About me


Welcome to my website. I hope you find it interesting and useful. Please feel free to email me with any comments or queries. You can also follow me on Twitter

A bit about me

Academic work

I am a lecturer at Swansea University in Applied Linguistics. My principal areas of research interests lie in second language syntax and vocabulary acquisition. I’m particularly keen to empirically test theoretically motivated research questions, using SLA and corpus linguistics techniques as well as consider their implications of second language pedagogy.

Between 2010 and 2011 I was a lecturer in linguistics at Newcastle University, U.K., where I taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Linguistics and Language acquisition.

Between August 2009 and July 2010, I was as a post-doctoral researcher on an ESRC funded project led by Prof Ernesto Macaro and Dr Victoria Murphy at Department of Education, University of Oxford. This project examines the role of teacher code-switching in the acquisition of L2 vocabulary. For further details please see the Research section.

After training as a secondary school (11-18 year olds) French and German teacher, I worked in several schools in County Durham, North East England from 2003-2005. I taught the full age and ability range in both French and German.

Postgraduate Studies

My PhD in “Syntactic Development in the second language acquisition of French by instructed English learners” is from the School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University (2005-2009). For further details of my research, please see the Research section. I was supervised by Prof Florence Myles and Dr Martha Young-Scholten

My MA in Language Acquisition is from University of Durham (2000-2002). My dissertation was on the effects of negative evidence in classroom instruction. I took classes on L1, L2 and cross-linguistic language acquisition as well as introductory phonology, syntax and acquisition in exception circumstances. My co-tutors were Martha Young-Scholten and Bonnie D. Schwartz.

My PGCE in secondary teaching (11-18) of Modern Languages (French/German) is also from University of Durham (2002-2003).

Undergraduate Studies

I studied French and German at University of Aberdeen from 1994 to 1999. I researched two dissertations Рone on Universal Grammar and Second Language Acquisiton and the other on the role of the French Communist Party between 1939 and 1941. I took introductory classes on syntax and phonology. My studies included a year working in Austria as a language assistant and 6 months studying at Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France.


I am originally from Templepatrick, Northern Ireland. I am married to Brian, who is a computer programmer. He has kindly helped me with the layout of this website so it looks nice but he hasn’t helped me with the content so all the mistakes are mine! In my free time I enjoy going to the cinema, reading, knitting, crochet, sewing, photography, scrap-booking and card-making. Sometimes I go swimming and cycle.