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.


I am interested in phraseology, discourse analysis, and usage-based theories of language in general.

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.

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.


Recent publications


Groom, N, Charles, M & John, S (eds) 2015, Corpora, grammar and discourse: In honour of Susan Hunston. vol. 73, Studies in Corpus Linguistics edn, John Benjamins, Amsterdam. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.73

Groom, N & Littlemore, J 2011, Doing Applied Linguistics. Routledge, London.


Jürine, A, Leijen, D, Hint, H, Laiveniece, D, Šinkūnienė, J, Johansson, C & Groom, N 2021, 'Academic writing in the Baltic States: introducing the Bwrite project', Educare - Vetenskapliga Skrifter, vol. 2021, no. 1, pp. 27-37. https://doi.org/10.24834/educare.2021.1.3

Groom, N 2019, 'Construction grammar and the corpus-based analysis of discourses: the case of the WAY IN WHICH construction', International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 291-323. https://doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.00014.gro

Lin, MH, Groom, N & Lin, C-Y 2013, 'Blog-Assisted Learning in the ESL Writing Classroom: A Phenomenological Analysis.', Educational Technology & Society, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 130–139. <http://www.ifets.info/journals/16_3/10.pdf>

Groom, N 2005, 'Pattern and meaning across genres and disciplines: an exploratory study', Journal of English for Academic Purposes, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 257-277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2005.03.002

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Grabowski, Ł & Groom, N 2021, Grammar patterns as an exploratory tool for studying formulaicity in English-to-Polish translation: a corpus-based study. in A Trklja & Ł Grabowski (eds), Formulaic language: Theories and methods. Phraseology and Multiword Expressions, vol. 5, Language Science Press, Berlin, pp. 171–190. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4727673

Groom, N & Grieve, J 2019, The evolution of a legal genre: Rhetorical moves in British patent specifications, 1711 to 1860. in T Fanego & P Rodríguez-Puente (eds), Corpus-based research on variation in English legal discourse. vol. 91, John Benjamins Publishing, pp. 201-234. https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.91.09gro

Groom, N, Charles, M & John, S 2015, Introduction: Corpora, grammar, and discourse analysis: Recent trends, current challenges. in N Groom, M Charles & S John (eds), Corpora, Grammar and Discourse: In honour of Susan Hunston. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, pp. 2-19.


Groom, N 2010, Closed-class keywords and corpus-driven discourse analysis. in M Bondi & M Scott (eds), Keyness in Texts. Studies in Corpus Linguistics, vol. 41, John Benjamins Publishing, pp. 59-78. <http://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/scl.41/main>

Groom, N 2009, Effects of Second Language Immersion on Second Language Collocational Development. in A Barfield & H Gyllstad (eds), Researching Collocations in Another Language: Multiple Interpretations. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 21-33. <http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=291907>

Groom, N 2009, Phraseology and Epistemology in Academic Book Reviews: A Corpus-Driven Analysis of Two Humanities Disciplines. in Academic Evaluation: Review Genres in University Settings. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 122-139. <http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=325546>

Groom, N 2000, "A workable balance": Self and sources in argumentative writing. in S Mitchell & R Andrews (eds), Learning to Argue in Higher Education. Boynton/Cook : Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, pp. 65-73.

Groom, N 2000, Attribution and averral revisited: three perspectives on manifest intertextuality in academic writing. in P Thompson (ed.), Patterns and Perspectives: : Insights into EAP writing practice. Centre for Applied Language Studies, Reading, pp. 14-25.

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Groom, N 2013, COBUILD Project. in C Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405198431

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