Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Dr Judith Hanks

Associate Professor in Language Education

I have worked as a teacher, teacher educator and manager, in Italy, China, Singapore, and the UK, since 1987. Returning to Leeds, I joined the University in1999, first in the Language Centre, and now in the School of Education. I am deputy director of the Centre for Language Education Research (CLER), and I am particularly interested in the relationship between research, scholarship and pedagogy and how they are integrated in the language classroom.

Recent Publications

  • Hanks, J. (2017) Exploratory Practice in Language Teaching: Puzzling about principles and practices. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hanks, J. (2015a) ‘Education is not just teaching’: learner thoughts on Exploratory Practice. ELT Journal, 69(2), pp117-128. (First published on-line: December 2014) (Editor’s Choice)
  • Hanks, J. (2015b) Language teachers making sense of Exploratory Practice. Language Teaching Research Journal, pp 612-633.
  • Allwright D. & Hanks, J. (2009) The Developing Language Learner: An introduction to Exploratory Practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Research Interests

My research and scholarship interests are primarily in language teacher education, with particular emphasis on Exploratory Practice – a form of inclusive practitioner research which involves learners and teachers investigating their own experiences of language learning and teaching. I focus on puzzling issues in intercultural communication, and how notions of culture affect teacher/learner identities in the language classroom. I regularly give plenary talks, presentations and workshops at conferences nationally and internationally. I have recently been plenary speaker at international conferences in: Estonia, Japan, Portugal, Thailand and Turkey.


I currently lead the MATESOL & Teacher Education, and the MA TESOL (China) and I am the Head of Undergraduate Area in the School of Education. I enjoy teaching both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students, and I lead the following modules: EDUC5925 Teacher Education in TESOL; EDUC5993 Teaching Oral and Written Skills in TESOL; EDUC1051 Language, Learners and Society. I have also led: EDUC2090 Language Description for Education; EDUC2080 The Practice of English Language Teaching; EDUC3000 Final Year Project; MODL5013 on the MA in Professional Language and Intercultural Studies.

PhD Supervision

I supervise PhD students in the areas of language teacher education, professional development, practitioner research, and curriculum change. I welcome applications in the following areas:

  • Language teacher education & professional development
  • Practitioner research (eg Exploratory Practice, Action Research, Reflective Practice)
  • Intercultural communication
  • Teacher identities and cultures of classrooms
  • Intercultural issues in English for Academic Purposes

Key Publications


  • Hanks J, Exploratory Practice in Language Teaching: Puzzling about principles and practices, Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
    DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-45344-0, Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/112253/

  • Hanks JI, Allwright D, The Developing Language Learner: An introduction to Exploratory Practice, ed. by Candlin C and Hall D, Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009)

Journal Articles


  • Hanks JI, ‘Inclusivity and Trust: a case study of principles in practice’, in Expanding Our Horizons: Language teacher education in the 21st century, ed. by Soneson D and Tarone E (Minneapolis, Minnesota: CARLA University of Minnesota, 2013)

  • Hanks JI, ‘Inclusivity and Collegiality in Exploratory Practice’, in Researching Language Teaching and Learning: An integration of practice and theory, ed. by Yoshida T and others (Bern: Peter Lang, 2009)

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