Dr Neil Millar BSc. (Hons), MPS, MRes, PhD



Department of English Literature

Neil Millar

Contact details

JG Smith Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


I teach on the MA TEFL and MA in Applied Linguistics and MA in Applied Corpus Linguistics. I am also the technical director of the University Centre for Corpus Research.


  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University (2010)
  • MRes in Applied Linguistics (Distinction), Lancaster University (2008)
  • Master of Professional Studies in language Teaching (Distinction), University of Auckland (2004)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with German (Honours), University of Aberdeen (1997)


I joined the English Department at the University of Birmingham in 2010. Previously I have taught and lectured in English in the UK, New Zealand and Japan.


I teach on both the in-house and the distance MA programmes in TEFL and Applied Linguistics. Campus-based courses that I will be teaching in 2010/11 are:

  • Psychological aspects of language
  • Second language teaching and learning
  • Language testing
  • Research methods in corpus linguistics

Postgraduate supervision

I would be interested in supervising MA, MPhil and PhD research in the following areas:

  • Corpus-based language research in general
  • The combination of corpus-linguistics and psycholinguistics 
  • Corpus-based study of language change
  • Corpus-based approaches to EAP/ESP
  • or in any other area that fits with my research interest


My research mainly concerns innovation in and the practical application of corpus linguistic methodologies. I am interested in and have published on a diverse range of topics including:

  • Second language teaching and learning
  • Psycholinguistic perspective on collocation
  • Grammatical language change
  • The language of biomedical research articles

I am currently working on the following topics:

  • Form and function of passive constructions in a corpus of business meeting
  • Comprehensibility of passive constructions in biomedical research articles
  • Large-scale analyses of text comments in student evaluations of teaching

I collaborate with colleagues in the fields of biomedicine. This collaboration has lead to the creation of The Centre for Biomedical and Health Linguistics - a non-profit organization is dedicated to characterizing, facilitating and assessing communicative competence in the languages of biomedicine and health. Our team is involved in the development and analysis of corpora of targeted domains in biomedicine and health - these can be accessed online here.

Other activities

  • I am director of research at the Centre for Biomedical and Health Linguistics.
  • I am the external examiner for BA prgrammes in Linguistics and the English Language University College Plymouth St Mark & St John.
  • I am a reviewer for the following journals: Applied Linguistics, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Corpora, Journal of PragmaticsJournal of Biomedical Informatics 


  • Millar, N. (2012). 'Use the active voice whenever possible': The impact of style-guidelines in medical journals. Applied Linguistics.
  • Budgell B., Millar N., Kwong A. (2011) A Diachronic study of the language of chiropractic. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association
  • Millar, N. (2011). The processing of malformed learner collocations. Applied Linguistics.
  • Millar, N., Budgell, B., Kwong, A. (2011). Quantitative corpus-based analysis of the chiropractic literature - A pilot study. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association.
  • Chiba, Y., Millar, N., Budgell, B. (2010). The Language of Midwifery and Perinatal Care: A quantitative analysis. Journal of the Japan Academy of Midwifery. 24(1), 1-10.
  • Millar, N. (2009). Modal verbs in TIME: frequency changes 1923-2006. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. 14(2), 191-220.
  • Millar, N., & Lehtinen, B. (2008). DIY local learner corpora: Bridging gaps between theory and practice. JALT CALL Journal. 4(2): 61-72.
  • Millar, N. , & Budgell, B. (2008). The language of public health - a corpus-based analysis. Journal of Public Health. 16(5), 369-374.
  • Millar, N. (2007). The Kanda Learner Corpus. Studies in Linguistics and Language Teaching - Kanda University of International Studies. 17, 79-91.
  • Millar, N. (2007).The development of a learner corpus at Kanda University of International Studies. Working Papers in Language Education - Kanda University of International Studies. 3: 75-85.
  • Millar, N. (2006). Japanese learners' use of loanword cognates: a corpus-based study. The Journal of Kanda University of International Studies. 18: 479-496.

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