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Research degrees
Research areas
Languages and applied linguistics
Online and distance language teaching and learning

Online and distance language teaching and learning

Language learning is a key topic in the Language and Literacies Research Cluster. In today’s globalised world, language learning and teaching is of increasing importance. In this area, a range of methodologies are applied to researching the teaching and learning of languages including the use of large multimodal corpora, sociocultural approaches and digitally mediated communication. Key projects include: developing online teaching skills and telecollaboration in Higher Education, effective e-feedback, the use of social media, and eyetracking (a technology recording the gaze focus of learners during online tasks to establish attention focus and learning strategies).

Qualifications available

PhD, Professional Doctorate.


For detailed information on current fees visit Research degree Fees.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 (or equivalent) plus either a Masters degree or research methods training at Masters level (or equivalent).

Potential research projects

  • The application of new technologies to language learning and teaching
  • The professional development of language teachers
  • Translation and first language use in language teaching
  • Language learner and teacher identity/identities
  • Multilingualism and third-language learning
  • Independent language learning and learner autonomy
  • Culture and language learning
  • Interaction and collaboration in language learning
  • Task design
  • Assessment, feedback and self-assessment
  • The role of emotions in speaking online
  • Strategies in language learning
  • Multimodal analysis of online language learning interactions

Current/recent research projects

  • A study of an online reading group: English language teachers’ perceptions of the roles of reading and discussing literature in English in the construction of their professional identity
  • Impact on the knowledge construction process of multimodal online interactions in audiographic conferencing systems: the case of adult distance learners of French
  • Emotion in online distance language learning: learners’ appraisal of regret and pride in synchronous audiographic conferencing
  • Social presence in online multimodal communication: a framework to analyse online interactions between language learners
  • Living Latin: exploring a communicative approach to Latin teaching through a sociocultural perspective on language learning

Potential supervisors


Women talking into her computer

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Dr Inma Álvarez, Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
Phone: +44 (0)1908 659169