Applied Linguistics and Language in Education

About us

The members of the Applied Linguistics and Language in Education (ALLIE) research group are all engaged in researching, writing, teaching and developing the study of language in all its manifestations, as science and as personal development, as text and as spoken word, within and beyond educational settings. 

Our work covers the whole spectrum of these approaches: from the science of phoneme articulation and language processing, to the politics and pedagogy of first languages in schools. We all share a common interest in the integral role of language in human development and social interaction. Our  work also includes engagement with language across the curriculum in schools, and the development of academic language literacies in Higher Education. Our research spans a number of languages beyond English, including Greek Cypriot dialects, German, Bengali, Korean, Mandarin and Japanese, and international contexts including India, Hawaii, Japan, Jersey and Switzerland. 

Primary school classroom


Jane Spiro

Professor Jane Spiro

Professor in Education and TESOL, National Teaching Fellow

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Andrie Yiakoumetti

Dr Andrie Yiakoumetti

Senior Lecturer in English Language and TESOL

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Name Role Email
Dr Eowyn Crisfield Senior Lecturer in English Language and TESOL
Professor Roger Dalrymple Visiting Professor of Education, School of Education
Dr Hanako Fujino Senior Lecturer in Japanese Language and Linguistics
Dr Chris Rizza Senior Lecturer in English Language and Communication
Mrs Jo Skelton Senior Lecturer in Primary Maths and School Liaison
Gosia Sky Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics
Professor Jane Spiro Professor in Education and TESOL, National Teaching Fellow
Dr Paul Wickens Senior Lecturer English Language and Communication
Dr Andrie Yiakoumetti Senior Lecturer in English Language and TESOL


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Journey of words: from manuscript to mind

In this project, we investigate the stress differences of Romance loans in English, German and Dutch from both historical (i.e. when the words were borrowed) and theoretical (i.e. how did the stress change) perspectives, and their effects on second-language processing and consequences for language teaching. We use psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic methods to investigate whether loans with different stress patterns in English, German and Dutch (e.g. universitéit (D), univérsity (E), Universitä́t (G)) cause L2 learners of English difficulties in processing. These findings will then be used to create a digital teaching tool for English language students and teachers which will be designed in close collaboration with English language teachers and tested in classrooms to maximise its usefulness.

Professor Aditi Lahiri AHRC From: October 2019
Until: September 2022

Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Writing Identities

The project researched the processes of writers who traverse the domains of poetry and academic writing. Its aim was to consider the ways knowledge is revealed and adapted for these two different audiences, as perceived by the writers themselves.

Dr Sue Dymoke, Professor Jane Spiro From: September 2014
Until: September 2016

Beyond EAL

This study investigated the impact of a whole-school teacher development programme on class teacher attitudes and self-reported effectiveness working with students with EAL. The project was in collaboration with New Marston School, Oxford.

Dr Eowyn Crisfield, Professor Jane Spiro National Teaching Fellowship From: September 2015
Until: September 2018

Crossing Borders in University Learning and Teaching: navigating hidden cultures

This project drew on 106 ‘critical incident’ narratives of learners as they moved to a second culture for study. It investigates these moments of collision or surprise, using a sociocultural framework to tease out aspects of hidden cultures and ways these are navigated and experienced.

Professor Jane Spiro Westminster Trust Sabbaticals From: September 2019
Until: September 2021

Past and current consultancy roles

Eowyn Crisfield and Jo Skelton: 

  • The Multilingual Learner: From theory to practice (International School of Geneva)

Eowyn Crisfield: 

  • States of Jersey EAL Review and Language Policy Development
  • Aga Khan Academies: Developing and Sustaining Local Languages in International Education
  • Current consultancy roles with Dulwich Colleges International, International School of Geneva, International School of Delft; Institut le Rosey

Sandra Kotzor:

  • Consultant for Creative Multilingualism (AHRC, University of Oxford; 2016-2020; PI: K. Kohl)
  • Creative Multilingualism, for example work on the LinguaMania podcast
  • Consultant for The ‘morphome’: a psycholinguistic investigation (John Fell Fund, University of Oxford; 2021-2022; PIs M. Maiden & C. Cappellaro)

Jane Spiro:

  • Creative Poetry Writing (Oxford University Press 2004)
  • Storybuilding (Oxford University Press 2007)
  • Changing Methodologies in TESOL (Edinburgh University Press 2013)
  • Linguistic and Cultural Innovations in Schools: the languages challenge (Palgrave Macmillan) 2018 with Eowyn Crisfield)
  • Reflective Writing (2020 Palgrave Macmillan with Kate Williams and Mary Wooliams)
  • Crossing borders in university learning and teaching: navigating hidden cultures (2021 Routledge)
  • Doctoral external examining for Queen’s University Belfast, Dublin City University, Exeter, Reading, Warwick, Leeds Met, Coventry, University College London Institute of Education, York St John, Monash Australia
Primary students in a classroom

Community engagement projects

  • NALDIC (EAL Subject Association) Executive Committee member, SIG coordinator
  • Poetry walks with Arts4Dementia connected to the Robert Burton Anatomy of Melancholy Exhibition, Weston Library (Jane Spiro 2021)
  • Think Human Exhibitions with Oxford local writers: 2018 - Remembered Pasts (Jane Spiro)
  • Think Human Exhibition: images and voices of refugee stories 2019: Testimony of Flight (Jane Spiro)
  • 09/2017 Participation in the Curiosity Carnival, University of Oxford (Sandra Kotzor)
  • 09/2018 Showcasing research at the Durga Puja Reading (Sandra Kotzor)
  • 2021 Advisor for Waynflete project at Magdalen College School (Sandra Kotzor)


ALLIE members host the following regular events:

  • Monthly peer review circles for the exchange and discussion of work in progress
  • Monthly writing days for sharing writing goals and outcomes with others
  • Participation in weekly research seminars contributing a language perspective to debates and panel discussions 

ALLIE members have conceived and facilitated the following conferences:

  • English as an Additional Language (2016, 2017)
  • Materials Writing (2018)
  • Writing in other words (2021)

People at a conference

Recent publications

Image credit: Photo by CDC on Unsplash