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Dr Sian Preece
Room 626
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
  • Senior Lecturer
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am an applied linguist with a background in English language teaching. I began my teaching career in the late 1980s as an EFL teacher, first in Greece and later in the UK. Several years later, I became an EAP tutor at what was then the UCL Language Centre, during which time I studied for an MA TESOL at the IOE. After graduating, I became a lecturer in EAP at the University of Hertfordshire and then moved to the University of Westminster, where I taught courses in the English language and linguistics department before moving to the Education Centre. During the 9 years I was at Westminster, I returned to the IOE to study for my PhD, which was supervised by Prof David Block. I was awarded my doctorate in 2006 and since then have joined the staff in the Applied Linguistics team at the IOE. 

Research Themes
Research Summary

I am interested in the 'social turn' in applied linguistics and TESOL. My research examines the relationship between language and identity with bi/multilingual language learners, with a focus on students from linguistic minority communities. I am particularly interested in the intersection of gender, social class and ethnicity for bi/multilingual students and ways in which language acts as a marker of identity and also as a resource for doing identity work. My main context of study is higher education in which I have conducted a number of classroom based ethnographically oriented studies looking at the linguistic diversity and language identities. I am particularly interested in the idea of linguistic diversity as a resource to be welcomed rather than a problem to be solved within the sector and ways in which the bi/multilingual population in higher education is becoming increasingly stratified into 'global elites' and 'local non-elites'. I lead the ESRC seminar series The Multilingual University in English-dominant and English-medium instructional settings in collaboration with colleagues at Birmingham University, Strathclyde University and Lleida University. 

I welcome proposals from prospective doctoral students with projects related to language and identity - particularly ones that focus on gender, social class and/ or ethnicity in relation to linguistic minorities, migrants, and second language learners; Projects related to linguistic diversity, language ideologies and/ or identities in higher education who are interested in qualitative and ethnographic approaches to research and/ or the discourse analysis of spoken interaction. 

Teaching Summary

I teach on the MA Applied Linguistics and MA TESOL (campus and DL) in the Applied Linguistics and TESOL team at UCL Institute of Education. I co-lead the Sociolinguistics and Sociocultural Theory module with Dr John Gray and lead the Language and Identity module.

  Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Tesol Institute of Education UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2006 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Language and Linguistics Institute of Education
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