Dr Jeannette Littlemore BA, MA, PhD, PGCHE

 

Head of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Photograph of Jeannette Littlemore

Contact details

52 Pritchatts Road
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

About

I am a Reader in Applied Linguistics in the English Language Department at the University of Birmingham. I teach a range of courses and supervise PhD students in English Language and Applied Linguistics. My research focuses on the acquisition and use of metaphor and other types of figurative language by second language learners. I am also interested in applications of cognitive linguistics to second language learning and teaching.

Qualifications

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. University of Birmingham, 2001.
  • PhD English Language Teaching, Thames Valley University, 1998. Title: Individual differences in second language learning: towards an identification of the strategy preferences and language learning strengths of L2 students with holistic and/or imager cognitive styles. Supervisor: Professor Peter Skehan.
  • MA Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching, University of East Anglia, 1993.
  • BA (Hons) European Studies (majoring in French and Economics with a mathematics subsidiary), University of Bradford, 1989.

Biography

I have been working at the University of Birmingham since 1999. Before that, I taught and lectured in Spain, Japan and Belgium.

Teaching

I teach on both the campus-based and the distance MA programmes in TEFL and Applied Linguistics as well as the BA Single Honours and Joint Honours Programmes in English Language. I teach on and/or convene modules in Language Teaching Methodology, Second Language Acquisition, Lexis, Research Methods in Applied Linguistics, Cognitive Linguistics, Pedagogic Grammar, Psycholinguistics and Teacher Training. I also supervise a number of PhD students in the areas of figurative language, cognitive linguistics and second language acquisition.

Postgraduate supervision

I have a lively group of PhD students working on metaphor, metonymy and second language learning. I am interested in supervising MA and PhD research in the areas of:

  • Teaching and learning figurative language
  • Language learning and cognitive linguistics
  • Analyzing figurative language

Research

My current research interests lie in the area of second language learning and teaching. I am particularly interested in the acquisition of figurative language by non-native speakers of English and in the applications of cognitive linguistics to second language learning and teaching.

Research groups

External research grants and awards received

  • Dates: Jan 2012-Dec 2014
    Title of Project: Metaphor use in one-to-one academic consultations in English: Implications for Spanish student mobility in Europe (FFI2011-22809)
    Funding Body: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
    Amount: €50,820
    My role: Co-Investigator
  • Dates: May 2014 - Apr 2016
    Title of Project: Metaphor: From Embodied Cognition to Discourse
    Funding Body: Thyssen Foundation (Germany)
    Amount: €10,000
    My role: Co-Investigator
  • Dates: Oct 2014-Sep 2017
    Title of Project: Cognitive modeling and meaning construction across languages: Theory, implications, and applications (FFI2013-43593-P)
    Funding Body: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
    Amount: €73,000
    My role: Co-Investigator
  • Dates: Aug 2010-Jul 2011
    Title of Project: Verbal and gestural metaphor in cross-cultural communication
    Funding Body: The British Council
    Amount: £2,820
    My role: Principal Investigator
  • Dates: Apr 2010-Mar 2011
    Title of Project: Investigating figurative proficiency at different levels of second language writing
    Funding Body: Cambridge ESOL
    Amount: £5,000
    My role: Principal Investigator
  • Dates: Jan-Dec 2006
    Title of Project: The Development of Creativity in Japanese Learners of English
    Funding Body: Japanese DAIWA Foundation
    Amount: £1,200
    My role: Principal Investigator
  • Dates: Aug 2000 - Feb 2003
    Title of Project: New Technologies and Language Learning: Pedagogical Approaches and Practical Applications (Project Number: 56563-CP-1-98-1-IE-LINGUA-LA)
    Funding Body: The European Union
    Amount: €146,000
    My role: Co-Investigator
  • Dates: Jan 1997 - Jul 1999
    Title of Project: European Language Council Thematic Network Project in the area of Languages: (Project 25917-CP-2-97-1-DE-ERASMUS-ETN)
    Funding Body: The European Union
    Amount: €6,030,000
    My role: Co-Investigator

Other activities

I am involved in a number of national and international research projects, investigating the use of verbal and gestural metaphor in cross-cultural communication and the development of figurative proficiency at different levels of second language writing.

Publications

Authored books

  • Littlemore, J. (in press 2015). Metonymy: Hidden Shortcuts in Language, Thought and Communication,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Deignan, A., Littlemore, J. and Semino, E. (2013). Figurative Communication in Discourse Communities. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Groom, N. and Littlemore, J. (2011). Doing Applied Linguistics, London: Routledge.
  • Littlemore, J. (2009). Applying Cognitive Linguistics to Second Language Learning and Teaching. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Littlemore, J. and Low, G. (2006). Figurative Thinking and Foreign Language Learning. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Edited books and special editions of journals

  • Littlemore, J. and Taylor, J. (Eds.) (2014). The Bloomsbury Companion to Cognitive Linguistics,London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 9781441195098.
  • Littlemore, J. and Juchem Grundmann, C. (Eds.) (2010). Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Learning and Teaching. Invited editors of a Special Edition of the AILA Review.
  • Chambers, A., Conacher ,J. and Littlemore, J. (Eds.) (2004). ICT and Language Learning: Integrating Pedagogy and Practice. Birmingham: Birmingham University Press. ISBN 1-902459-50-4.
  • Boers, F. and Littlemore, J. (Eds.) (2003). Cross-Cultural Differences in Conceptual Metaphor: Applied Linguistics Perspectives. Special edition of Metaphor and Symbol,18 (4). ISBN 0-8058-95760.

Papers in refereed journals

  • Littlemore, J., Krennmayr, T., Turner, J. and Turner, S. (2014). Investigating figurative proficiency at different levels of second language writing, Applied Linguistics, 35 (2): 117-144. ISSN 0142-6001.**
  • Semino, E., Deignan, A. and Littlemore, J. (2013). Metaphor, genre and recontextualization, Metaphor and Symbol, 28:41–59, ISSN 0-8058-9576-0.
  • MacArthur, F. and Littlemore, J. (2011). On the repetition of words with the potential for metaphoric extension in conversations between native and non-native speakers of English, Metaphor and the Social World, 1(2): 201-238, ISSN 2210-4070.
  • Littlemore, J., Chen, P., Barnden, J. and Koester, A. (2011). Difficulties in metaphor comprehension faced by international students whose first language is not English. Applied Linguistics, 32(4) 208-429.
  • MacArthur, F. and Littlemore, J. (2011). On the repetition of words with the potential for metaphoric extension in conversations between native and non-native speakers of English, Metaphor and the Social World, 1(2): 201-238.
  • Azuma, M. and Littlemore, J. (2010). Promoting creativity in English language classrooms JACET Kansai Journal12, 8-19 ISSN 18802281.
  • Littlemore, J. and Juchem Grundmann, C. (2010). Introduction to the interplay between cognitive linguistics and second language learning and teaching. In Littlemore, J. and Juchem Grundmann, C. (Eds.) Cognitive Linguistics and Second Language Learning and Teaching. Special Edition of the AILA Review, pp. 1-6.
  • Low, G. and Littlemore, J. (2009). The relationship between conceptual metaphors and classroom management language: reactions by native and non-native speakers of English. Special Edition of Iberica on Metaphor in the teaching of English for Specific Purposes. Iberica, 17, 25-44. ISSN 1139-7241.
  • Low, G., Littlemore, J. and Koester, A. (2008). The use of metaphor in three university lectures. Applied Linguistics29 (3): 428-455. ISSN: 0142-6001.
  • Littlemore, J. and MacArthur, F. (2007). What do learners need to know about the figurative extensions of target language words? A contrastive corpus-based analysis of thread, hilar, wingand aletear. Metaphor and Discourse. A Special Edition of Culture, Language and Representation: Cultural Studies Journal of Universitat Jaume I(5) 131-150.
  • Littlemore, J. and Low, G. (2006). Metaphoric competence and communicative language ability. Applied Linguistics27 (2): 268-294. ISSN: 0142-6001.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). Interpreting metaphors in the language classroom. Les Cahiers de l’APLIUT23, 2, 57-70. ISSN 0248-9430.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). The effect of cognitive style on vocabulary learning strategy preferences. Iberica, The Academic Journal of AELFE7: 5-32. ISSN 1139-7241.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). What kind of training is required to help language students use metaphor-based strategies to work out the meaning of new vocabulary? Documentao de Estudos em Linguistica Teorica e Aplicada DELTA20 (2): 265-279. ISSN 0102-4450.
  • Littlemore, J. (2003). The communicative effectiveness of different types of communication strategy. System, 31 (3) 331-347. ISSN 0346 251X.
  • Littlemore, J. (2003). The effect of cultural background on metaphor interpretation. Metaphor and Symbol18 (4), 273-288. ISBN 0-8058-9576-0.
  • Littlemore, J. (2002). Developing metaphor interpretation strategies for students of economics: a case study. Les Cahiers de l’APLIUT, 22, 4: 40-60. ISSN 0248-9430.
  • Littlemore, J. (2002). Setting up a course in ICT for language teachers: Some essential considerations. CALL-EJ-Online, 4, 1
  • Littlemore, J. (2002). The holistic/analytic cognitive style and second language learning strategies. TESOL France Journal,9: 5-34. ISSN 1266-7838.
  • Littlemore, J. (2002) From ESP teacher to EAP teacher. Perspectives 29 (2), 21-44.
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). An empirical study of the relationship between the holistic/analytic cognitive style dimension and second language learners’ communication strategy preferences. Applied Linguistics, 22, 2: 241-265. ISSN 0142-6001
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). The use of metaphor by university lecturers and the problems that it causes for overseas students. Teaching in Higher Education, 6, 3: 335-351. ISSN 1356-2517
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). Metaphoric competence: a possible language learning strength of students with a holistic cognitive style? TESOL Quarterly, 35, 3: 459-491. ISSN 0039-8322
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). Learning styles and learning strategies in second language acquisition. Perspectives27, (2): 7-18.
  • Boers, F. and Littlemore, J. (2000). Cognitive style variables in participants’ explanations of conceptual metaphors. Metaphor and Symbol,15, 3: 177-187. ISBN 0-8058-9576-0
  • Boers, F. and Littlemore, J. (1999). Conceptual metaphor and cognitive style differences. Etudes et Travaux, 3: 31-51. ISSN 0777-3692
  • Littlemore, J. (1995). Cognitive style dimensions and learning strategy preference in an L2 context. Rapport d’Activites de l’Institut des Langues Vivantes et de Phonetique, 31: 43-61. ISSN 0777-3692

Contributions to edited works

  • Littlemore, J. (in press; 2015). Metaphor in Specialist Discourse. Insights and Implications for Metaphor Studies and Beyond, In Herrmann, J. B. & Berber Sardinha, T. (eds.) Metaphor in Specialist Discourse: Investigating Metaphor Use in Specific and Popularized Discourse Contexts,Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Littlemore, J. and MacArthur, F. (2012). Figurative extensions of word meaning: How do corpus data and intuition match up? In D. Divjak and S. Gries (Eds.) Corpus and Cognition: Converging and Diverging Evidence, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 195-233.
  • Littlemore, J. (2012) Cognitive approaches to communication strategies. In C. Chapelle (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics.
  • Littlemore, J. (2012). The use of verbal and gestural metaphor in explanations of management theory. In M. White and H. Herrero (Eds.) Metaphor and Mills: The Use of Figurative Language in Business and Economics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Littlemore, J. (2012). Metaphor. In P. Robinson (Ed.) The Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. London: Routledge.
  • Littlemore, J. (2010). Metaphoric competence in the first and second language: similarities and differences. M. Putz and L. Sicola (Eds.) Cognitive Processing in Second Language Acquisition(Series Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research) Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 293-316. ISBN: 9789027239020
  • Littlemore, J., Tang, P, Chen, P, Barnden, J. and Koester, A. (2010). The role of figurative thinking in gaining access to discourse communities: A report on two case studies. In S. De Knop, F. Boers and T. De Rycker (Eds.) Exploring the Lexis-Grammar Continuum in Second Language Pedagogy. (Applications of Cognitive Linguistics). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 189-211.
  • Littlemore, J. (2008). The relationship between associative thinking, analogical reasoning, image formation and metaphoric extension strategies. In M. Zanotto, L. Cameron and M. Cavalcanti (Eds.) Confronting Metaphor in Use: An Applied Linguistic Approach. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 199-222. ISBN: 9789027254177
  • MacArthur, F. and Littlemore, J. (2008). A discovery approach using corpora in the foreign language classroom. In F. Boers and S. Lindstromberg (Eds.) Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary and Phraseology. Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, 159-188. ISBN: 9783110193606
  • Boers, F., Lindstromberg, S., Littlemore, J., Stengers, H. and Eyckmans, J. (2008). Variables in the mnemonic effectiveness of pictorial elucidation. In F. Boers and S. Lindstromberg. Cognitive Linguistic Approaches to Teaching Vocabulary and Phraseology. Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, 189-216. ISBN: 9783110193606
  • Littlemore, J. (2008). Conceptual metaphor. In P. Colm Hogan (Ed.) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521866897
  • Littlemore, J. (2008). ‘He’s got a bit of a loose nappy’. Figurative thinking and foreign language learning: Metaphor and metonymy in institutional discourse. In Cognitive Approaches to Second/Foreign Language Processing: Theory and Pedagogy, The LAUD Linguistic Agency, 390-408.
  • Littlemore, J. (2005). Figurative thought and the teaching of languages for specific purposes. In E. Hernandez and L. Sierra (Eds.) Lenguas Para Fines Especificos (VIII) Investigacion y Ensenanza. Madrid: Universidad de Alcala. ISBN 84-8138-632-4.
  • Littlemore, J. (2005). The Functions of Different Types of Figurative Language in Spoken Academic Discourse: A Case Study. Reflections on Language Use in the Academic Context. Published by Departamento de Lingüística Aplicada UPM: Madrid, 17-28, ISBN: 84-96442-1-X.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). Conceptual metaphor as a vehicle for promoting critical thinking skills amongst international students. In L. Sheldon (Ed.) Directions for the Future: Directions in English for Academic Purposes. Oxford: Peter Lang, 43-50. ISBN 3-03910-056-9.
  • Littlemore, J. and Oakey, D. (2004). Communication with a purpose: Exploiting the Internet to promote language learning. In A. Chambers, J. Conacher and J. Littlemore (Eds.) ICT and Language Learning: Integrating Pedagogy and Practice. Birmingham: Birmingham University Press. Pages 95-119. ISBN 1-902459-50-4
  • Littlemore, J. (2003). Language learning strategies and learner autonomy. Developing Language Professionals in Higher Education Institutions(DELPHI) project
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). The relationship between learner autonomy, self-instruction and new technologies in language learning: a comparison between current theory and practice in European institutions of higher education. In A, Chambers and G. Davies (Eds.) New Technologies and language learning: Integrating theory and practice, Swets and Zeitlinger, Holland: 39-52. ISBN 90-265-1810-2

Other papers/publications

  • Littlemore, J. (2012). The role of metaphor and metonymy in EFL proficiency, The Language Teacher, JALT, Japan.
  • Littlemore, J., Krennmayr, T., Turner, J. and Turner, S. (2012). Investigating Figurative Proficiency at Different Levels of Second Language Writing, Cambridge ESOL Funded Research Programme Round 2, Final Report. Cambridge ESOL Examinations Research Notes, 47,14-26. http://www.cambridgeesol.org/rs_notes/rs_nts47.pdf.
  • Littlemore, J., MacArthur, F., Cienki, A. and Holloway, J. (2012). How to make yourself understood by international students: The role of metaphor in academic tutorials, British Council English Language Teaching Research Partnership Award Project Final Report
  • Littlemore, J. (2010). Metaphor, gesture and second language acquisition. JALT Newsletter.
  • Littlemore, J. (2009) Cognitive linguistics and second language learning and teaching. The Teacher Trainer 23(1): 16-19. ISSN: 09517626
  • Littlemore, J. (2008). Promoting creativity in the English language classroom: An investigation into how Japanese learners of English can be helped to think ‘figuratively’ in order to widen their vocabulary range and develop their communicative competence. JALT Newsletter.
  • Littlemore and MacArthur (2006). The use of the CREA to learn figurative extensions of animal names in Spanish Vida Hispanica34, 13-17.
  • Littlemore, J. (2005). Using Corpora to discover figurative extensions of word meaning in the language classroom. In Ideas from the Corpora, Humanizing Language Teaching7 (6) November 2005.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). Using clipart and concordancing to teach idiomatic expressions. Modern English Teacher13, 1, 37-44. ISSN 0308-0587.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). The misinterpretation of metaphors by international students at a British university: examples, implications, and possible remedies. Humanizing Language Learning, 6, 3.
  • Littlemore, J. (2002). The case for metaphoric intelligence: A reply. ELT Newsletter.
  • Littlemore, J. (2001). Metaphorical intelligence and foreign language learning. Humanizing Language Teaching, 3, 2. (Invited contribution)
  • Littlemore, J. and Chevalier, Y. (1997). Autonomy and self-instruction in language learning: the current situation in European institutions of Higher Education. Report prepared for the European Language Council Policy Group on New Technologies and Language Learning.

Book reviews

  • Littlemore, J. (2011). Book Review of ‘Metaphor Analysis: Research Practice in Applied Linguistics’, by Lynne Cameron and Robert Maslen. System 39(4).
  • Littlemore, J. (2008). Book Review of ‘Literature, Metaphor and the Language Learner’, by Jonathan Picken. Metaphor and Symbol23 (3): 210-215.
  • Littlemore, J. (2004). Book Review of ‘Metaphor in Educational Discourse’, by Lynne Cameron. Metaphor and Symbol19 (4), 307-316. ISSN: 1092-6488. (Invited contribution)

Conference presentations (external)

  • Metaphor and EFL Proficiency
  • Plenary paper presented at The Japanese Association for Language Teachers Annual Conference, October 2012
  • Metaphor and the foreign language learner
    Invited plenary lecture given at the 4th International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, Bremen, German, October 2010.
  • Verbal and gestural metaphor in explanations of management theory
    Invited presentation given as part of a theme session on ‘Teaching through Metaphor’, at the 4th International Conference of the German Cognitive Linguistics Association, Bremen, German, October 2010.
  • The use of metaphoric gestures by second language learners to understand and convey metaphoric concepts
    Paper presented at the Researching and Applying Metaphor International Association Conference, Amsterdam, Holland, May 2010.
  • The use of verbal and gestural metaphor in oral academic explanations
    Invited speaker at AESLA International Conference, Vigo, Spain, April 2010.
  • More than just words: pursuing professional excellence through the use of gesture.
    Featured speaker presentation at the KOTESOL International conference, Seoul, Korea, October 2009.
  • Metaphoric competence and communicative language ability.
    Invited plenary lecture given at the Cambridge University Press English Profile Conference, Herceg Novi, Montenegro, September 2008.
  • Figurative language in two discourse communities
    (With Almut Koester) Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Researching and Applying Metaphor, Caceres, Spain, May 2008.
  • ‘He’s got a bit of a loose nappy’. Figurative thinking and foreign language learning: Metaphor and metonymy in institutional discourse.
    Invited plenary lecture given at the LAUD symposium on Cognitive Approaches to Second/Foreign Language Processing: Theory and Pedagogy, Landau, Germany, March 2008.
  • The importance of figurative language in the second language classroom
    Featured speaker presentation delivered at the JALT conference, Tokyo, Japan, November 2007.
  • Teaching and researching figurative language in the second language classroom
    Workshop presented at the JALT conference, Tokyo, Japan, November 2007.
  • Researching metaphor and language teaching
    (With Fiona MacArthur)
    Invited RAAM Workshop, Ciudad Real, Spain, March 2007.
  • The use of metaphor in three university lectures
    (With Almut Koester and Graham Low)
    Paper presented at the BAAL CUP Workshop on listening, Warwick University, May, 2006.
  • Are lectures really hard?
    (With Almut Koester and Graham Low)
    Paper presented at the conference on Researching and Applying Metaphor (RAAM), Leeds, UK, April, 2006.
  • Using corpora to explore the figurative potential of the target language
    (With Fiona MacArthur)
    Metaphor in discourse, University of Castellon de la Plana, Spain, February 2006.
  • Teaching metaphor
    Invited lecture, given at the University of Extremadura, Spain, February 2005.
  • Figurative thought and the teaching of languages for specific purposes
    Invited keynote speech, Jornadas de Lenguas de Fines Especificados, Alcala, Spain, March 2004.
  • The use of new technologies for language learning in European HE institutions: Factors determining success, and teacher-training issues
    British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes, Oxford Brookes University, February 2004.
  • Developing metaphor interpretation strategies for students of economics: A case study. Invited lecture given at Journees AsP. University of Grenoble, France, December 2003.
  • Metaphor and communicative language ability
    Plenary paper presented at the conference on Researching and Applying Metaphor (RAAM), St Denis, France, September 2003.
  • The relationship between associative thinking, analogical reasoning, image formation and metaphoric competence
    Metaphor in Language and Thought, Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 2002.
  • Metaphoric competence and foreign language learning
    Invited keynote lecture, The European Association of Lecturers in Languages for Specific Purposes Annual Conference, Madrid, Spain, September 2002.
  • Cognitive styles, conceptual metaphors and EAP
    Invited workshop given at The European Association of Lecturers in Languages for Specific Purposes Annual Conference, Madrid, Spain, September 2002.
  • Conceptual metaphor: cross cultural differences and teaching implications. Colloquium organizer and presenter, American Association for Applied Linguistics conference, St. Louis, USA, February 2001.
  • Conceptual metaphor as a vehicle for promoting critical thinking amongst international students. British Association for Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes Biennial Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, April 2001.
  • A study of different aspects of L1 and L2 metaphoric competence. American Association for Applied Linguistics conference, Vancouver, Canada, April 2000.
  • Metaphor as a source of misunderstanding for overseas students at a British university. TESOL Italy, Assisi, Italy, December 2000.
  • An identification of the psychological processes underlying different patterns of communication strategy use in a second language. American Association for Applied Linguistics conference, Stamford, Connecticut, USA, April 1999.
  • Integrating theory and practice in CALL: Recommendations for research and policy. European Language Council second conference, Jyvaskyla, Finland, July 1999.
  • Crossing the boundaries between L1 and L2 metaphoric competencies. British Association for Applied Linguistics, annual conference, Edinburgh, UK, September 1999.
  • Autonomy and self-instruction in language learning: the current situation in European institutions of Higher Education. European Language Council first conference, Lille, France, July 1998.

Expertise

Metaphor and the problems that it presents for cross-linguistic communication and language learning

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