Dr. Tim Nisbet

Lecturer in English and German

School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Humanities 

Email: aa3958@coventry.ac.uk


After graduating with a BA degree in French and German, I spent a year in Greece teaching English and then returned to the UK to train as a language teacher. In 1993 I was appointed Lecturer in German at the University of Wolverhampton where I remained for 9 years, teaching German language, German studies, general linguistics and translation studies. I completed a PhD in Germanic linguistics at the University of Reading in 2007 and have since worked at Coventry University mainly teaching academic English with a leaning towards the needs of postgraduates. I have also given language teacher training and presently manage the University’s German language provision.


  • PhD, ‘The licensing of benefactives in Germanic’, University of Reading, 2007.
  • MA in German, University of London, 1999.
  • BA Combined Honours in French and German, University of Birmingham, 1989.
Research interests

My main research interest is in grammatical theory and description, with a growing interest in ‘non-derivational’ or ‘constraint-based’ approaches such as Construction Grammar, though I remain convinced that an adequate theory of grammar is not ‘usage-based’ but one that takes grammar to be a form of acquired mental knowledge which remains throughout life relatively unaffected by the pressures of usage. I am presently working on an article investigating the relationship between ‘idiomatic’ and ‘non-idiomatic’ forms of ditransitive verbs in English.

Recent outputs and publications


Teaching modules
  • Academic English (390/395DEL)
  • Approaches to Language and Linguistics (110DEL)
  • Academic English Essay Writing (AddVantage)
  • German language (AddVantage)
Areas of expertise

  • Grammatical description
  • Syntactic theory
  • German language
  • Germanic linguistics

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023