Dr Clare Wright

Dr Clare Wright


After graduating from Cambridge University, I taught English for Academic Purposes for nearly twenty years, then gained my MA and PhD in Second Language Acquisition at Newcastle University, and was Programme Manager for Applied Linguistics and TESOL. I then moved to Reading as University Academic Fellow and Departmental Director of Research, helping set up the Centre for Literacy and Multlingualism. I was also Director of Bilingualism Matters@Reading.

I joined Leeds in 2016, teaching across the MA programme, and on core modules for the undergraduate programmes. I am a member of the Language@Leeds research network, and continue to pursue international research and teaching exchanges, primarily in relation to language development during Study Abroad. I am currently pursuing projects on teaching and learning Mandarin with colleagues in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and other partners in UK and EU. I was a member of the EU-funded COST Action SAREP project http://sarepcost.eu/ looking at Study Abroad experiences in a European context (2016-2020),

External positions:

President of EuroSLA; Chair of the Year Abroad Network; Co-Editor of the International Journal of Chinese Language Teaching; member of BAAL.

External Examiner experience: Cambridge, Edinburgh, Kings London, Newcastle, Southampton, Essex, Sheffield, Cork, SOAS, York.


  • Director, MA Programmes in Linguistics

Research interests

My research investigates the interfaces between linguistic, cognitive and pedagogic factors in second language acquisition, in particular in relation to teaching and learning Chinese as a second language. I also research task and working memory effects on L2 communicative competence, and on language development and adaptation during Study Abroad. My publications include a monograph with CUP, articles and chapters appearing in TESOL Quarterly, Language Teaching Research, CALL, System, Routledge Handbook of Research in Study Abroad, Routledge Handbook of Chinese Language Teaching, Mind Matters in SLA (Multilingual Matters) and other publications.

I also research issues in improving internationalisation of higher education, looking at student adaptation and academic pedagogy in international study settings. I am currently developing a tool to help teachers boost learners' academic interactional competence in using listening and speaking strategies in EAP classrooms.

I currently supervise 5 PhD students in L2 English acquisition, L2 Chinese acquisition, task-based effects on L2 Spanish fluency, and acquisition of L2 Russian morphology. I welcome applications for PhD research in topics related to developing communicative competence in English, Chinese or other languages, especially with a fluency or task-based focus, or in relation to Study Abroad.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BA (Hons) Cantab
  • MA Newcastle
  • PhD Newcastle

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, HEA

Student education

I teach extensively on our MA programmes in relation to approaches to linguistics, language acquisition and language teaching, research methods. I lead our undergraduate Dissertation module, and teach other undergraduate modules in the areas of language acquisition and processing.

Research groups and institutes

  • Language acquisition
  • Language processing
  • Language at Leeds
  • Chinese
  • Speech production and perception
  • PRIA
  • Language pedagogy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>