I received my BA in Russian and French at the University of Strathclyde and after spending many years studying and working in the USSR and Russia,I returned to Ireland where I completed an MA in applied Linguistics followed in 2012 by a PhD in Second Language Acquisition at UCC. I am particularly interested in how learning context and learner identity interact in the acquisition of social aspects of language. These topics are explored in my monograph 'The Impact of Learning Context on the Acquisition of Sociopragmatic Variation Patterns'. I have been invited to give guest lectures on Study Abroad at the University of Pittsburgh summer school in St Petersburg, Russia and at the university of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.
An additional research interest is the enactment of identity in computer mediated discourse. I have recently published a paper entitled 'Lard-eaters, gay-ropeans, sheeple and prepositions: lexical and syntactic devices employed to position the other in Russian online political forums'.
I am also involved with the MA in Applied Linguistics where I supervise theses on Second Language Acquisition and Computer-mediated Discourse, and in the BA in World Languages. I am on the management committee of the EU-funded COST Action 'Study Abroad: A European Perspective' and I am assistant editor of the Journal Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education'