Dr James Simpson
Senior Lecturer in Language Education
Senior Lecturer in Language Education; MA TESOL coordinator; TESOL & Language Education Postgraduate Research coordinator.
My research interests lie in the teaching and learning of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and in language learning with new technology. I currently supervise a number of PhD students working in these areas.
Visit the ESOL Research home page for more information about ESOL research at Leeds.
I manage an email discussion list ESOL-Research, a forum for researchers and practitioners with an interest in teaching and learning ESOL.
Current and recent research projects
Applicant and lead researcher, Mobigam project (2012-13) (British Academy).
Applicant and lead researcher, HENNA (Harehills ESOL Needs Neighbourhood Audit) project (2010-2011) (Leeds City Council).
Applicant and lead researcher, Identity Online project (2007-2010) (British Academy) and Teacher Identity project.
Lead researcher, Placement Practices Project (2006-2007) (NRDC/ESF).
Researcher, PPA project (‘Motivating Skills for Life students to persist progress and achieve’) (2006-2007) (NRDC/QIA).
Researcher, ESOL practitioner development project (2006-2007) (NRDC/ESF).
Researcher, ESOL Effective Practice Project (2003-2006) (NRDC/ESF).
Academic advisor, NRDC-funded practitioner-led action research project, Dewsbury College (2005-2006) (NRDC).
Academic advisor, Practitioner-led action research project, Park Lane College, Leeds (2006-2008).
Other professional activities
Editor, The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics (2011).
Member of advisory board of the journal Language Issues.
Member of the AILA Language and Migration Research Network and the UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum.
Coordinator, MA TESOL programme.
Coordinator, TESOL & Language Education Postgraduate Research programme.
Module convenor, EDUC 3030 Language Learning Technology and Materials.
Lecturer, EDUC 5979M Language Learning and Teaching with ICT, EDUC 5922M Research methods for TESOL, EDUC 3007 Globalisation and Language Education.
Tutor, TESOL Forum.
Academic and personal tutor, MA postgraduate (taught) students.
(2011) The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics. Taylor & Francis US.
(2008) ESOL: A Critical Guide. Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers. Oxford University Press.
(2012) “Discourses about linguistic diversity”, The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism, Martin-Jones M; Blackledge A; Creese A (eds.). Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge.
(2012) “Politics, policy and practice: ESOL in the UK and the USA”, King’s College London Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies. 87: 1-22.
(2011) “Telling Tales: Discursive space and narratives in ESOL classrooms”, Linguistics and Education. 22.1: 10-22.
(2010) “Onwards and Upwards: Space, Placement, and Liminality in Adult ESOL Classes”, TESOL QUARTERLY. 44.3: 420-440.
(2010) “Movement and loss: progression in tertiary education for migrant students”, Language and Education. 24.1: 57-73.
(2010) “‘Dead on the page no more! The case for authentic, locally appropriate ESOL materials.’”, Language Issues. 21.1: 4-20.
(2009) “A Critical Stance in Language Education: A Reply to Alan Waters”, Applied Linguistics. 30.3: 428-434.
In his recent Forum article on ideology in applied linguistics, Alan Waters (2009) takes up arms against what he perceives as a damaging critical tendency. Ideas about language teaching, he claims, are promoted (e.g. learner centredness) or proscribed (e.g. artificial texts) 'on the basis of ideological belief rather than pedagogical value'. By making this distinction, Waters fails to recognize that the relationship between ideology and pedagogy is inextricable: ideologies are constructed, reproduced, and made manifest in social practices, such as language teaching. Furthermore, in certain language learning and teaching situations, an uncritical stance-one which views language teaching as a neutral and value-free activity-is incompatible with students' language learning and broader life concerns. In this response article, I maintain that in such contexts, the field of applied linguistics has an obligation to mediate in a way that is both critical and pedagogically relevant.
(2009) “Challenging agendas in ESOL: Skills, employability and social cohesion”, Language Issues. 20.1: 19-30.
(2007) “Adult ESOL in the UK: Policy and research”, Prospect. 22.3: 18-31.
(2006) “Differing expectations in the assessment of the speaking skills of ESOL learners”, Linguistics and Education. 17.1: 40-55.
(2005) “Learning electronic literacy skills in an online language learning community”, Computer Assisted Language Learning. 18.4: 327-345.
(2005) “Conversational floors in synchronous text-based CMC discourse”, DISCOURSE STUD. 7.3: 337-361.
“Teaching and learning listening in ESOL classes: “The rock we build the house on””, Language Issues. 19.2: 4-19.