Dr Sean Sutherland

Dr Sean Sutherland

I was educated at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (Bachelor of Journalism, 1994; Master of Applied Language Studies, 2001) and the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King's College London, University of London (PhD Applied Linguistics, 2010).

After university I worked for two years as a newspaper reporter in my hometown, Ottawa, Canada, then took a job working as an assistant English teacher at a junior high school in Seoul, Korea. This prompted me to become more interested in the academic study of language, which led me to an MA degree in language studies. I worked in Tokyo, Japan for seven years as an English instructor at the university level, then came to London to work on a PhD.

I joined this department in 2008, where I teach Language and Texts for first year undergraduates and Discourse Analysis for the second year, as well as Sociolinguistics for MA students. I also administer the work experience module for undergraduate students.

My research interests are primarily in the area of discourse analysis (the academic study of language in use), sociolinguistics (the relationship between society and language) and language teaching.

For my PhD thesis I interviewed Japanese teachers of English in Japan about language teaching, the status of English in Japan and the world, and their relationships with their native English-speaking assistant teachers. I also spent time engaged in classroom observation in a Japanese junior high school. I used a qualitative discourse analytic approach to analyse the data, looking at how the teachers used language to both display their identities as Japanese teachers of English and to show their perceptions of the issues listed above.

My research interests are thus the fields of discourse analysis as a method of data analysis, and sociolinguistics, World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca as content areas in which discourse analysis can be applied. I am interested in hearing from potential PhD students who want to do research in any of these areas.

I am currently the director of studies for Ms. Giulia Pepe’s doctoral dissertation, which focuses on young Italians living in London and their adoption and use of English terms in order to create a code which signals their identity.

  • English Language and Linguistics