applied linguist
  • academic
  • author
  • teacher

Welcome to my website. Something about myself: I live with my wife Helen in Sedbergh, Cumbria, a beautiful spot in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, just 14 miles from Kendal and the Lake District. will tell you all about Sedbergh. Our son Hugh is a junior doctor, at present working at a hospital in the South of England.

Until 2008, I worked full-time in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Lancaster. Before that I was at the University of Reading, then at the University of Essex. My areas of interest in all these places were applied linguistics and foreign language teaching. During my time at work, I did a great deal of foreign travel as a lecturer and consultant, visiting about 34 countries on 70 visits. I’ve also held various Guest Professorships, including at the University of Vienna and the Education University of Hong Kong.

In 2008, I took early retirement, and am now Emeritus Professor at Lancaster. I decided that I wanted to continue writing in the field of linguistics, but with a different focus. Though I’m still interested in foreign language teaching, my main attention has now shifted to historical linguistics, particularly the language of Shakespeare. I’m now a full-time writer of textbooks and academic books for university students.

Click here for a list of my language-teaching-related books, and here for my work in historical linguistics. There’s some information about my Shakespeare work here, including about a podcast I have produced called 'Shakespeare’s language . . . and more'.

I’m willing to give talks – To general audiences or to university students – on either the history of English or Shakespeare’s language (but not on language teaching).