Tim Marr, PhD

Tim Marr, PhD

International Keynote Speaker

Tim Marr is a British applied linguist who works as a writer, lecturer and consultant. He received his first degree in modern languages and linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, qualified as a teacher of languages at the Institute of Education, University of London, and went on to study for an MA and PhD in applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. Tim has been teaching language and linguistics and consulting and researching in applied linguistics for more than 30 years. He has spent substantial periods living and working in Peru, Colombia, France and Thailand, along with shorter periods in many other countries including China, Portugal, Vietnam, Cuba, Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Having previously worked for the British Council and other organisations, he was appointed the first director of the MA TESOL programme at London Metropolitan University, going on to lead that programme for 15 years.

Since 2014 he has been a visiting professor and consultant in the department of languages at Universidad Icesi in Cali, Colombia, teaching linguistics to MA and BEd students and developing a linguistically-focused programme of professional development for teachers in bilingual schools.

He is a regular consultant in teacher development at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China, where he was also external examiner for Spanish programmes until 2021, and contributes to Liverpool University’s MA TESOL programme in the UK.

Tim has published widely in the areas of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, particularly TESOL, minority language maintenance and Quechua studies. He is the author (with Fiona English) of Why Do Linguistics? (Bloomsbury, 2015) and Rethinking TESOL in Diverse Global Settings (Bloomsbury, 2019), which was shortlisted for the British Association for Applied Linguistics annual book prize. His current focus is on the applications of the study of language to language education, and to education more broadly, and he is writing new books for both Bloomsbury and Routledge publishers. When he is not in Cali, he lives in London and Suffolk (UK) and Lima (Peru).

El cambio en los tiempos del Covid: What Lies Beyond for ELT and Applied Linguistics?

In this paper, I will start from the notion that what is taught in ELT classes, and how it is taught, are not things which exist in a vacuum. Models of language, methodology and delivery have their roots in social and economic shifts, theoretical and technological developments, and historical movements. I discuss this using the case of audiolingualism, illustrating how this very particular approach to language learning and teaching grew out of the intellectual climate of 1950s America, and the economic and military needs of the time. I then go on to consider some of the main factors in the world today which might be thought likely to bring about an effect, sooner or later, on ELT. There is principally the Covid-19 pandemic, of course, and its effects on distance learning technologies and attitudes to globalisation; but also new concerns in applied linguistics research, and even the strategic direction of China and Asia as a whole. What and how might we be teaching in a decade or so’s time? Is it possible to predict what might be coming our way – and how might we best prepare?