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Dr John Gray
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
20 Bedford Way
  • Reader
  • IOE - Culture, Communication & Media
  • UCL Institute of Education

I am Reader in Languages in Education in the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics. I have a first degree in English from Trinity College, Dublin and a Master's degree and a PhD from the Institute of Education, London. My background is in English language teaching and English language teacher education. I worked in Spain from 1984-1998, before moving into higher education.

I am the author of The Construction of English: Culture, Consumerism and Promotion in the ELT Global Coursebook (2010) and Critical Perspectives on Language Teaching Materials (2013), both published by Palgrave Macmillan. I am also the author, along with David Block and Marnie Holborow, of Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics (2012), published by Routledge.

From 2005-2007 I was a committee member of the Association for the Promotion of Quality in TESOL Education, and from 2009-2011 I was an executive committee member of BAAL (British Association for Applied Linguistics). I am a member of the editorial board of Classroom Discourse (2012-present), a peer reviewer for Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) (2014-present), and a member of the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Peer Review College (2015-present).

Research Summary

My research interests are in the global spread of English, with a particular focus on the promotion and marketization of English (and other languages) in late modernity; the ways in which neoliberal ideology plays out in language teaching and language teacher education; language teacher identity; and issues of gender and sexuality in language teaching and beyond.

From 2013-2015 I was the principle investigator on the ESRC funded seminar series Queering ESOL: towards a cultural politics of LGBT issues in the ESOL classroom (ES/L001012). The series sought to explore from a multidisciplinary perspective the key issues affecting LGBT English language students in further education and to identify how best to address their needs and those of LGBT teachers in the light of new institutional frameworks established by the 2010 Equality Act. 

I am currently working on two special issues, both due to appear in 2018. With Melanie Cooke (King's College, London), I am editing a special issue of Gender and Language entitled 'Intersectionality, Language and Queer Lives'. I am also editing, along with John O'Regan and Cathie Wallace, a special issue of Language and Intercultural Communication entitled 'Education and the intercultural politics of global neoliberalism'. I am also currently completing a research-based book for Edinburgh University Press with my colleague Tom Morton entitled Social Interaction and English Language Teacher Identity. This is due to appear later in 2017.   

Forthcoming publications include:

Block, D. and J. Gray (in press) 'French language textbooks as ideologically imbued cultural artefacts: Political economy, neoliberalism and (self) branding', in Coffey, S. and U. Wingate (eds.) New Directions for Research in Foreign Language Education. Abingdon: Routledge.

Gray, J. and M. Cooke (forthcoming) 'Queering ESOL: sexual citizenship and intersectionality in ESOL classrooms', in Cooke, M. and R. Peutrell (eds.) Brokering Britain, Educating Citizens. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 

Teaching Summary

I teach the following MA TESOL and MA Applied Linguistics modules: Sociolinguistics and Sociocultural Theory; Materials Development for Language Teaching; Language Teacher Identity and Development.

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