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About me

I have an MA from Magdalen College, Oxford, where I studied Natural Sciences, taught among others by Richard Dawkins (genetics), David Mabberley (taxonomy) and Rom Harré (philosophy of science). I studied Italian Language and Literature at the University of Florence, and Germanistik and Anglistik at the University of Düsseldorf. I hold a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from the Institute of Education, London, in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Linguistics from Westminster, taken to gain a deeper understanding of the student experience. I received an Award of Excellence in Teaching and Learning from the Westminster Exchange in 2008. I hold the International Phonetic Association (IPA) Certificate in English Phonology.

 My PhD thesis, 'Metaphor, Metonymy, Language Learning and Translation', was completed under the supervision of Professor David Block at UCL-Institute of Education and examined by Dr Graham Low (York). I am a member of the professional body Researching and Applying Metaphor

Previous to 2001, I taught Italian and German on BA and MA programmes for the Department of Modern Languages; as well as Italian on the university-wide language programme, Polylang, and writing courses in Academic English (EAP) across the University. Since 2001,  I have been lecturing in linguistics and applied-language studies on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Before Higher Education, I worked as: an arts journalist with International Daily News and Daily American in Italy; a translator, interpreter and language trainer in the IT sector in Germany (IBM and Rank Xerox); a dictionary editor and compiler for Longman Bilingual Dictionaries and Routledge, editing the Routledge French Technical Dictionary (1994) and Routledge German Technical Dictionary (1996); and as an English language teacher in Germany, Italy and the UK. I directed plays for the Bridge Theatre Company in Düsseldorf ('The Browning Version' and 'Pyramus & Thisbe') and designed gardens for the 1987 Budesgartenschau. I am a performing member of the Sage Dance Company and sing with Solidago.

Teaching

I teach in two main areas: semiotics and translation studies. Within semiotics (meaning making), I teach semantics, pragmatics, figurative language/thought (metonymy and metaphor), multimodality and discourse analysis; and in translation studies, historical writing on translation, translation theory, the psycholinguistics of translation/interpreting, the identity of the translator/interpreter, translating ideology/globalization, digitization and translation, literary translation and research methods in translation/interpreting. 

I teach on the following modules: Language Myths 4ENGL04, Language Structure and Meaning 5LING02, Ling/Lang tutorials 5ENGL03, Translation Studies 1LIN606, Applied Language Studies 6LING03, English Worldwide 7ENGL04 and Analysing Spoken and Written Discourse 7ENGL01. I am an Academic Advisor at Level 5 and supervise students writing BA Extended Essays and MA Dissertations. I also give lectures for other Departments and special interest groups, and regularly speak at conferences in the UK and abroad. 

In my teaching, I aim to make linguistics and applied-language studies practical, enjoyable and relevant to students at all levels, across all disciplines and in all degree combinations. I teach through lectures, seminars, tutorials and supervisions at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also take every opportunity to talk to lay enthusiasts who want to engage with linguistic theory.

I feel it is important for lecturers in Higher Education not only to be knowledgeable across their subject but also to be experts in the 'art of teaching'. I am actively involved in research, participating in the research community of the University and maintaining links with other institutions in the UK and abroad. I have recently peer-reviewed articles for the Journal of Pragmatics and Metaphor in the Social World. 

I welcome applications from prospective MPhil and PhD students who wish to conduct research in the areas of figurative language (metonymy and metaphor), semiotics/multimodality, discourse analysis and translation/interpreting studies.

Research

I have been influenced in my thinking and career in particular by the following scholars: Saussure, Jakobson, Peirce, Medawar, Popper, Kress, Langacker, Lakoff, Radden, Halliday and Widdowson. I return constantly to basic questions in linguistics, such as, What is language?, What is text?, What is discourse?, What is meaning?, What is translation? Re-addressing questions such as these gives new insights into language and how language works. My experience as a language professional in the commercial world - as a language teacher, materials writer, editor, translator, interpreter and lexicographer - has both informed my current understanding of language/linguistics and helped define my approach to language-studies research. 

My main constitution to linguistics research has been in the area of Metonymy Studies through conference presentations, articles and my book Metonymy and Language: A new theory of linguistic processing, published by Routledge (New York) in 2015. My current research interests are in these areas: 1) semiotics, multimodality, semantics and text/discourse analysis; 2) language and thought, metonymy, metaphor and linguistic processing; 3) translation and interpreting; and 4) pedagogical research, the philosophy of language and language-studies research methods. 

More specifically, I am researching into how meaning-making is achieved at the whole-text level; the role of figurative thought and language in everyday communication; the interplay between metonymy and metaphor at discourse level; translation as metonymic processing; the use of data from Translation Events to support linguistic theory; the usefulness of translation-studies theory for practicing translators/interpreters. I am currently working on two translation projects, 'Translating Brecht, Hesse and Mann' and 'Democratizing and Autocracizing Translation'.

In the area of pedagogical research, I am exploring: how time in and out of the lecture/seminar room can be used to maximise learning; which teaching environments are most conducive to learning; how different learning styles can be accommodated in an HE teaching context; how action research can help educators develop their practice; and the role of the university in post-modern society. I am currently working on two research projects in this area: 'The Multiple Skills and Roles of the HE Educator' and 'Power and the Discourse of Knowledge in HE'.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.