Video interviews at the 50th anniversary BAAL Annual Meeting, University of Leeds

Note: Subtitles are available for each video if you click on ‘CC’ in the bottom right of the YouTube screen.

The three plenary speakers at BAAL 2017 were interviewed, as well as five plenary Round Table participants, plus John Knagg (Senior English Adviser from the British Council) and James Simpson, chair of the Local Organising Committee. Each interviewee was asked the same questions (see sheet), with the exception of John Knagg (see sheet). Biographical information about each interviewee is as follows, and the interview is linked to from their name:


Plenary speakers:
Professor Bencie Woll previously held the first Chair in Sign Language and Deaf Studies in the UK, at City University London. She is now the Chair in Sign Language and Deaf Studies and the Director of DCAL, the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at UCL.

Professor Henry Widdowson has been central to the development of the field of Applied Linguistics since its inception. He has been called “the most influential philosopher of the late twentieth century for international ESOL” (The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning).

Professor Mohamed Daoud, a well-known figure in international ELT for many years, gave the Pit Corder lecture, traditionally on a theme associated with language teaching and learning. His topic was language teaching in turbulent times, and the role of the English language teacher.


Round Table participants:

Susan Hunston is Professor of English Language at the University of Birmingham, where she has worked for over twenty years. She previously worked in universities in Mindanao, Singapore, and Surrey, and was employed on the Cobuild project. She is a former Chair of BAAL and is currently Chair of the University Council for General and Applied Linguistics. She has published books and papers in Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics. 

Rosamond Mitchell is Emeritus Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton and a former Secretary and Chair of BAAL. She trained as a schoolteacher in Ireland before completing an MSc in Applied Linguistics in Edinburgh and a PhD in Education at Stirling. She taught Applied Linguistics for many years in Southampton, and has research interests in SLA, in foreign language pedagogy and in language education policy. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and co-author of Second Language Learning Theories (3rd edition 2012) and of Anglophone Students Abroad: Identity, social relationships and language learning (2017). 

Greg Myers is Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at the Department of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Lancaster, where he has taught for 28 years. He was Secretary of BAAL (1998-2002) and Chair (2012-2015). His books include Writing Biology (1989), Words in Ads (1994), Matters of Opinion (2004) and The Discourse of Blogs and Wikis (2010), and he has regularly written papers for the Ross Priory Seminar on Broadcast Talk. He and Sofia Lampropoulou have been working on the expression of stance in research interviews. 

Guy Cook is Emeritus Professor of Language in Education at King’s College, London. He was BAAL Chair 2009-2012 and co-editor of Applied Linguistics 2004-2009. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His books include Translation in Language Teaching (2010), Genetically Modified Language (2004), Applied Linguistics (2003), The Discourse of Advertising (2001), Language Play, Language Learning (2000). From 2002-2008 he directed four ESRC projects on disputes about food policy (on labelling, GM agriculture, organic farming, and school meals). He has recently completed a Leverhulme Trust project ‘People’, ‘Products’, ‘Pets’ and ‘Pests’: the Discursive Representation of Animals ( 

Tess Fitzpatrick is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Swansea University, and is Head of the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. She returned to Swansea in 2017 after five years at Cardiff University’s Centre for Language and Communication Research. She is also the current BAAL Chair.


James Simpson is an applied linguist in the School of Education at the University of Leeds, specialising in the teaching and learning of languages in migration contexts and in the intersection of new technology, literacy, mobility and social justice. His work involves the critical analysis of linguistic practices relating to identity, language diversity, language pedagogy, language policy and literacy. 

John Knagg OBE FAcSS, Senior Adviser English for the British Council, is an authority on Global English language policy. He advises governments and British Council colleagues around the world. His advice and consultancy takes into account both educational and political considerations, looking at the perspectives of all stakeholders and the resources available, and all elements of the educational offer including the curriculum, teacher education, evaluation of learning, and quality assurance. 


Videos of the plenaries and round table discussion themselves are also available. BAAL is grateful to the British Council for the video-recording of these conference sessions and the interviews.

British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)