Tara McIlroy

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Phd title: Investigating L2 poetic proficiency
Supervisor: Professor Jeannette Littlemore and Professor Michael Toolan
PhD Applied Linguistics


My research involves second language learners reading and responding to poetry in English. The goal is to identify and define features of poetic proficiency in the second language and comment on its implications for English language teaching. It will focus on the process of reading and responding to poetry in English through paired conversations and written responses. I will also explore whether particular types of poetry in the language classroom are effective in encouraging personal responses from learners and what types of poetry can be recommended for the language learning classroom. Drawing on methods of analysis from literary and cognitive linguistics, reader-response theory, stylistics and top-down models of L1 and L2 reading, this research is of interest to language teachers and researchers in the English language teaching gield. 

I have analysed codes describing responses to poetry as developed by De Beaugrand (1985) and Hanauer (2001) and developed a new model for reading poetry in the second language. Using this original model and codes for analysis, I will use qualitative methods and computer-aided analysis such as HyperResearch software and the W-Matrix tool in this project.