Dr Paul Breen
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I am a Senior Lecturer in the Westminster Professional Language Centre, with specialism in the areas of English for Academic Purposes, English Language Teaching, educational technology, and writing for academic, creative, and other professional purposes. Originally from Ireland, I have taught overseas in Australia, South Korea, and Japan before settling in the United Kingdom where I worked for various universities until assuming my present position in September 2015. I have an extensive track record of research and publication both in academia, and the broader social realm.
My research interests are primarily based around my areas of teaching, and also in teacher development. This was the focus of my PhD completed in 2014 through the University of Manchester under the supervision of Dr Gary Motteram, and Dr Diane Slaouti.
The title of the thesis was ‘Teachers in transition: developing actions, knowledge, and practice in the EAP classroom’, and was a study of teacher development in the aftermath of an educational programme on the integration of technologies into traditional classroom practice.
Finally I am also a published author of fiction, and my interests outside of the classroom are film, literature, music, photography, and current affairs.
I have taught across courses and contexts in both higher and further education over the past fifteen years. After starting out in Further Education in the area of Media Studies, I moved into English Language Teaching overseas, and then to the teaching of English for Academic Purposes, which I have been doing for the past decade.
Presently in Westminster, I am responsible for the coordination of the Pre Sessional English course, as well as teaching on in-sessional Academic English courses for students from a range of disciplines.
My main research study to date was that which I conducted over the course of my PhD studies. This was an investigation of developments in the practice of teachers who have engaged in a series of workshops on the integration of new technologies into their work in the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classroom. The study specifically looked at developments in actions and knowledge during and after a teacher education programme, and how these developments shape or reshape teachers’ specific professional practice of using technology in EAP teaching. Added to this, it explored ways in which teachers articulate their sense of EAP as a subject and EAP teaching as a profession, and how technology’s role can become situated within that.
My current research interests have shifted to more of an inter-disciplinary focus, drawing on parts of the TPACK framework that provided the theoretical lens for my PhD studies. I am also interested in research into ways of developing the academic literacy (ies) of students, and of situating digital literacy within the boundaries of traditional interpretations of academic literacy.