School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Spencer Hazel

Reader in Applied Linguistics & Communication



I joined ECLS in 2016, following a decade moving between the University of Luxembourg, Roskilde University (Denmark), the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Nottingham. This mobility has characterised much of my life, starting in childhood and continuing through my adult years. I spent some 25 years living, studying and working in a range of inspiring places around the world, and trying (not always successfully) to navigate the linguistic and cultural labyrinths in which I would find myself. This has ultimately informed my wider interests in the world, with much of my research also seeking out international settings - multilingual workplaces, language classrooms, Higher Education, the Arts and the like – to explore how people from different walks of life come to make sense of one another.

With a rich international history that stretches back through the years, the North East is an ideal place to pursue these interests. Furthermore, Newcastle has become a very different, internationalised city from the one I left as a young boy many years ago, and therefore a great place to be carrying out this line of research.

As well as an earlier career in theatre, I am also interested in the media, and in 2016 was a British Science Association Media Fellow. This gave me the opportunity to spend a month working as science writer for The Times.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Degree Programme Director MA CCC & Media
  • Director of Equality & Diversity, ECLS
  • Academic Lead Athena Swan, ECLS
  • HaSS Faculty Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee 
  • Deputy Chair of Board of Examiners
  • Member of REF Internal Quality Audit committee, ECLS
  • Independent Chair for PhD vivas, HaSS

Area of expertise

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Social Interaction
  • Multimodality
  • Multilingual Workplace
  • Language Policy
  • Creative Sector
  • Dementia and communication

Peer review and editorial work

Social Interaction - Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality (Editorial Board); Research on Language and Social Interaction (ROLSI); Applied Linguistics; Journal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice; Applied Linguistics Review; Discourse ProcessesDiscourse StudiesClassroom Discourse; Qualitative Research Journal; Journal of Pragmatics; Pragmatics and Society; Modern Language Journal; Aging and Mental Health; Qualitative Research in PsychologyStudy Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education; Forum Qualitative Social Research; International Journal for the Semiotics of Law; Journal of Interaction Research and Communication Design (Advisory Board); Guest Editor work: Journal of Pragmatics (2014; 2018); Journal of Linguistic Anthropology (2017), and a number of edited collections.

Scientific committees: International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (IIEMCA); American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL); Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice (ALAPP); Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the Internationalised University (CALPIU)

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SCOPUS: Click here.


My research interests are in workplace interaction, with recent research output dealing with such settings as service encounters, corporate business meetings, business workshop facilitation, guidance counselling in higher education, classroom interaction, healthcare, research-focused activities, theatre rehearsals, and forklift truck driving. 

Most settings that I have investigated have been linguistically dynamic, and I am especially interested in exploring the ways through which people make use of the body and other resources from the surround to facilitate communication. I adopt an interaction analytic approach to do so, drawing on Ethnomethodological Conversation Analysis, micro-ethnography, and video analysis.

Over the past years, I have been involved in a range of projects on internationalised, multilingual settings. At the University of Luxembourg I was attached to the Codiscilea project (Competences for Organizing Discourse-in-Interaction and Science Learning), exploring the discourse of elementary school science classrooms. At Roskilde University, I carried out my PhD research as a member of the Research Centre for Cultural and Linguistic Practices in the Internationalised University (, and postdoctoral research in the project Language and Interaction in the Global Corporation ( This line of research is still ongoing, and with colleagues in Denmark, I continue to work as a member of the research project Transient Multilingual Communities (, and was involved in the Erasmus project Critical Skills for Life and Work (, developing toolkits for highly skilled refugees. 

My research in these projects has focused first and foremost on resources such as talk, gaze, gesture, body posture and material objects that people make use of in their interactions. This line of work was carried through in the project Social Objects for Innovation and Learning (SOIL) at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding.

Currently, with colleagues across Newcastle University, we am conducting research on social interaction involving people living with dementia. This project, Interaction, Dementia and Engagement in the Arts (IDEA) was funded from the British Academy, and provided the foundations for a follow-up project Interaction, Dementia and Engagement in the Arts for Lifelong Learning (IDEAL), supported by a grant from the UKRI Industrial Strategy Catalyst Fund. Both these projects are collaborations with colleagues from across Newcastle University, working in partnership with Equal Arts and Sunderland Culture.


I am currently module leader for ALC8021 Understanding Multimodal Communication and ALC8009 English in the World, while contributing to ALC8003 Methods in CCC Research, ALC8020 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, and HSS8004 Qualitative Methods and Critical Analysis in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

I am also currently supervising nine PhD students. I would be happy to hear from candidates looking to do a PhD in areas of research related to my own, specifically research from and interactionist perspective, including Conversation Analysis, Ethnomethodological Interaction Analysis, and Video Analysis.

Office hours: Monday 11-12