Dr Suganthi John BA, MA, RSA Cert TESL, PhD

Dr Suganthi John

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics
Senior Lecturer in English Language
Admissions Tutor, English Language

Contact details

3 Elms Road
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Before pursuing my PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2000, I lived and worked in Singapore. I graduated in 2005 and moved back to Singapore for a brief period. In 2007, I moved to Birmingham to take up my current post as lecturer. I was initially in the English for International Students Unit and am currently in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.


I have a BA in English Language and Literature from the National University of Singapore, an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sheffield and a PhD in English Language from the University of Birmingham. I also have a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language from the Royal Society of Arts. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Prior to my time at Birmingham, I taught at the National University of Singapore, the National Institute of Education, Singapore, and the Open University (Singapore). Primarily, my teaching was in the field of English for academic and professional purposes and teaching English as a foreign/second language. I also taught introductory linguistics, written discourse analysis and sociolinguistics at undergraduate level.


I currently teach undergraduates and postgraduates in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising MA and PhD students in any of the following fields:

  • English for academic purposes, particularly the challenges associated with academic writing.
  • Academic discourse.
  • Teaching English as a second/foreign language.


The primary focus of my research is on identity creation in academic discourse and advanced academic literacy. My other research interests include English for research publication purposes, English for academic purposes, particularly, academic writing, and second language learning and teaching.

Other activities

I am Admissions Tutor and Programme Director of Undergraduate Programmes in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. I am also the Director of the Centre for Advanced Research in English.


Laso, N J & John, S (2013) An exploratory study of NNS medical writers' awareness of the collocational patterning of abstract nouns in medical discourse. Revista Espanola de Linguistica Aplicada (The Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics), 26, pp 307-331. 

John, S & Laso, N J (2013) A corpus-based analysis of the collocational patterning of adjectives with abstract  nouns in medical English. In Biomedical English: a corpus-based approach. Amsterdam: John  Benjamins (pp. 55-70). Co-authored with Laso, N J. ISBN: 9789027203625

John, S (2012). Identity without the ‘I’: A study of citation sequences and identity in literature review sections of dissertations. In Tang, R (ed) Academic writing in a second or foreign language: issues and challenges facing ESL/EFL academic writers in higher education contexts. London: Continuum (pp. 186-203).  ISBN: 978-1-4411-7398-0 

John, S (2010). The influence of revision on first person pronoun use in thesis writing. Writing & Pedagogy 1(2). Special Topic: Postgraduate Writing.

John, S (2009). Using the revision process to help international students understand the linguistic construction of the academic identity. In M. Charles, D. Pecorari & S. Hunston (eds) Academic Writing: At the Interface of Corpus and Discourse (pp. 272-290). London: Continuum. ISBN: 978-1-84706-436-3.

John, S (2007). Meeting the challenge of developing an academic identity a textual approach. In P. Teo and C. Ho (eds)  Discourse in the modern world: Perspectives and challenges (pp. 28–52). Singapore: McGraw- Hill. ISBN: 978-0071264921

Tang, R & John, S (1999).  ‘I’ in identity: Exploring writer identity in student academic writing through the first person pronoun. English for Specific Purposes, 18, S23–S39.