How to read your boss


Programme fact file

Programme title: How to Read Your Boss 
Qualification: Certificates available  
Start date: To be announced
Duration: 2 weeks  (3 hours per week)
Maximum places available: Unlimited  
Fees: Free 
Available on weekends/evenings: Yes  

  School of English

Programme overview

Course description

How to Read Your Boss is part of a series of ‘how to read’ courses which are being presented by applied linguists, discourse analysts and literary critics at The University of Nottingham. This course will be useful for anyone working within businesses/organisations in the public, private or third sector, including managers and those with leadership responsibility. 


The course presents a set of ‘linguistic toolkits’ which you can use to create a linguistic profile of yourself and others, including your boss. It is designed for you to assess the effectiveness of the communication styles you use and identify the type of communications culture where you work. It will offer alternative strategies for future business talk. It aims to encourage you to become more reflective and self-conscious language users when communicating at work.

Course leader

Louise Mullany
Dr. Louise Mullany, Associate Professor in Sociolinguistics, Faculty of Arts

Director of Business Engagement in the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham

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Expertise Summary

BA, MA, PhD Areas of expertise - business communication; health communication; sociolinguistics; discourse analysis; pragmatics; language and gender.
Current Research
My main areas of research specialisation are sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and pragmatics. I am particularly interested in investigating professional communication and I have conducted empirical research in business, healthcare and media settings. I am also interested in electronic discourse and the language of the internet.
Book publications include Language, Gender and Feminism: Theory, Methodology and Practice, published by Routledge (2011 co-authored with Prof. Sara Mills) and an edited collection, Discursive Approaches to Politeness (Mouton 2011), co-edited as part of the Linguistic Politeness Research Group. My monograph Gendered Discourse in the Professional Workplace (2007, Palgrave), was shortlisted for the International Gender and Language Association Book Prize, 2008:
I have also co-authored Introducing English Language with Peter Stockwell (Routledge, 2010), which we are currently revising for publication in a second edition. Additional co-edited works include The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics with Carmen Llamas and Peter Stockwell (Routledge, 2007). For further details see my author homepage on the Routledge website:
Click on the above 'Publications' tab for full details of all of my other journal articles and book chapter publications.
I have recently completed an ESRC research grant with Svenja Adolphs on the language of adolescent health communication and the internet (Grant No.RES-000-22-3448). From this, we have published an online book entitled Health Communication and the Internet: Teenage Health Freak Encyclopedia:
As part of this project we have also produced a bespoke booklet targeted at GPs, youth health workers, parents, teachers and adolescents documenting our key findings.
I am an Associate Editor of Gender & Language, the official journal of the International Gender and Language Association, published by Equinox:
I am presently supervising PhD students in the areas of workplace communication, online communication, media discourse, language and gender and language and identities, including language learning. I welcome PhD applications in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and pragmatics.
Future Research
I am currently holder of a HERMES Fellowship, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, where I am developing and directing a consultancy package, Linguistic Profiling for Business Leaders. I have also recently worked with the Executive Education Division of the University's Business School, delivering effective leadership communication courses as part of their High Performance Leadership Development programmes.
I am completing a project on the sociolinguistics of gender in public life which brings together a number of different studies which I have recently conducted in businesses, health care and media settings. This is contracted as a monograph with Palgrave and will be published in 2015.


Programme detail

School details

We have a first-rate, international reputation for outstanding teaching and research, as demonstrated by our School's current rankings: 
  • 7th for English in The Times and  Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016
  • 9th for English in The Complete University Guide 2016
  • 9th in the UK for 'research power' (REF 2014)

We offer a unique combination of English disciplines, including literature from the Anglo-Saxon and medieval periods to the present day, English language from its origins to contemporary and applied contexts, drama and performance, and creative writing.


This course happens online at

Related programmes

Related CPD courses

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Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics, The University of Nottingham
t:   +44 (0) 115 951 5900 

Continuing Professional Development Services

Jubilee Conference Centre
Jubilee Campus
Triumph Road
Nottingham, NG8 1DH

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 4352