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Ronald Carter

Research Professor of Modern English Language (Emeritus Professor),



Professor Carter has been at Nottingham University since 1979 and has been Director of the Centre for English Language Education and Head of the School of English. He is on the Editorial Boards of the journals Journal of Applied Linguistics, Language and Literature, Language Awareness and RELC Journal, and has been an Editorial Advisor for the Encarta World English Dictionary. He was elected a life member of NATE (National Association for the Teaching of English) in 2007. He was a founder member of PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) and one of its first chairs. He was also chair of BAAL (British Association for Applied Linguistics) from 2003-2006 and was recently elected a fellow of the British Academy for Social Sciences. He was a member of the English Panel for the 2001 and 2008 RAE (Research Assessment Exercises), with particular responsibility for English language and applied linguistics.He received an MBE for services to local and national higher education in the 2009 New Year's Honours list and in 2013 was awarded an honorary doctorate (DUniv) from the Open University for his contributions to the field of applied linguistics. He has lectured in over 40 countries worldwide.

He is currently closely involved with the work of Cambridge University Press Syndicates as a member of the Operating Board of the Press and as chair of the Education and ELT Publishing Committee. He also holds an affiliated lectureship in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge.

Research Summary

Professor Carter's main research interests are in the broad field of applied linguistics. This includes work on corpus and computational linguistics, discourse-based grammar, English vocabulary and… read more

Current Research

Professor Carter's main research interests are in the broad field of applied linguistics. This includes work on corpus and computational linguistics, discourse-based grammar, English vocabulary and the interface between language and literature. In terms of literature and language, his main interest is in the relationship between language and creativity, with particular reference to spoken discourse and he has published widely on this topic, including Language and Creativity: The art of common talk (Routledge, 2004/ 2nd ed 2015) --- a book which, together with Vocabulary (third ed, 2012), has been designated a Routledge Linguistics Classic . He has recently worked on a number of ESRC- and EPSRC-funded e-social science projects researching the multi-modal relationship between language and gesture in context. A book on this topic (with Prof Svenja Adolphs) Spoken Corpus Linguistics: From monomodal to multimodal (Routledge: New York) was published in 2013. He also has current research interests in the discourses of professional and media communication and the relationship between language and social networking media using corpus-linguistic analytical tools. He is advisor to Routledge Publishers, London in English language studies, applied linguistics and English language teaching and learning and edits and/or co-edits five book series with Routledge.

He has written, co-authored, edited and co-edited over forty books and over one hundred articles. One major recent publication is The Cambridge Grammar of English (CUP, 2006) (co-written with Michael McCarthy) and based on a 10 year research programme with Cambridge University Press involving the development of extensive computer-readable corpora of spoken and written English. The book won the 2007 British Council English Language Innovation Award.

Other recent publications include: From Corpus to Classroom (CUP, 2007) (with Anne O'Keeffe and Michael McCarthy); The Language and Literature Reader (ed with Peter Stockwell) (Routledge, 2008) and (ed with Joan Swann and Rob Pope) Language, Literature and Creativity: The State of the Art (Palgrave, 2010). English Grammar Today (with Michael McCarthy, Anne O'Keeffe and Geraldine Mark), a new A-Z Grammar of English for intermediate language learners (with accompanying workbook), was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 and re-published in 2016 both as a book and a web-version on the Cambridge Dictionaries-on-line website.

Within the context of Education Professor Carter has recently worked on the development of spoken competence in the National Curriculum for England and Wales on projects with QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) and has recently been part-seconded to the DfE (UK Ministry of Education) as a linguistic advisor for adult literacy and English for speakers of other languages. He has regularly worked abroad and has lectured in over forty countries world-wide, often on consultancies with governments overseas or in conjunction with the British Council.

He also has particular interests in widening participation, especially with minority ethnic groups, has directed from 2000-2011 School of English Literacy schemes, including recent projects with the Nottingham University Samworth Academy (NUSA), and has been Chair of Governors in a local school (Melbury Primary School) in the city of Nottingham where he is still a governor (with special interests in literacy).

Professor Carter is also working on a number of knowledge exchange projects with Cambridge University Press, two of them funded by ESRC and EPSRC, developing corpus-informed materials for English language, grammar and dictionary development for on-line/mobile learning environments and from 2013 a new project aligning corpora of e-language with the Cambridge English Corpus.

Member of the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics (CRAL)

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