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Dr O'Boyle's research interests are the relationships between language and education. These include the analysis of discourse in educational contexts, academic and professional discourse, and English Language learning and teaching. She is particularly interested in the application of research in corpus linguistics to education and has been involved in the design, development, and research of a number of spoken (academic and learner) corpora to investigate the construction of knowledge in classroom contexts, oracy and speaking skills, and language use in intercultural contexts.

Recent research included conducting a state-of-the-art review and multiple case studies of English Language Teaching professionals in South America, Asia, Europe and the UK and how they make best use of corpora for English Language Teaching and Learning.

The objective of the research activity is to develop a guide on digital data-driven learning for learners, teachers, and teacher educators.

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Open to PhD applications in the field of 

  • TESOL and English Language Learning (ESL, EFL, EAL)
  • Academic Discourse and English for Specific Purposes
  • Applied Corpus Studies
  • Speaking Skills
  • English Language Learning and Migration
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  • Dr O'Boyle's work with TESOL postgraduate students on the design and development of English for Specific
    Purposes led to the development of an Initial English Language Support Curriculum for very newly-arrived
    refugee families in Northern Ireland
  • She supports a short programme on Teaching English to Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers


Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School Of Social Sciences, Education And Social Work

Centre for Shared Education, QUB

Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies


Research students

PhD title: How do we teach English under the waves of innovation? –Listening to the voices of learners and teachers, discovering perceptions of English learning and teaching in China and the UK

Name: Xuexi Han 
Years of Study: 
Country: China

PhD title: Teacher Cognition and Technology Integration in EFL

Name: Hamid Asman
Years of Study: 
Country: Indonesia


Research at Queen's

Postgraduate research

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