Professor Jane Spiro


Professor in Education and TESOL, National Teaching Fellow

School of Education, Humanities and Languages

Jane Spiro


Jane is Professor in Education and TESOL at the School of Education, Oxford Brookes University. She is research lead for Applied Linguistics, and her roles have included Head of Applied Linguistics academic group, Learning and Development leader, Principal lecturer in Student Experience, and co-founder of CCI, Centre for Curriculum Internationalisation.

Jane’s innovative practice in creative language education, language methodology and internationalisation have been published by Edinburgh, Oxford University Press, Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan amongst many others. Her publications have informed multiple teacher development programmes at Brookes and beyond, including in Mexico, Malaysia and Hungary. She has won several awards including a National Teaching Fellowship in 2010 and several awards for researching and enhancing the experience of international students.

Jane is also a poet and creative writer, drawing on this practice to inform her advocacy of a creative approach to teaching. Her poems and stories have been performed at festivals, won awards and have led to radio broadcasts, collaborative exhibitions with artists and photographers and many poetry projects with the local community.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

  • Language Teacher development on the TESOL pathway through the MA, and TESOL leadership role
  • Reflective Professional Development and academic literacies across all MA Education pathways
  • Writing for Academic practice and supervision on EdD programme
  • PhD supervision of doctrate students within the fields of language education
  • Creative writing and methodology modules on the BA in English and English Language and Communication


PhD completions as Director of Studies:

  • Irena Gwiazda 
  • Eowyn Crisfield (2023)

EdD completions:

  • Sunith Mysore
  • Neil Currant 

Current supervisions:

  • Joanna Skelton (PhD)
  • David Henson (EdD)
  • Catherine Burch
  • Dorota Watson
  • Anthony Afanu

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Ioli Ayiomamitou Educational and psycholinguistic perspectives on children and young people who speak non-standard varieties 2018


Research interests

  • Action research in teacher development and teacher education
  • Teacher narratives and reflective practice
  • Internationalisation of the curriculum and the international University
  • Higher education pedagogies and M-levelness
  • Creativity in the language curriculum: story, narrative, poetry and text development

Research projects

  • 2007 Transitions and Transformations, a project exploring creativity in the language arts and education with Open University and Nottingham University (AHRC funded)
  • 2007- 2008 Student Voices project; student experience of the international University (BSLE funded)
  • 2008- 2009 Educated outside UK: international students' experience of UK study (BSLE funded)
  • 2009- 2011 Reflective practice in MA level study (Teaching Fellowship funded)
  • 2011 Reflective practice across disciplines/Reflective practice in Applied Linguistics (jointly funded by Cambridge University Press, British Association of Applied Linguistics and National Teaching Fellowship)
  • 2011- 2012 ESRC project Poetry Matters participant with Universities of Exeter, Leicester and Greenwich



  • Beyond EAL
  • Crossing Borders in University Learning and Teaching: navigating hidden cultures
  • Writing Identities


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Professional information


Recent conference papers

  • Learners, changing, teachers changing: changing methodologies: Harrogate IATEFL April 2014
  • Learning Interconnectedness: HEA conference Bringing Graduate Attributes to Life November 2013 Oxford Brookes University
  • Teacher stories: March 2013 Worldwide webinar Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Creativity and language play Worldwide webinar Oxford University Press March 2012
  • Reading from the Inside Poster presentation ESRC Poetry Matters Seminar University of Leicester September 2011
  • Creativity in the Language curriculum Oxford University Press Teacher Development day, Zagreb, Croatia December 2010
  • Embedding e-learning into programme design HEA University of Newcastle December 2010
  • Developing online learning communities University of Northumbria HEA Evidence-based seminar March 2010
  • Story writing as a learning resource at the University of Stockholm, Sweden November 2009

Further details

Other experience

Her previous posts include: Senior Lecturer in International Education at the College of St. Mark and St. John; Assistant Director of Studies at Janus Pannonius University, Hungary; co-ordinator of the English Language Centre at Nottingham University; course manager of Cambridge Diploma in English Language Teaching for Adults (DELTA) in Switzerland. She has been consultant on government, Oxford University Press and British Council projects in materials writing, test writing, curriculum development and creative writing in India, Japan, China, Malaysia, Kenya and Sri Lanka; UK Co-ordinator for a European Language Testing Consortium and co-editor of the journal Reading in a Foreign Language.

She has also been presenter and writer of interfaith programmes for Carlton and West Country Television. She is the author of Creative Poetry Writing (2004) and Storybuilding (2007) with Oxford University Press and is currently writing a core book for the development of teachers of English worldwide with Edinburgh University Press. She is a published poet and novelist with a research/teaching commitment to the connections between creative practitioner and educator.

Her PhD on this subject was completed in 2008 and published in full online by the University of Bath.

Further information

Former keynote papers in the field of creative language education

  • MICELT Malaysia (2004, 2005)
  • Oxford University Press Teachers Conference Helsinki, Finland (2004)
  • British Council at Oxford University (2004)
  • Intercollege conference in Nicosia, Cyprus (2003)
  • TESOL Conference Paris, France (2003)