Research Seminar: The writing of academics with English as an additional Language or dialect

Julia Miller

Dr Julia Miller

Abstract: The changing face of higher education and the increasing demands on academics worldwide to publish in English-medium academic journals have led to a huge increase in articles written by academics who use English as an additional language or dialect (EALD). While writers who have English as a first language, “the dominant class[,] can make deliberately or accidentally lax use of language” (Bourdieu, 1977, p. 652), EALD academics may have, or feel themselves to have, less leeway, especially when their writing is challenged by academic ‘gatekeepers’ who frequently speak English as a first language (Flowerdew & Wang, 2015).  EALD writers may also feel constrained in terms of how to express themselves within academic and disciplinary conventions, and may therefore limit their use of English phraseological expressions which have the potential to make their writing richer.

In this study, I appropriate the term ‘phraseological identity’ to refer to an academic author’s use of phraseological units such as idioms to establish their identity as a writer in an international disciplinary community of practice. The study aims to discover EALD academics’ views on the use of 41 idiomatic expressions commonly used in English academic writing, as well as their experiences of academic writing and publishing in English, in order to examine the phraseological identity of EALD academic writers.

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Bourdieu, P. (1977). The economics of linguistic exchanges. Information (International Social Science Council), 16(6), 645-668. doi: 10.1177/053901847701600601

Flowerdew, J., & Wang, S. H. (2015). Identity in academic discourse. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 35, 81-99. doi: 10.1017/S026719051400021X

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