Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Dr Martin Wedell

Senior Lecturer in TESOL - Head of International Education

I am currently Head of International  Education at the School of Education, and so closely involved in developing and managing many of the School's international links.   I have had more than 20 years of international experience as a teacher, teacher trainer, trainer trainer, test designer and materials writer living and working  in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, China and Hungary. Some projects I worked on with my local colleagues include:

  • planning, designing and implementing new M.A degree courses in TEFL/English and ELT at Beijing Normal University and Beijing Foreign Studies University in P.R.China.
  • editing and communicative test writing for the Communicative English for Chinese Learners (CECL) textbook series at Guangdong Foreign Studies University. P.R.China.
  • designing, implementing and managing a new three year  pre-service B.Ed in ELT at Kossuth Lajos University, Debrecen, Hungary.
  • designing a distance learning, degree-level, upgrading programme for diploma level English  teachers in Hungary
  • examining, test writing and moderating for national English exams at primary,secondary and university level in Kenya, China, Hungary and the UK.

Research Interests

English is part of the state school curriculum in almost every country in the world today. The aims of English teaching are almost always expressed in terms of developing learners' communication skills.  Yet few learners emerge from secondary schools with such skills. My research focus is on English Language Teaching for communication as complex educational change.  It asks questions such as

  • What frameworks can we develop to help us systematically study contexts in which English is being taught and learned?
  • What are the main challenges  that English curriculum reforms pose for existing educational norms in different contexts?
  • Which partners in any change process are likely to be challenged in what ways? 
  • How may they be supported?
  • What are the implications of all the above for the manner in which we think about  the local planning and implementation of  the complex  TESOL change processes which are so often passed down from 'on high' ?

 Other areas of interest

  • The content and process of initial and in-service TESOL teacher education curricula, in the light of  current thinking about teacher learning and learning teaching
  • TESOL teacher educator/trainer training - a critical prerequisite for  ANY teacher education/development
  • The washback and impact. of high stakes English tests
  • Possible roles for CMC in  teacher  development  programmes


A wide selection of sites offering free access to a huge range of EFL/ESL/TESOL resources, sorted by category.


I have taught most areas of the English Language Teacher Education curriculum at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At present I teach  TESOL curriculum and TESOL changeThe Practice of supporting Language Teacher Learning,  and Contexts and Approaches in TESOL on the home and China Masters programmes.

PhD Supervision

I welcome research applications from people interested in studying any aspect of TESOL ( educational) change, in particular

  • how teachers experience educational change, 
  • the planning, design and implementation of systems to support educational leaders, trainers, teachers, their learners and others who are affected, as they experience a change implementation process.
  • factors influencing the adaptation of global changes to fit local contexts

I am currently working with doctoral students who are investigating:

  • The phenomenology of TESOL change among primary English teachers/ trainers in Vietnam.   
  • What Korean pre service trainee teachers learn about the teaching of speaking during their practicum, and contextual factors that influence this.
  • The process of planning for excellence in teaching and learning in Higher Education in Bahrain and the UK .
  • Exploring  teaching-learning contexts through  Exploratory Practice 
  • Contextually appropriate roles  for action research in the professional  development of secondary Chilean English teachers
  • Relationships between  different approaches to Bilingual education  and the identity formation of Tibetan learners of Chinese.
  • The impact of a TESOL  in-service training programme on Chinese Middle School teachers' beliefs and practices . 
  • The development of formative asessment practices in Tanzanian primary schools.
  • The pedagogical implications of globalisation for the teaching of organisational management theory
  • Collaboration among fixed and mixed ability groups in UK primary schools
  • The extent to which Saudi learners' prior ICC and motivation influence their living and learning experiences during their first year as students in the UK 

Key Publications


  • Wedell M, Malderez A, Understanding Language Classroom Contexts: The starting point for change (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

Journal Articles


  • Wedell M, ‘Becoming an effetive English teacher: who, what and where helps it happen?’, in IATEFL 2013, ed. by Pattison T (Faversham, Kent: IATEFL, 2014), 22-26

  • Wedell M, ‘Proficiency in English as a key to development? Helping teachers to help learners to succeed:’, in ENGLISH AND DEVELOPMENT. Policy, Pedagogy and Globalization, ed. by Erling, E and Seargeant, P (Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, 2013), 141-163

  • Wedell M, ‘ELT in action:what works and what helps make it work’, in IATEFL 2012 (Canterbury. Kent: IATEFL, 2013), 158-161


  • Lamb M, Wedell M, Inspiring English teachers: a comparative study of learner perceptions of inspirational teaching, in ELT Research Papers, (London: British council, 2013), 1-23
    Repository URL: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/77828/

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