Dr Ruba Khamam

Dr Ruba Khamam


I obtained a PhD in Linguistics from the department of Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Leeds in 2012. My research interests and expertise span across a range of linguistic fields including, Cross-cultural and Inter-cultural Pragmatics, Linguistic Politeness and Impoliteness, (Im)politeness in Translation, Speech Acts, Politeness and Second Language Learning and Use, Teaching and Learning Arabic as a Second Language, and (Im)politeness in English/Arabic/English Translation. I am an Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Linguistics and Translation at the University of Leeds and the current the Director of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies.

I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advanced Higher Education HEA in the UK). I lead the core Arabic Language modules at final year and third year and oversee the provision of the Arabic year abroad where Arabic language UG students spend their second academic year.

I received the prestigious fellowship of the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence for my outstanding teaching enhancement project for 2020–2022. The project focuses on Civic partnership and employability in a language curriculum and aims to maximise impact on the community.


  • Director of Arabic, Islamic, Middle Eastern and North African Studies
  • Arabic Year Abroad Coordinator
  • School Employability Lead

Research interests

My research interests and expertise span across a range of linguistic fields including:

  • General Arabic and English Linguistics
  • Pragmatics
  • Interactional Sociolinguistics
  • Cross-cultural and Inter-cultural Pragmatics
  • Social and regional language variation
  • Linguistic Politeness and Impoliteness
  • (Im)politeness in Translation
  • Critical Discourse Analysis of spoken and written texts
  • The Relationship between Gender and Politeness
  • Forms of Address
  • Speech Acts
  • Politeness and Second Language Learning and Use
  • Teaching and Learning Arabic as a Second Language
  • Curriculum design
  • Arabic Language Teacher Training
  • The use of Blended Learning Techniques and Digital Technology in Arabic Language Teaching.
<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>


  • PhD in Linguistics
  • MA in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
  • Diploma in Linguistics and Translation

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the University Council for Foreign Languages UCFL.
  • Member of the steering committee of the European Network of the Teachers of Arabic
  • Member of the British Association for the Teachers of Arabic
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Associate member of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT)
  • Member of the International Association for Languages and Intercultural communication (IALIC)
  • Member of the Linguistic Association of Great Britain
  • Member of the Linguistic Politeness Research Group

Student education

I currently lead the provision of teaching Arabic Language in the final year of study and third year of the the Arabic degree programme. I also oversee the Academic provision of the Arabic Year Abroad.

Research groups and institutes

  • Arabic
  • Centre for World Literatures
<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>