Ian Cushing

Teaching Fellow in English Linguistics, Survey of English Usage


I am an applied linguist, and interested in how developments in linguistics can inform classroom practice in schools. My broad research interests are in integrated language-literature pedagogy, grammar teaching, cognitive stylistics and metaphor in classroom discourse. In particular, I am interested in how theoretical grammars can be recontextualised into pedagogical grammars. I also maintain a general interest in acoustic phonetics.

I am a strong advocate of teaching grammar in authentic contexts, and believe that cognitively orientated models of linguistics offer a concept-driven pedagogy that allows for meaningful and accessible explorations of how language works.


I teach on the MA in English Linguistics at UCL, and CPD courses in English grammar for school teachers, at the UCL Institute of Education:

English Grammar for Teachers

Teaching English Grammar in Context

These are courses designed to improve subject knowledge and to explore ways of embedding and integrating grammar into literature teaching. Previously, I taught KS3 - 5 English at various secondary schools in the UK. I deliver talks and workshops (mostly to pre-service and in-service teachers) about linguistics in the classroom. This includes grammar teaching, stylistics and methods for integrating linguistic and literary tools and approaches.


At UCL, I work on the Teaching English Grammar in Schools project. This project addresses the linguistic content of the UK National Curriculum for English, by creating online resources for teachers and students based on UCL’s unique language corpora.

Alongside my teaching, I am conducting doctoral research. This is exploring how English teachers can use a cognitive linguistic framework - Text World Theory - as a way of thinking about how language works in the classroom.

I am a member of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA), the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), the Education Committee of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain (LAGB) and the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad (UKLO).

I also work for a leading awarding body as an examination writer and moderator, for the A-level English Language & Literature specification.


BA English Language (Manchester)
MSc Phonetics (UCL)
MPhil Phonetics and Linguistics (Salford)
PGCE English (Institute of Education, University of London)
PhD Applied Linguistics (in progress) (Aston)



Aarts, B., Cushing I. & Hudson, D. (in preparation). How to Teach Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2018). Text Analysis and Representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2018). Language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Giovanelli, M., Cushing, I., Macrae, A and Titjen, F. (2015). A/AS Level English Language and Literature for AQA Student Book. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Journal articles

Cushing, I. (in press).'Suddenly, I am part of the poem': texts as worlds, reader-response and grammar in teaching poetry. English in Education 52(1).

Cushing, I. (2012). 'Working towards professionalism: a pathway into the post-compulsory community of practice'. Teaching in lifelong learning: a journal to inform and improve practice 4(1): 13 - 20.

Cushing, I., Li, F., Cox, T., Worral, K. & T. Jackson. (2011). Vocal effort levels in anechoic conditions. Applied Acoustics 72 (9): 695-701

Book chapters

Cushing, I. & Hellmuth, S. (in preparation). Grammar and phonology. To appear in Aarts, B., Bowie, J., & Popova, G. (eds). The Oxford Handbook of English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cushing, I & Hellmuth, S. (2016). Phonetics and Phonology. In: D. Clayton and M. Giovanelli (eds.) Knowing About Language: Linguistics and the Secondary English Classroom. London: Routledge.

Selected Talks

• Cushing, I. (2017). Cognitive stylistics as a pedagogical grammar. Linguistics Association of Great Britain, University of Kent.
• Cushing, I. & Giovanelli, M. (2017). Cognitive linguistics and L1 grammar teaching. British Association of Applied Linguistics, University of Leeds.
• Cushing, I. (2017). 'Suddenly, I am part of the poem': text world theory as a pedagogical grammar in schools. International Association of Literary Semantics, University of Huddersfield.
• Aarts, B. & Cushing, I. (2017). Englicious: corpus-driven approaches to teaching grammar. Grammar in the Classroom: Not Whether But How. University of Exeter.
• Cushing, I. (2016). Integrating grammar in secondary English teaching. English Grammar Day, British Library.
• Cushing, I. (2016). Grammar in flux: integration and transition. English Language Teachers Network, University of Nottingham.
• Cushing, I. (2016). Teaching discourse analysis for A-level English Language. National Association of Teaching English, Stratford upon Avon.
• Cushing, I. & Giovanelli, M. (2016). Text world theory and cognitive linguistics for teachers. Integrating English, Middlesex University.
• Cushing, I. (2016). Text-worlds in the KS3 English classroom. University of Sheffield.
• Cushing, I. (2015). Linguistics puzzles and English teaching. National Association of Teaching English, Newcastle.
• Cushing, I. & Giovanelli, M. (2015). Teacher’s perceptions of the new A-level English Language specifications. National Association of Teaching English, Newcastle.

This page last modified 3 October, 2017 by Survey Web Administrator.