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School of Languages and Applied Linguistics (SLAL)

Find out more about the teaching and research activities taking place within our School of Languages and Applied Linguistics

At the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics (SLAL), our research explores how language and linguistics are used in certain contexts, and how they relate to phenomena such as power, class or status.

In our globalised society, understanding how we communicate is increasingly important in meeting the demands of international business, tackling global crises and giving marginalised people a voice.

We have three principles underpinning our work: a global perspective, high quality learning and teaching, and personalised support for students.


We belong to a long-established global community, made up of students, staff and partner organisations. This is a multicultural environment where everyone is welcome. Our students have opportunities to understand, work and learn from others, and they graduate equipped with the skills and intercultural awareness to live and work in a global community.

We're highly-experienced in teaching modern languages, communication, translation, linguistics, interpretation, international business and English as an additional language.

We're the hub for the University of Portsmouth's language learning and give language classes to students across the University through the Institution Wide Language Programme (IWLP). Students who have never studied a language can learn one for free on the programme. We offer 8 languages: Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese

We deliver a BALEAP-accredited Pre-Sessional English programme which supports hundreds of international students every year to improve their English language skills, so they can study at the University. We also offer annual 2-week Summer Schools – which combine English Language development, team activities and cultural visits – for international students who are considering studying in the UK.

We also invest in the latest technology to support our teaching and learning, including our specialist Learning Resource Centre, Language Laboratories and Televic Interpreter Training Suite.

To see all the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees we offer, visit the Languages subject area page. Or read about postgraduate research opportunities on our Languages and Linguistics postgraduate research degrees page.


We're investigating how language and linguistics can act as drivers of development in the economy and social structure, how global organisations use multiple languages and specific translations every day, and how language is used to express ideas and empower certain groups of people.

Our research feeds into our teaching, so our undergraduate and postgraduate students benefit from our work.

We also work with business, government and the local community to improve their communication skills, language competences, and use of educational technologies. We’ve worked on a variety of consultancy and knowledge transfer projects including:

  • a medical English project with the NHS
  • research on lecturing to international students
  • schools liaison
  • translation academic seminars and professional workshops
  • corpus linguistics projects, such as the 'Using Corpora in Translation' webinar for online professional development
  • multimedia and electronic learning packages
  • a large teacher training contract with a south Asian country, in partnership with several UK and overseas institutions
  • an English language and pedagogy course for Panamanian teachers  

If you’d like  to discuss working on a  project with us, or you’d like further information about our consultancy offering, please contact us at

Corpus Linguistics

We're looking at huge datasets of natural language – often many billions of words – to explore how language is used in different regions, genres and situations.

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Discourse Analysis

We're researching how ideas, concepts and people are represented through language, and exploring how language is used in real-life contexts.

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Professional Communication

Our research in this area explores how spoken and written language is used in workplaces to develop relationships and achieve institutional objectives.

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Through our work in this area of expertise, we're studying the ways in which language can affect, and is affected, by social phenomena.

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Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

We're focusing on the learning and teaching of English as a second or foreign language, in primary, secondary and adult learning contexts.

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We're exploring how texts are translated and the practices around the translation of texts, including professional training, the use of technologies, and non-professional translation communities.

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Our research centres 

Much of our exceptional research takes place within the following cross-disciplinary research centre – find out more below.

Centre for European and International Studies Research

We're researching topics such as citizenship, race, language across borders, social theory and transnational politics.

Explore our faculty

Explore the other Schools and Departments that make up our Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

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School of Education and Sociology

Explore more of our work in the School of Education and Sociology.

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Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Read more about the Faculty

Contact us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty office.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 2992