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About me

I am a Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes at the Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation (CETI).

I originally did a BA in English & Theatre Studies at the University of Warwick and then went travelling for work, starting the process of gaining over 20 years' teaching experience in 11 countries.  Returning to the UK, I established two English-language businesses (tuition for overseas students applying to UK Universities and academic editing), managed a South London centre for people with language and learning difficulties, and completed an MA in Linguistics at UCL.  That was followed with a PGCert in Higher Education and becoming a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.

Teaching

Before joining the University of Westminster, I taught Applied Linguistics, Clinical Linguistics, Medical English and then Pre-sessional English at De Montfort University. When I first joined the University of Westminster in 2013, I taught First Language Acquisition in the Linguistics department before moving to the Westminster Professional Language Centre to teach Academic English courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  I joined CETI in 2020 and continue to lecture on three Academic Language for Disciplinary Studies modules (levels 4, 5 and 7) and a Spoken Communication Skills module.  I enjoy many things about my current teaching, most of all my supportive colleagues and the opportunity to learn from the students I am fortunate to work with. 

Research

My research focuses on the cognitive processes that underpin language ability, particularly in relation to pedagogical approaches, assessment and independent learning. My most recent research, in collaboration with colleagues around Europe, examines the best ways to assess and support bilinguals within prevailing educational frameworks. Plans for future research include finding better ways to sustain independent learning and student wellbeing in higher education. 

PUBLICATIONS

Polisenska, K., Chiat, S., Fenton, J. and Roy, P. (2020). Assessing young children from diverse backgrounds: How can we distinguish language ability from language knowledge and meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage? Languages, Society & Policy

Kapalkova, S., Polisenska, K., Markova, L. and Fenton, J. (2016). Narrative abilities in early successive bilingual Slovak-English children: A cross-language comparison. Applied Psycholinguistics, 37(1), 145-164.

Pop, A. and Fenton, J. (2014). Offering Individualized Feedback in English for Medical Purposes through Asynchronous Writing. Proceedings of ICVL 2014 (ISSN 1844-8933, ISI Proceedings) - the 9th International Conference on Virtual Learning (pp. 495-500). Bucharest: Bucharest University Press.

Polisenska, K. and Fenton, J. (2011). Acquisition of Grammatical Gender in L2. Proceedings of the International Symposium Performance and Innovation in Education (pp. 413-419). Risoprint: Cluj-Napoca.

Fenton J. (2009). Assisting University ESP Students Achieve Greater Autonomy. Proceedings of the International Exploratory Workshop Strategies for Optimizing the Quality Standard in Higher Education ESP (pp. 247-253). Risoprint: Cluj-Napoca.

Fenton, J. and Pop, A. (2008). The Critical Period Hypothesis- What Really is Critical to Language Acquisition? Proceedings of the International Symposium Challenges of European Integration (pp. 761-769). Risoprint: Cluj-Napoca.

Pop, A. and Fenton, J. (2008). Enhancing Learner Autonomy in Business English Through Computer Assisted Practice. Proceedings of the International Symposium Challenges of European Integration (pp. 770-776). Risoprint: Cluj-Napoca.