UCL English


Ian Cushing

Email: i.cushing@ucl.ac.uk

External phone: 020 7679 3119

Internal phone: 33119

Office: Foster Court 126



Education and Experience 

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

I joined the department in January 2017 as a Teaching Fellow in English Linguistics. Previously, I taught English in a number of UK secondary schools.

Research Interests

I am an applied linguist who is interested in the links between linguistics and education. More specifically, I am interested in:

  • How theoretical grammars can be adapted for pedagogical purposes.
  • Critical approaches to language policy.
  • Cognitive linguistics and its applications to education.
  • Cognitive stylistics, especially Text World Theory.

Current research projects

  • My doctorate investigated the place of cognitive stylistics as a pedagogical tool for the teaching of literary language in secondary schools (see various publications below).
  • With colleagues from the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield, I am a Co-Investigator on a project working towards exploring the relationship between a child's dialect and their success at school, critically examining and challenging the way that linguistic variation is conceptualised within policy and pedagogy.
  • With colleagues from the University of Portsmouth, I am investigating the kind of ideological functions of various metalinguistic metaphors within discourses of the English language, critically examining the way that English is represented.
  • With colleagues from UCL English, UCL Institute of Education and Durham University, I am an RA on a Nuffield funded project investigating grammar teaching in primary schools at KS1 level (see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/news/2019/jan/new-project-examine-whether-approaches-teaching-6-7-year-olds-grammar-can-help-their-writing). 


I teach various modules on the MA in English Linguistics and on the BA in English Literature.

I teach two courses for teachers: English Grammar for Teachers and Teaching English Grammar in Context. These are designed to give pre- and in-service teachers the opportunity to develop their subject knowledge in linguistics and to explore pedagogical methods for applying linguistics in the classroom.


If you are a teacher and interested in reading any of these publications but do not have institutional access, please email me at i.cushing@ucl.ac.uk.

Journal articles

Cushing, I. (forthcoming). A textured and sensory grammar for the experience of reading. English in Education.

Cushing, I & Giovanelli, M (2019, forthcoming). Integrating language and literature: a text world theory approach. Journal of Literary Education.

Cushing, I. (2019, forthcoming). Resources not rulebooks: metaphors for grammar in teachers' metalinguistic discourse. Metaphor and the Social World 9(2).

Cushing, I. (2018). Grammar policy and pedagogy from primary to secondary school. Literacy 53(3). https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12170

Cushing, I. (2018). Stylistics goes to school. Language and Literature 27(4): 271-285. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0963947018794093

Cushing, I. (2018).'Suddenly, I am part of the poem': texts as worlds, reader-response and grammar in teaching poetry. English in Education 52(1): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1080/04250494.2018.1414398

Book chapters

Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2020). Recontextualising cognitive grammar for school teaching. In: Giovanelli, M., Harrison, C & Nuttall, L (eds). New Directions in Cognitive Grammar and Style. London: Bloomsbury.

Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2020). Re-telling text-worlds. In: Lambrou, M (ed). Narrative Re-tellings. London: Bloomsbury.

Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2020). Language teaching and critical language policy. In: Watson, G & Zyngier, S (eds). Literature and Stylistics for Language Learners: Theory and Practice. London: Palgrave.

Hellmuth, S & Cushing, I. (forthcoming, 2019). 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.


Aarts, B., Cushing I & Hudson, D. (2019). How to Teach Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

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

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


Cushing, I & Aarts, B. (2019). Making grammar meaningful. Teaching English 19: 52-54.

Cushing, I & Brenchley, M. (2017) 10 things every teacher should know about grammar. Times Educational Supplement 5278: 34-40.