Dr Nicholas Groom

Department of English Language and Linguistics
Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics

Contact details

Frankland Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am a corpus linguist. The main focus of my work is on using computers to study latent patterning in very large collections of naturally occurring language data.


BA, MA (London); PhD (Birmingham)


I taught at schools and universities in Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, before coming to Birmingham as a postgraduate research student in 2001. I have been a member of staff here at UoB since September 2005.


I currently convene or teach on the following course modules:


  • Theories of Language
  • Corpus Linguistics


  • Introduction to Corpus Linguistics
  • Research Methods in Corpus Linguistics
  • Corpus Linguistics (campus and distance MA option modules)

Postgraduate supervision

I supervise PhD and MRes students working in the following areas:

  • Corpus-based approaches to the analysis of phraseology (e.g. pattern grammar, construction grammar)
  • Corpus-based discourse analysis
  • Corpus-based critical discourse analysis
  • Learner corpus analysis
  • Corpora in cognitive linguistics
  • Corpora in systemic-functional linguistics

Please get in touch if you are interested in working with me.

Find out more - our PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


My research aims to make corpus-based contributions to linguistic theory in general, and to the fields of phraseology, discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis and second language acquisition in particular.

I am currently carrying out research on the following topics:

  • The relationship between phraseology and epistemology in written and spoken academic discourse.
  • The language of patents, from the C17th to the present day.
  • Public discourses around secondary schooling in the UK
  • Phraseological development in EFL learner writing

Other activities

Internal roles

  • I am Director of Postgraduate Research and Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor for the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.

External roles

  • I am a member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Learner Corpus Association.
  • I am currently serving as a co-editor of the Cambridge University Press journal English Today.
  • I am a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Learner Corpus Research and the International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching.
  • I am a member of the Economic and Social Research Council Peer Review College.
  • I am a peer reviewer for the journals Applied Linguistics, Corpora, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, International Journal of Learner Corpus Research, Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Journal of Second Language Writing, ReCALL and Text and Talk, and for the book publishers John Benjamins, Bloomsbury, Continuum, Palgrave Macmillan, Peter Lang, Pearson Longman, Routledge and Wiley-Blackwell. I have also served on the programme and scientific committees of numerous international conferences in my field.
  • I am currently serving as External Examiner for two universities, one in the UK and one in Greece.
  • I have acted as External Examiner for PhD candidates at the universities of Essex, Lancaster, León, Málaga and Nottingham.
  • I have represented the University of Birmingham at conferences and on invited visits to universities and other institutions in Belgium, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the UK.


  • Groom, N., Charles, M. and John, S. (eds.)(2015a). Corpora, grammar and discourse: In honour of Susan Hunston. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Groom, N., Charles, M. and John, S. (2015b). ‘Corpora, grammar, and discourse analysis: Recent trends, current challenges.’ In N. Groom et al (eds.) Corpora, grammar and discourse: In honour of Susan Hunston. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Lin, M. H., Groom, N., and Lin, C.-Y. (2013a) ‘Blog-assisted learning in the ESL writing classroom: A phenomenological analysis.’ Journal of Educational Technology & Society 16/3: 130–139.
  • Groom, N. (2013b). Review of D. Biber and S. Conrad, Register, Genre, and Style, Cambridge University Press, 2009. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 12/3: 227-229.
  • Groom, N. (2013c). ‘The COBUILD Project.’ In C.A. Chapelle, (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Groom, N. (2011) ‘Grow your own corpora.’ The English Connection, September 2011, 21-22.
  • Groom, N. and Littlemore, J. (2011) Doing Applied Linguistics. London: Routledge.
  • Groom, N. (2010) ‘Closed-class keywords and corpus-driven discourse analysis.’ In M. Bondi and M. Scott (eds.) Keyness in Texts. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.
  • Groom, N. (2009a) ‘Effects of second language immersion on second language collocational development.’ In A. Barfield and H. Gyllstad (eds.) Researching Collocations in Another Language: Multiple interpretations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Groom, N. (2009b) ‘Phraseology and epistemology in academic book reviews: a corpus-driven analysis.’ In K. Hyland and G. Diani (eds.) Academic Evaluation: Review genres in university settings. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Groom, N. (2009c) ‘Putting the pedagogic corpus into practice.’ The Language Teacher 30/7: 26-8.
  • Randall, M. and Groom, N. (2009d) ‘Introducing the BUiD Arab Learner Corpus: a resource for studying the acquisition of L2 English spelling.’ In M. Mahlberg, V. González-Díaz and C. Smith (eds.) Proceedings of the Corpus Linguistics Conference CL2009, University of Liverpool, UK, 20-23 July 2009.  
  • Groom, N. (2006) ‘Phraseology, identity, community, motivation.’ The Language Teacher 30/7: 25-27.
  • Groom, N. (2005) ‘Pattern and meaning across genres and disciplines: an exploratory study.’ Journal of English for Academic Purposes 4/3: 257-277.
  • Groom, N. (2000a) ‘Attribution and averral revisited: three perspectives on manifest intertextuality in academic writing.’ In P. Thompson (ed.) Patterns and Perspectives: Insights into EAP writing practice. Reading: CALS, 14-25.
  • Groom, N. (2000b) ‘“A workable balance”: self and sources in argumentative writing.’ In S. Mitchell and R. Andrews (eds.) Learning to Argue in Higher Education. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Heinemann, 65-73.

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