School of Education

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Juliet Thondhlana

Lecturer in Education and Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Social Sciences


Research Summary

My research interests are in the area of higher education, employability and migration; sociolinguistics, intercultural communication; team work and; academic literacies.

Current projects

1. "Enabling global employability- Zimbabwean graduates' labour market experiences in England, South Africa and Zimbabwe". This project explores how Zimbabwean graduates negotiate education and employability through a variety of migration and non-migration strategies in the United Kingdom, South Africa and at home.

2. "Writing practices, genres and education in engineering". This project explores the interface between language studies and engineering in an attempt to contribute to an understanding of writing as situated practice within the context of engineering education. It will culminate in the writing of a book by the same title to be published by John Benjamins.

3. "Immigration, Language Practices and the Diasporas" This project explores the language practices of diasporic populations in the UK beginning with Zimbabwean migrants and investigating how their practices compare with those of other migrant groups. It also examines the extent to which these practices are influenced and shaped by the UK language policy.

4. "Academic literacies and graduate employability: In search of a link" This project explores the link between the academic literacy skills that students develop at university and those which are needed and valued in the workplace in health sciences, politics and international relations and biosciences.

Recent Publications

Juliet is a member of the Centre for International Education Research. Her research supervision areas include:

  • higher education, migration and employability
  • group work (tasks, processes and products)
  • intercultural communication
  • Applied Linguistics
  • English for Specific Purposes

Research proposals: please email Juliet if you would like to discuss the appropriateness of your research topic.

Past Research

  • Education, migration and employability
  • Needs Analysis
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Contrastive Rhetoric
  • Language Planning and Policy
  • Language Attitudes
  • Language and Gender
  • THONDHLANA, J. and MADZIVA, R., 2017. English Language as an Integration Tool: The case of Syrian Refugees to the UK. In: ERLING, E., ed., English across the Fracture Lines: the Contribution and Relevance of English to Security, Safety and Stability in the World British Council. (In Press.)
  • MADZIVA, R. and THONDHLANA, J., 2017. Provision of quality education in the context of Syrian refugee children in the UK: Opportunities and challenges. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. 46(6), 942-961
  • SMITH, A. and THONDHLANA, J., 2015. The EAP competencies in a group case study project as revealed by a task analysis Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 20, 14-27
  • MCGRATH, S., MADZIVA, R. and THONDHLANA, J., 2015. Rethinking the employability of international graduate migrants: Reflections on the experiences of Zimbabweans with degrees from England Journal of Further and Higher Education.
  • LIU, M and THONDHLANA, J, 2015. A Study of Chinese EFL Learners' Foreign Language Listening Anxiety, Listening Strategy Use and Listening Performance Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching. 10(1), 30-51
  • MCGRATH, S., MADZIVA, R. and THONDHLANA, J., 2014. Zimbabwean graduate migrants to the UK are more than just "British bottom cleaners" The Conversation. Available at: <>
  • MADZIVA, R., MCGRATH, S. and THONDHLANA, J., 2014. Communicating Employability: the Role of Communicative Competence for Zimbabwean Highly Skilled Migrants in the UK Journal of International Migration and Integration. 17(1), 235-252
  • MADZIVA, R., MCGRATH, S. and THONDHLANA, J., 2014. The hidden face of discrimination in the global labour market: The case of Zimbabwean highly skilled migrants in the UK. In: Invisible Visible Minority: Confronting Afrophobia and Advancing Equality for People of African Descent and Black Europeans in Europe European Network Against Racism (ENAR). 140-156
  • THONDHLANA, J. and SMITH, A., 2013. Cracking the Case: A Task Based Investigation of a Business Case Study Group Project Journal of Business and Technical Communication. 27(1), 32-61
  • GIMENEZ, J. and THONDHLANA, J., 2012. Collaborative writing in engineering: perspectives from research and implications for undergraduate education European Journal of Engineering Education. 37(5), 471-487
  • SMITH, A.F.V. and THONDHLANA, J., 2011. Designing an exhibition: exploring a complex, group case study InForm: A journal for international foundation programme professionals. 7(April), 11-12
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2011. The role of the Zimbabwean Media in the transition process. In: T. MURITHI & A. MAWADZA, ed., Zimbabwe Transition Jacana Media. 223-254
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2010. Language and the social construction of gender roles: roles in transition Lambert Academic Publishing.
  • THONDHLANA, J. and GIMENEZ, J., 2010. Academic literacies and graduate employability: in search of a link. In: BAKER, G., ed., Teaching for integrative learning: innovations in university practice Centre for Integrative Learning.
  • THONDHLANA, J. AND GAO, X., 2009. Investigating academic demands and students’ communicative needs in a globalised university of the 21st Century: Reflections on a needs analysis journey Journal of the ESP SIG. 10-15
  • THONDHLANA, J. AND GAO, X, 2009. Needs Analysis Project: Phase I Report At: CELE, University of Nottingham
  • DYANDA, C., MAKONI, R.D., NYAWARANDA, V., THONDHLANA, J., MACHINGAIDZE, C.E. and SITHOLE, J., 2006. The Nature of the Comprehensive English Literacy Test of the University of Zimbabwe (CELTUZ-Primary) (Field Edition) Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research. 18(2), 275-286
  • DYANDA, C., NYAWARANDA, V. and AND THONDHLANA, J., 2006. Searching for a context for developing norms. In: DYANDA, C., MATAVIRE, J., DOZVA, M. and KUYAYAMA, A., eds., Effective Curriculum Access: The English Literacy Question. Human Resources Research Centre (HRRC): University of Zimbabwe. 6-12
  • DYANDA, C. and THONDHLANA, J., 2006. Grade 3 and 6 performance on the Celtuz-primary (Reading battery) Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research. 18, 2
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2005. Language and Identity in Zimbabwe. In: SLABBERT, S. and FINLAYSON, R., eds., Language and Identities in a Postcolony: Southern African Perspectives Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 49-65
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2002. Book Review: Culture in Second Language Teaching and Learning English for Specific Purposes By E. Hinkle. 21(4), 408-410
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2002. Using indigenous languages for teaching and learning in Zimbabwe. In: BURNABY, B. AND REYHNER, J., ed., Indigenous languages across the community Flagstaff, Arizona: Northern Arizona University, College of Education..
  • THONDHLANA, J., 2000. Contrastive rhetoric in Shona and English argumentative essays Harare: University of Zimbabwe.
  • THONDHLANA, J., 1999. Integrating Language and Culture in Second Language Teaching: Some Examples from Shona Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research. 11(2), 34-56
  • THONDHLANA, J., 1998. A Critical Look at Garford’s ABABAB Approach to Argumentative Essay Writing Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research. 10(3), 174-188
  • THONDHLANA, J., 1998. Redundancy: Unnecessary Repetition or Effective Rhetorical Strategy? A Cross-Cultural Dilemma’. In: HOFFER, B.L. J.H. KOO, J.H., ed., Cross-Cultural Communication East and West in the 90s: Selected Papers From the 5th International Conference on Cross-Cultural Communication – Harbin, China, 1995 San Antonio: Institute for Cross-Cultural Research, Trinity University.. 136-139
  • CHIWOME, E. AND THONDHLANA, J., 1992. Sociolinguistics and education: A Survey Concerning Attitudes on the Teaching of Shona through the Media of Shona and English. In: HERBERT, R.K., ed., Language and Society in Africa Cape Town: Witwatersrand University Press. 247-263
  • MPARUTSA, C, THONDHLANA, J and CRAWHALL, N, 1992. An Initial Investigation into Language Attitudes of Secondary School students in Zimbabwe. In: HERBERT, R.K., ed., Language and Society in Africa Cape Town: Witwatersrand University Press. 235-246
  • PONGWENI, A.J.C. AND THONDHLANA, J., ed., 1990. The Role of Linguistics in Communication for Development: Proceedings of the Second Linguistics Association for SADCC Universities Conference Harare: LASU.

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