Sarah Burkitt


I began working at the University of Leeds in 2019, teaching ESAP (English for Specific Purposes) on a summer pre-sessional course (Language for Science). Since then, I have worked on a range of pre-undergraduate to post-graduate EGAP (English for General Academic Purposes) and ESAP courses. I currently teach international foundation students of Medicine, Dentistry and Healthcare on the credit-bearing Academic Study Skills module. I have recently joined the Faculty of Biological Sciences as an insessional Course Leader and I will be co-leading the Language for Science summer presessional course from 2024.


  • Insessional Course Leader (Faculty of Biological Sciences)

Research interests

I am passionate about understanding the specific needs of ESAP science students and considering how these can affect pedagogical choices within an ESAP classroom. I am also intested in understanding the interplay between emotions and learning, so that teachers can foster more positive educational experiences and promote student well-being.  A recent research project of mine focused on the benefit of intergrating empathetic awareness through arts-based pedagogies with ESAP medical, dental and healthcare students.  I am also interested in using genre analysis to inform my teaching, and have previously focused on analysing the specific linguistic features of laboratory reports within Food Science. A further research interest of mine is EAP teacher development and early practioner identities, particularly for those transitioning from teaching General English to EAP.

Conference presentations and workshops

  • Burkitt, S. and Girdlestone, C. 2022. The Role of Reflection in CPD: The experience of two EAP practitioners studying an MA in Teaching English for Academic Purposes.  The University of Sheffield BALEAP PIM 2022 Conference, 12 November, Sheffield.
  • Burkitt, S. 2022. ‘Putting myself in your shoes’: fostering empathetic awareness with ESAP medical and dental students. University of Leeds Language Centre Summer Conference 2022, 7 September, Leeds.
  • Burkitt, S. and Fernbank, T. 2021. Overcoming the challenges of collaborating with critical friends. University of Leeds Language Centre Summer Conference 2021, 30 July, online.
  • Burkitt, S. 2021. Puzzled with breakout room engagement? Exploring students’ perspectives through a practice-based inquiry. University of Leeds Language Centre Summer Conference 2021, 30 July, online.
  • Burkitt, S. 2021. Exploring student interaction and engagement in breakout rooms: a practice-based inquiry of pre-undergraduate EAP students. InForm Conference University of Kent 2021, 9 July, online.
  • Burkitt, S. 2020. ’There is no such thing as the Gruffalo’: a reflection on using children’s stories in an ESAP classroom. BALEAP Creative Disciplines SIG 2020, 27 November, online.
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • MA Teaching English for Academic Purposes (Distinction)
  • BA (Hons) Religions and Theology
  • PGCE in Secondary R.E.
  • Cambridge DELTA
  • Cambridge CELTA

Professional memberships

  • HEA

Student education

I presently teach on Acdemic Study Skills for Dentistry, Medicine and Healthcare Professions (International Foundation Year), lead insessional provision for the Faculty of Biological Sciences (postgraduate-level students) and will be co-leading the summer pre-sessional Language for Science course from 2024.

Research groups and institutes

  • Language Centre