Dr Tracey Costley

Head of Department - Senior Lecturer (R)
Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Tracey Costley
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872089

  • Location

    4.326, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Spring term = Tuesdays 12:00-2:00pm via Zoom You can also email me to arrange an alternative time.



I studied Social Anthropology at the University of Swansea and after graduating I taught English in Thailand, Turkey, China and Taiwan. During this time I became interested in the culture and politics of English Language Teaching and curriculum materials and returned to the U.K. and undertook a Licentiate in TESOL. I also completed an MA in Language, Ethnicity and Education at King's College London and a PhD in the Philosophy of Education in which I explored the ways in which English as Additional Language Learners were conceptualised within mainstream educational settings in literacy classes. I then worked in the English Language Centre at King's College London teaching a range of English for Academic Purposes courses, before taking up a position in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong.


  • PhD Philosophy of Education King's College London, University of London,

  • Master's Degree Language, Ethnicity and Education King's College London,


University of Essex

  • Senior Lecturer TEFL/TESOL, Language and Linguistics, University of Essex (1/10/2021 - present)

  • Lecturer English Language Teaching (TEFL/TESOL), Language and Linguistics, University of Essex (1/1/2016 - 30/9/2021)

  • Head of Department, Language and Linguistics, University of Essex (18/12/2021 - present)

Other academic

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, English, City University of Hong Kong (1/8/2012 - 10/12/2015)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

English as Additional Language Learners (EAL)

Key words: EAL, Literacy, Symbolic Policy
Open to supervise

Academic Literacies

Open to supervise

Student Identity in Writing at University

Open to supervise

Conferences and presentations


Invited presentation, Keynote presentation, NELTA i27th International Conference, NELTA, Kathmandu, Nepal, 17/2/2023

Negotiating heritage language and identity: a mixed-method study of multilingual HongKonger migrants in Britain

British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) conference, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom, 2/9/2022

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Multilingualism and Translanguaging in Educational and Social Contexts (LG361)

  • Language Learning and Teaching (LG522)

  • Professional Development for Research Students (LG595)

  • The Current Issues in Social Science (SC340)

  • Teaching, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking in TEFL/TESOL (LG622)

  • Understanding Data in Linguistics (LG113)

  • Educational Leadership and Management (LG656)

Previous supervision

Sophie Liggins
Sophie Liggins
Thesis title: Heritage Languages in Plurilingual Secondary School Cohorts: Exploring Students’ Diverse Linguistic Repertoires.
Degree subject: Linguistics
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 17/3/2022
Fotini Grammatosi
Fotini Grammatosi
Thesis title: Teachers and Coursebook Use: The Role of the Coursebook and its Implications for Materials Development and Teacher Training
Degree subject: Applied Linguistics
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 6/2/2020


Journal articles (11)

Reilly, C., Costley, T., Gibson, H., Kula, N., Bagwasi, M., Dikosha, D., Mmolao, P., Mwansa, J., Mwandia, M., Mapunda, G. and James, E., (2023). Emerging principles for researching multilingually in linguistic ethnography: Reflections from Botswana, Tanzania, the UK, and Zambia. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 44 (8), 689-701

Reilly, C., Bagwasi, MM., Costley, T., Gibson, H., Kula, NC., Mapunda, G. and Mwansa, J., (2022). ‘Languages don’t have bones, so you can just break them’: rethinking multilingualism in education policy and practice in Africa. Journal of the British Academy. 10 (s4), 1-20

Bagwasi, M. and Costley, T., (2022). A defiance of language policy: seamless boundaries between languages in Botswana classrooms. Journal of the British Academy. 10 (s4), 125-140

Costley, T., Kula, N. and Marten, L., (2022). Translanguaging Spaces and Multilingual Public Writing in Zambia: Tracing change in the linguistic landscape of Ndola on the Copperbelt. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-21

Fitzpatrick, D., Costley, T. and Tavakoli, P., (2022). Exploring EAP teachers’ expertise: Reflections on practice, pedagogy and professional development. Journal of English for Academic Purposes. 59, 101140-101140

Costley, T. and Reilly, C., (2021). Methodological Principles for Researching Multilingually: Reflections on Linguistic Ethnography. TESOL Quarterly. 55 (3), 1035-1047

Costley, T., Gkonou, C., Myles, F., Roehr-Brackin, K. and Tellier, A., (2020). Multilingual and monolingual children in the primary-level language classroom: individual differences and perceptions of foreign language learning. The Language Learning Journal. 48 (5), 643-655

Costley, T. and Leung, C., (2020). Putting translanguaging into practice: A view from England. System. 92, 102270-102270

Bremner, S. and Costley, T., (2018). Bringing reality to the classroom: Exercises in intertextuality. English for Specific Purposes. 52, 1-12

Costley, T., (2014). English as an additional language, policy and the teaching and learning of English in England. Language and Education. 28 (3), 276-292

Safford, K. and Costley, T., (2008). ‘I didn't speak for the first year’: Silence, Self-Study and Student Stories of English Language Learning in Mainstream Education. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. 2 (2), 136-151

Books (2)

Flowerdew, J. and Costley, T., (2017). Discipline Specific Writing, Theory into Practice. Routledge Taylor Francis. 9781138907447

Chik, A., Costley, T. and Pennington, MC., (2015). Creativity and Discovery in the University Writing Class: A Teacher's Guide. Equinox. 9781781793312

Book chapters (7)

Costley, T., Tavakoli, P. and Fitzpatrick, D., (2020). Writing and Good Language Teachers.. In: Lessons from Good Language Teachers. Editors: Griffiths, C. and Tajeddin, Z., . Cambridge University Press. 286- 297. 9781108489263

Costley, T. and Fitzpatrick, D., (2017). Using Annotated Bibliographies to develop student writing in social sciences. In: Discipline-Specific Writing theory into practice. Editors: Flowerdew, J. and Costley, T., . Routledge Taylor Francis. 113- 126. 9781138907447

Costley, T., (2017). 'No Way, I Could Never Write My Essays in Cantonese. I Only Know How to Do it in English': Understanding Undergraduate Students' Languages and LIteracies at a Hong Kong University. In: Academic Biliteracies Multilingual Repertoires in Higher Education. Editors: Palfreyman, D. and van der Walt, C., . Multilingual Matters. 19- 41. 9781783097401

Costley, T., (2015). What's in a name? Power, space and the negotiation of identities. In: Advances and Current Trends in Language Teacher Identity Research. Editors: Cheung, YL. and Ben Said, S., . Routledge Taylor and Francis. 74- 86. 9781138025363

Costley, TJ. and Leung, C., (2015). English as an Additional Language: Symbolic policy and local practices. In: Managing Diversity in Education Languages, Policies, Pedagogies. Editors: Little, D. and Leung, C., . 27- 42. 9781783090792

Costley, T. and Leung, C., (2009). English as Additional Language Across the Curriculum: Policies in practice. In: Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms New Dilemmas for Teachers. Editors: Miller, J., Kostogriz, A. and Gearon, M., . Multilingual Matters. 151- 171. 978-1-84769-216-0

Costley, TJ., (2008). "You are beginning to sound like an academic": Finding and owning your academic voice. In: Learning the Literacy Practices of Graduate School Insiders' Reflections on Academic Enculturation. Editors: Pearson Casanave, C. and Li, X., . Michigan. 0472032313. 9780472032310

Grants and funding


Supporting Multilingualism in Practice: Resource co-creation in primary classrooms in Tanzania

British Academy


Disrupting discourse: establishing a decolonial paradigm for language policy, pedagogy, and practice

University of Essex (GCRF)

Disrupting discourse: establishing a decolonial paradigm for language policy, pedagogy, and practice

University of Essex (GCRF)


Bringing the outside in: Merging local language and literacy practices to enhance classroom learning and achievement

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872089


4.326, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Spring term = Tuesdays 12:00-2:00pm via Zoom You can also email me to arrange an alternative time.

More about me