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Personal profile


After graduating with a BA Hons in English from Cambridge (1974), and being sacked after only one week as a window cleaner, I went to live in Greece and started teaching English as a Foreign Language. While working at the British Council in Athens, I took the Royal Society of Arts Diploma in TEFL, found it fascinating and became a TEFL 'professional '. Ten happy years and three countries later, I found that the attraction of teaching people how to use - and when not to use - the present perfect for the 127th time was beginning to pall. I was, however, more-than-ever fascinated by language, so I did an MA in Descriptive and Applied Linguistics (Essex 1986). Then, after two years as a study skills tutor at the University of Bahrain, I became a lecturer in English at the University of Gent in Belgium, where I also studied for and obtained my PhD degree.

While in Gent, I organized (with S. Slembrouck) two large international conferences (PALA in 1992 and Sociolinguisics Symposium 14 in 2002) and in 2002 became co-ordinator of a new IELTS sub-centre there. In addition to research activities (see Research and Scholarship page) and teaching in post, I went on exchange visits under the Socrates scheme to Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal, taught courses at the Université d’Artois in France (1999-2002) and in 2001 held a Visiting Professorship at the Hogechool in Gent. I also undertook a range of consultancy roles, among which were as adviser on English accents to Leerhout & Hauspie Speech Products (1995) and to Dirk Denoyelle (a multilingual Belgian entertainer, 2003), and (with A-M. Vandenbergen) did the translating, editing and spoken commentary of the English-language version of the video ‘De Visione Dei: a computer-animated analysis of Van Eyck’s Gent Altarpiece’ (2000).

I left Gent in 2005. Among the consultancy roles which I undertook in the next two years was one for Athabasca University in Canada (‘English Second Language Learning Objects for Mobile Devices’) and one for the HEFCE-funded project ‘Transforming Policy and Practice in Dispute Resolution in HEIs’. It was my interest in this latter area - that is, the application of insights from linguistics to conflict resolution studies - which led to my being invited to talk to the northern regional branch of the Association of Heads of University Administration in November 2007 and which, because of developing work in this field here in the Linguistics subject area at Huddersfield, was also one reason why I was happy to take up my present post, which I did in October 2007. Since then I have been involved in our ongoing Language in Conflict project (as well as teaching and other researching in the areas of sociolinguistics and pragmatics).

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Language ideologies
  • English as a global language
  • Interpersonal pragmatics
  • Language in conflict

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jim O'Driscoll is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 10 Similar Profiles
language Social Sciences
interaction Social Sciences
speech act Social Sciences
dance Social Sciences
asymmetry Social Sciences
metaphor Social Sciences
pragmatics Social Sciences
opposition Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1993 2019

Introduction: The origins of The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict

Jeffries, L. & O'Driscoll, J., 23 May 2019, The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict. Evans, M., Jeffries, L. & O'Driscoll, J. (eds.). 1 ed. Abingdon & New York: Taylor and Francis Ltd., p. 1-9 9 p. (Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

social reality
research approach

Notions of politeness in Britain and North America

Culpeper, J., O'Driscoll, J. & Hardaker, C., Jul 2019, From Speech Acts to Lay Concepts of Politeness: Multilingual and Multicultural Perspectives. Ogiermann, E. & Blitvich, P. G-C. (eds.). Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The Routledge Handbook of Language in Conflict

Evans, M. (ed.), Jeffries, L. (ed.) & O'Driscoll, J. (ed.), 23 May 2019, Routledge. 592 p. (Routledge Handbooks in Applied Linguistics)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

international relations
1 Citation (Scopus)

Dances with footings: a Goffmanian perspective on the Soto case

O'Driscoll, J., 23 Feb 2018, In : Journal of Politeness Research. 14, 1, p. 39-62 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
Ceremonial Behavior
court hearing

Language in conflict: Linguistics in mediation

Jeffries, L., O'Driscoll, J. & Evans, M., 2018, Applying Linguistics: Language and the Impact Agenda. McIntyre, D. & Price, H. (eds.). p. 124-136 13 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Activities 1992 2002

  • 2 Organising a conference, workshop, ...

Sociolinguistics Symposium 14

Jim O'Driscoll (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference

Jim O'Driscoll (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...