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Peter Thwaites


Position: Postgraduate Researcher Email:
Area: Centre for Language and Communication Research

PhD Research

I am investigating individual differences in the way that people store vocabulary in the mind. I aim to draw on studies by Prof. Fitzpatrick which have revealed individual preferences in word association responses. I hope to find support for these findings, before going on to investigate the individual factors which account for these preferences. In doing so, I hope to be able to draw on emerging accounts of semantic memory and processing which foreground the embodied, experiential nature of linguistic knowledge.

Supervisor: Tess Fitzpatrick

Academic Background

I have a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wales, Bangor, and a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL from the University of Nottingham. I also hold CELTA and DELTA teaching qualifications. I am a member of KOTESOL, the Korean organisation for teachers of English as a second language.


My only publication to date is an article in English Teaching Professional, which drew on the work of the Indian educational technologist Sugata Mitra to suggest the use of open-ended, project-based approaches to teaching Young Learners (I also have a paper on writing-to-learn pedagogy under consideration with ELT Journal).

Conferences, Symposia and Seminars

I presented numerous training workshops during my time with the British Council, including conference presentations at British Council sponsored events in Oman and Myanmar, where the theme of my presentations was cognitive depth activities for teaching vocabulary. In 2013, I will be presenting at the KOTESOL conference in Seoul on the subject of speaking activities and “transfer appropriate processing”; and to my colleagues at Yeungnam University on writing-to-learn pedagogy.


I have been a language teacher for the past 10 years, teaching in China, Oman, Malaysia, and now Korea. Much of that time was spent with the British Council, where I got lots of opportunities to lead training workshops and also work on syllabus design. I am currently teaching (semi) academic English to Korean undergraduates, and I hope to have the opportunity to work with graduate students in the future.


I have a very empty page on, which you can find at