Coventry University | Dr. Sheena Gardner

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Dr. Sheena Gardner

Professor of Applied Linguistics

My Research Vision

As an applied linguist, I particularly value the synergies between teaching and research. By researching the English we use in education, we uncover the complexities of how language functions in changing and diverse social and educational contexts, and how we communicate on many different levels. This complexity is enriched when English is used in international settings by speakers of other languages.


Sheena joined Coventry University as Head of English and Languages in 2011 from the University of Birmingham, where she was Reader in Educational Linguistics and member of the MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism. Prior to that she was in CELTE, now the Centre for Applied Linguistics, at Warwick University.

Sheena has a background in Functional Linguistics, English Language Teaching (Germany, Sudan, Ukraine), EFL, ESL and EAL Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics (Canada and UK), with experience in Malaysia, Botswana, Pakistan, and China. She enjoys teaching grammar, academic English and genre analysis, and has been involved in the development of national and international pre-university, undergraduate, postgraduate and workplace programmes.

Her more than 70 publications include teaching materials, and internationally refereed journal articles in journals such as Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Language and Education, Language Awareness, Language Teaching Research, English Language Teaching Journal, TESL Canada Journal, Journal of English for Academic Purposes and the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.


  • Gardner, S. (2012) ‘Genres and registers of student report writing: an SFL perspective on texts and practices’ for a special issue of Journal of English for Academic Purposes 11, 1, 52-63. edited by C. Coffin and J. Donohue. 
  • Gardner, S. (2010) 'SFL: A theory of language for Dynamic Assessment of EAL'. NALDIC Quarterly 8 (1), 37-41.
  • Yaacob, A. and S. Gardner. 2012. Young learner perspectives through researcher initiated role play. In S. Gardner and M. Martin-Jones (eds) Multilingualism, Discourse and Ethnography. New York: Routledge. pp 241-255.
  • Gardner, S., and Holmes, J. (2010) 'From section headings to assignment macrostructure in undergraduate student writing'. In Thresholds and Potentialities of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Ed. by Swain, E. Trieste: Edizioni Universitarie Trieste, 254-276. 
  • Gardner, S. (2008) 'Mapping Ideational Meaning in a Corpus of Student Writing'. In New Developments in the Study of Ideational Meaning: From Language to Multimodality. Series: Functional Linguistics. Ed. by Jones, C., and Ventola, E. London: Equinox Publishing, 169-188. 
  • Gardner, S. (2008) 'Integrating ethnographic, multidimensional, corpus linguistic and systemic functional approaches to genre description: an illustration through university history and engineering assignments'. In ESFLCW 2007: Data and Interpretation in Linguistic Analysis. Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken. Ed. by Steiner, E., and Neumann, S. 
  • Gardner, S. (2004) 'Knock-on effects of mode change on academic discourse'. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 3, 23-38. 
  • Gardner, S. (2012) 'Global English and bilingual education'. In The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism. Ed. by Martin-Jones, M., Blackledge, A., and Creese, A. London and New York: Routledge, 247-263. 
  • Gardner, S., and Yaacob, A. (2009) 'CD-ROM multimodal affordances: classroom interaction perspectives in the Malaysian English literacy hour'. Language and Education 23 (5), 409-424. 
  • Gardner, S. (2008) 'Transforming Talk and Phonics Practice: Or, how do crabs clap?'. TESOL Quarterly 42, 261-284. 
  • Gardner, S. (2010) 'SFL: A theory of language for Dynamic Assessment of EAL'. NALDIC Quarterly 8 (1), 37-41. 
  • Gardner, S., and Yaacob, A. (2008) 'Role play and dialogue in early childhood education'. InDiscourse and Education: Volume 3, Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd edn. Ed. by Hornberger, N. Springer, 291-297. 
  • Gardner, S. (2006) 'Centre-stage in the Instructional Register: Partnership Talk in Primary EAL'.International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 9 (4), 476-494. 
  • Gardner, S. (2004) 'Four critical features of teacher-guided reporting in infant science and literacy contexts'. Language and Education 18 (5), 361-378. 
  • Rea-Dickins, P., and Gardner, S. (2000) 'Snares and Silver Bullets: Disentangling the construct of formative assessment'. Language Testing 17 (2), 217-244. 
  • Gardner, S., Polyzoi, E., and Rampaul, Y. (1996) 'Individual variables, literacy history and ESL progress among Kurdish and Bosnian immigrants'. TESL Canada Journal 14 (1), 1-20. 
  • Gardner, S. (2000) 'Religious significance among Sudanese urban personal names'. InOnomastik. Band II: Namen Systeme im interkulturellen Vergleich [Onomastics. Volume II: Systems names in cross-cultural comparison]. Ed. by Kremer, D., and Niemeyer, M. Patronymica Romanica, 263-278. 
  • Gardner, S. (1999) 'From Molelowakgotla through Michael to Mpho: the role of English from an onomastic perspective'. Marang: Journal of Language and Literature, 16-29. 
  • Gardner, S.F. (1999) 'Personal Names as Neglected Sociolinguistic Resource: Use of English in Botswana'. Names: A Journal of Onomastics 47 (2), 139-156. 
  • Mathangwane, J.T., and Gardner, S.F. (1998) 'Language Attitudes as portrayed by the use of English and African names in Botswana'. Nomina Africana: Journal of the Names Society of Southern Africa 12 (2), 74-87. 
  • Gardner, S. (1995) 'Namesakes, euphony and linguistic meaning: Trends in their relative influence over name-giving'. Onomastica Canadiana 77, 1-17. 
  • Gardner, S. (1994) 'Generations of change in name-giving'. In Arabic sociolinguistics: Issues and perspectives. Ed. by Suleiman, Y. London: Curzon Press, 101-126.


  • Writing for a Purpose: An ESRC-funded project to create online academic writing materials based on findings from analysis of the BAWE corpus. 
  • Researching multilingualism, multilingualism in research practice: ESRC RDI, 2010-2013. 
  • Assessment of English as an Additional Language (EAL): Classroom Assessment of English as an Additional Language in Key Stage 1 Contexts, ESRC, 1999-2003. 
  • Investigating the Assessment of EAL in an Early Years Intervention Project, Coventry City Council: (Minority Group Support Services), 1998-1999. 
  • Adult ESOL and Literacy (1995 Manitoba Education Department): Interviews and analysis of texts produced by learners with different literacy and educational backgrounds to explain variation in time required to progress in English. 
  • Personal names in Botswana (1997-8 DfID): Part of a larger cross generational investigation of the sociolinguistics of personal names in the Sudan and Botswana. 
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Professor of Applied Linguistics

Building: George Eliot
Room: GE606
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