I was born and brought up in Leeds and since then have lived in Singapore, the Philippines, Smethwick, Guildford and Birmingham. My first degree focused mainly on English Literature, but teaching English as a Second Language and English for Academic Purposes in my early career led to an increasing interest in how the English language works, and I pursued that interest in my MA and PhD.
Since 1983 I have taught Applied Linguistics and English Language as a degree subject at the National University of Singapore, the University of Surrey, and since 1986 at the University of Birmingham. I also had two years in the commercial world as a member of the Cobuild project.
In my current job I am Professor of English Language.