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Dr Bróna Murphy is Lecturer in English Language Education in the Institute for Education, Teaching and Leadership (ETL) at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, where she teaches on a number of Masters programmes (MSc TESOL, MSc Education: Language and the MSc in Language Teaching). She has been involved in language teaching and teacher training for over ten years. Her research interests lie in teacher education, spoken discourse, corpus linguistics and its applications, as well as sociolinguistics (language variation), and she supervises Masters dissertations and PhD students in these areas. In 2010, she published 'Corpus and Sociolinguistics: investigating age and gender in female talk' and has also published in journals such as Corpora and Intercultural Pragmatics. Her current research projects include looking at the process of reflective practice in corpora of teacher education as well as the exploration of sociolinguistic variables age, gender and (Muslim) identity in spoken corpora. She is also involved in a project which explores aspects of language and society in a large corpus of Irish soap operas. She is currently writing her second book entitled 'Men's Talk: Exploring casual conversation' (expected October 2012) . Brona is currently Convenor of the BAAL Corpus Linguistics Special Interest Group (2012-2015).


  • BA (Hons) in English and French, University of Limerick, Ireland

  • MA in English Language Teaching

  • PhD in Applied Linguistics

Current Research Interests

  • TESOL and Teacher Education

  • L2 Discourse

  • Spoken Corpus Linguistics; Corpus Linguistics and language education

  • Sociolinguistics (age, gender, identity, language variety)

Research Supervision:

I am happy to supervise research in the above areas. I currently co-supervise the following PhDs :

  • The use of vague language by Japanese learners of English

  • Ethnographic Research on Chinese College English Teachers' Professional Development

  • Bilingual education: Bilingual Children in Cyprus

I have also recently supervised MSc dissertations on the following topics :

  • Exploring spoken grammar in a Korean context

  • Investigating gothic fiction using a mixed methodologies approach (literary analysis and corpus linguistics)

  • Use of the mother tongue in the English language classroom - a Chinese context

  • Using corpus linguistics to teach translation

  • Examining authorised reading textbooks in a Japanese context

  • Reflective practice and teacher education

  • Teachers' perceptions and using authentic materials in the classroom

  • A corpus-based analysis of lexical bundles in English coursebooks: a Korean context

  • Exploring teacher feedback in speaking classes: a Chinese context

  • Teachers' perceptions on balancing the role of input and output in a Chinese college setting

  • Students and interaction in a UAE context

  • Anxiety and affective factors in Chinese students studying abroad

  • Using L1 and/or L2 in English language teaching in a Saudi Arabian context

  • Delexical verb collocations in spoken English? A corpus-based comparison between Chinese learners and native speakers

Collaborative Activity

I am currently working on the following projects:

  • Young Muslim Women Discourse - Exploring Identity (funded by the British Academy 2010-2012)
  • Exploring Male Talk - an age and gender investigation (partially funded by Seedcorn funding grant)
  • Investigating the discourse of reflective practice in language teacher education: a corpus-based approach
  • Exploration of soap opera discourse

Recent Conferences:

  • Title : Doing Gender: Exploring identity construction and stereotyping in Irish soap opera corpora

  • Conference : 6 th Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies (IVACS), Leeds Metropolitan University, UK (with María Palma-Fahey)

  • Year : June 21st-22 nd 2012

  • Title : ' The hijab is so we can be in society without them looking at us as sex objects': Exploring the interrelationship between gender identities, sexuality and discourse in Muslim women talk

  • Conference : International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) Conference, Brazil.

  • Year : June 20 th-22 nd 2012

  • Title : ' He's no Omar Sharif but he's a good man': Exploring gender-related humour and sexuality in television discourse

  • Conference : International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) Conference, Brazil (with Barbara Orfano, Federal University of São João del-Rei, Brazil and Maria Palma-Fahey, Shannon College, Ireland)

  • Year : June 20 th-22 nd 2012

  • Title : Exploring reflective practice discourse in a language teacher education context

  • Conference : IATEFL, Glasgow (with Prof. Steve Walsh, Newcastle University).

  • Year : 19 th - 23 rd March 2012

  • Title: ' Sure she's just the same as all the women. Give them a centimetre and they take a kilometre': Exploring Gender and Humour in a Corpus of Irish English Soap Opera Discourse (with María Palma-Fahy, Shannon).

  • Conference: British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) 2011, Bristol

  • Year: September 1st-3rd 2011

  • Title : 'I know I have got it in me. I just need to bring it out': A corpus-based exploration of reflective practice and the development of teacher identity

  • Conference : Corpora Galore, Applications of Digital Corpora in Higher Education Contexts, Newcastle University

  • Year : May 31 st 2011

  • Title: 'Jesus Christ Almighty': Investigating Religious Swearwords in Male Talk

  • Conference: Panel Presentation at the Sociolinguistics Symposium 18, University of Southampton

  • Year: 1st September - 4th September 2010

  • Title: 'I just did a couple of weeks of just seat of the pants language school teaching': Uncovering teachers' beliefs in multilingual secondary classrooms (with Yvonne Foley, University of Edinburgh)

  • Conference: 5th Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies (IVACS) conference, University of Edinburgh

  • Year: 18th June- 19th June 2010

  • Title: 'Oh you cow': Women and Insults in Irish English

  • Conference: Linguistic Impoliteness and Rudeness II, Lancaster University

  • Year: 30th June - 2nd July 2009

  • Title: 'You're so dumb man. It's four thousand years old. Who's dumber me cos I said it or the guys that thought I was serious?': Age and Gender-related Examination of Insults in Irish English

  • Conference: Corpus Linguistics Conference, University of Liverpool

  • Year: 20th July - 23rd July 2009

  • Title: 'Maybe, perhaps, kind of, sort of': Hedging and Age and Gender Variation.

  • Conference: 5th International Gender and Language Association Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

  • Year: 15 - 18th May 2008


Term 1:

-Text Discourse and Language Teaching

- Language and the Learner

- TESOL Methodology

- Research Methods

Term 2:

- Corpus Linguistics

- Research Methods

- Dissertation supervision

Term 3:

- Dissertation supervision

Research outputs

  1. Corpus types and uses

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. A corpus-based investigation of pragmatic markers and sociolinguistic variation in Irish English

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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