Centre for Research and Enterprise in Language

Our Research

CREL is the lead research group for the University's REF2021 submission to UoA27 English Language and Literature.

The centre focuses on different aspects of the analysis of language, its acquisition, development, teaching and creative expression.

Postgraduate Research

Why study with us?

We run three MA programmes and form a vibrant research community. We supervise PhD topics on linguistics, language acquisition, processing and teaching as well as early modern English literature, Eighteenth-century literature and creative writing. CREL offers you access to a wide multidisciplinary research team, which ensures you can integrate the different angles involved in a topic with ease. CREL has a Neurolinguistics laboratory with eye-tracking and EEG technology facilities to study cognitive and processing aspects of language.

As a postgraduate student you would be able to participate in regular research events, reading groups and training and workshops opportunities where you would expand your continuous exposure to experts from across the globe and discuss fundamental research issues.

Applied Linguistics (TESOL), MA

Gain advanced knowledge of contemporary linguistic issues and a greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying human language relevant to language teaching, professional translation, the IT industry, education and language policy.

Creative Writing, MA

Study and produce creative texts in every genre. Explore cultural contexts, research methods and London's creative industries.

English: Literary London, MA 

Explore literary London and how writers have responded to the city while studying in London itself.

BLT19 Project

The BLT19 Project (19th-century Business, Labour, Trade & Temperance), run by Professor Andrew King encourages teachers to use digitised historical periodicals in the classroom. The website provides lesson plans, digitised publications, case studies, and contextual materials suitable for secondary and undergraduate students. BLT19 Project is concerned to help us understand the history of how we think of “work” – what it is, what values we associate with it (and what we don’t), and where our ideas about work come from.

Find out more about the project here

CREL Bites

Interested in studying different aspects of language, its acquisition, development, or its formal analysis or teaching? Then watch the new video series launched by the Centre for Research & Enterprise in Language; CREL Bites.

CREL members are involved in research and scholarly activities concerning any aspect of language, its acquisition, teaching and its interface. CREL Bites is a video series featuring members introducing their research areas to provide insights on inter-disciplinary links to language. The videos aim to stimulate discussion, knowledge-exchange and provide potential collaborations in and around language.

What are the links to language you gather from the CREL Bites below?

Professor Andrew King

Andrew's research lies in Victorian print culture, particularly periodicals and popular fiction. Focusing on two areas of the 19th century; popular fiction and magazines, Andrew uses them both to find out how we’re different from the past and how the past constrains and enables how and what we communicate today.

Dr Neil Saunders - Syntax, Semantics and Mathematics

What does syntax and semantics mean to a mathematician? If you’re a linguist, syntax and semantics carry their own meaning, if you’re a mathematician they carry a different meaning. Even if you’re a computer programmer or a scholar in literature, they will have different meanings altogether.

Dr Justine Baillie - Language and Literature in a Postcolonial Context

Language and Literature in a Postcolonial Context - An overview of the connections between language and literary studies, specifically in the field of African American and postcolonial literatures. Justine discusses how language is acquired and deployed in creative and oppositional forms from within history of colonization, and the imposition of the colonizer’s language.

Filippo Beghelli - Senior Principal Engineer at ORACLE

Dr Filippo Beghelli shows us some of the things that artificial intelligence, that is computer programmes, can accomplish in terms of language understanding. Can machines understand language? Take a quick tour of the field of natural language processing or NLP. Some of the things you’ll see might surprise you.

Past research

Raising Participation Rates and Performance in MFL at Key Stages 3, 4 & 5 (2014-2016)

The project involved ten secondary schools in Royal Greenwich and one in Lewisham. The project secured a grant for £250,000 from the London School Excellence Fund. The rationale of the project was based on the need to significantly raise the attainment of pupils taking MFL at GCSE and A level and raise participation rates. A key component of the secondary CPD courses were the inclusion of research findings into second language acquisition and their implications for teachers. This gave the course a ground breaking and unique aspect, which both challenged and stimulated teachers.

Summary of impact:

The project significantly raised the profile of MFL in Royal Greenwich schools (11 secondary, 12 primary and 23 outreach schools).
Pupil attainment improved at KS 2, KS 3, KS 4 and KS 5 between baseline and final assessments, although this cannot be attributed directly to the project. 1,502 pupils were involved.
Feedback from the pupil audit and Summer School suggests that participation levels at GCSE and A level should increase in the future, when compared with current levels of participation.
The KS2/3 and KS4/5 Summer Schools improved both confidence and enjoyment of MFL for attendees.
The quality of teaching in the project participants' classes improved with increased levels of teacher confidence and risk taking. 85 teachers were trained.
The impact of pupils' learning, levels of engagement and involvement increased according to their teachers and independent classroom observation.
The CPD model was very effective - confirmed by the external evaluation.
The levels of collaboration across departments and schools increased significantly as a result of the project with a legacy of strong networks.
Secondary subject leaders realised the need to raise expectations in Year 7 as a result of the cross phase visits.