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Elizabeth Erling


  • Professor of English Language Teaching and Research Methodology

  • Spokesperson for Foreign Language Didactics (Fachdidaktikzentrum GEWI)

  • Member of the research group on the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching

  • Teacher in the Doctoral Programme for Foreign Language Didactics

  • Lecturer on the following courses: Introduction to Communicative Language Teaching, Language Testing and Assessment, Focus on Language and the Learner.


  • PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, the University of Edinburgh (2004)
  • MSc in Applied Linguistics, the University of Edinburgh (1999)
  • Bachelors in English Literature and German Studies (Hons), Georgia State University (1995)


I take a broadly sociocultural approach to teaching and learning, recognizing the importance of identity and context and the potential of technology. My research is practice-oriented and rooted in real-life issues in English language education, therefore necessarily employing a range of methods (e.g. ethnographic case studies and interviews, large-scale questionnaires, classroom observations, linguistic analysis). I also have extensive experience of course and program evaluation and quality assurance.


My research has explored key issues around motivation, identity and inclusion in English language education and how these are framed within larger ideological discourses. I am also interested in the potential of (English) language learning for the promotion of social justice, empathy and intercultural understanding. I have conducted research at various levels of education (primary, secondary, tertiary, informal), in contexts in which English is taught as an additional language (e.g. Bangladesh, Germany) and where it is used as a medium of instruction (e.g. Ghana, India). 


I have attracted over €100,000 of funding for research and have been led the following projects:

Additional information

From 2016-2017, I taught in the Department of English at the University of Vienna.




From 2007-2017, I was Senior Lecturer in English Language Teaching and International Teacher Education in the Department of Education at the Open University, UK. In this role, I undertook the following functions:



From 1999-2007, I was Lecturer of English at the Freie Universität Berlin.


I have successfully supervised several PhD, Master’s and Bachelor’s theses in various aspects of applied linguistics and English language teaching, and served as an external examiner and exam panel chair.


Selected publications

(A full list can be found on UGO)

  • Erling, E.J. (Ed) (2017) English across the Fracture Lines: the Contribution and Relevance of English to Security, Safety and Stability in the World. London: British Council.
  • Erling, E.J. (2017) ‘Development aid, language planning and English education in Bangladesh’. Current Issues in Language Planning. Special issue on ‘Language planning and development aid.’
  • Erling, E.J. (2017) ‘Being “the villain”: Globalization and the “native-speaker” English language teacher’. In Borjian, M. (Ed.), Perspectives on Language and Globalization: An Autoethnographic Approach. London: Routledge.
  • Erling, E.J., Adinolfi, L., Hultgren, A.K., Buckler, A. and Mukorera, M. (2016). ‘Medium of Instruction (MOI) policies in Ghanaian and Indian primary schools: An overview of key issues and recommendations’. Comparative Education. 53:3, 294-310. Special Issue on 'English as a Medium of Instruction in Low and Middle Income Countries: Issues of Quality, Equity and Social Justice'.
  • Erling, E.J., Schekulin, C., Thir, V., Seidlhofer, B. and Widdowson, H. (2016) ‘English language: English as a Lingua Franca’. Year's Work in English Studies, 130-169.
  • Erling, E. J., Seargeant, P. and M. Solly (2014) ‘English in rural Bangladesh: How is language education perceived as a resource for development in rural communities?’ English Today. 30:4, 16-22.
  • Erling, E.J. and P. Seargeant (Eds) (2013) English and Development: Policy, Pedagogy and Globalization. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Erling, E.J. and J.T.E. Richardson (2010) ‘Measuring the Academic Skills of University Students: Evaluation of a diagnostic procedure.’ Assessing Writing. 15:3, 177-193.
  • Erling, E.J. and T. Bartlett (2008) ‘Making space for us: German graduate student voices in English.’ Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. 2: 2, 174-188.
  • Erling, E.J. (2007) ‘Local identities and global connections: Affinities with English among student specialists at the Free University of Berlin.’ World Englishes 26:2, 111-130.
  • Erling, E.J. and S. K. Hilgendorf (2006) ‘Language policies in the context of German higher education.’ Language Policy. 5:3, 267-293.
  • Erling, E.J. (2005) ‘The many names of English.’ English Today. 21:1, 40-44.
  • Erling, E.J. (2002) ‘“I speak English since 10 years”: Global English and the German university classroom.’ English Today. 18:2, 8-13.


ELT Research and Methodology
Attemsgasse 8/IV 8010 Graz
Department of English Studies

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