current projects include a corpus study of expletive subject use, skills development in highly qualified refugees, and work on feedback on writing in HE. 

I am increasingly interested in how individual differences impact on acquisition and learning as well as child L2 development, both of which are areas I hope to explore more in the near future. I am also interested in how psycholinguistic research methods could be used as a measure of classroom-based learning. 


I am module leader for the following courses

ALC8024 Language Awareness

ALC8033 English for Academic Purposes