Dr Alan Tonkyn
Areas of interestAlan's main research and teaching interests are in the area of second language acquisition (SLA), with a special interest in the development and assessment of spoken language proficiency. As a by-product of this work, Alan has collaborated with Pauline Foster of St Mary's University College, Twickenham and Gillian Wigglesworth of the University of Melbourne in the development of a new unit of analysis for L2 speech. (Foster, Tonkyn and Wigglesworth, 2000.)
Alan's research interests also led to his being a member of Cambridge ESOL's working party developing the new version of the IELTS Speaking Test (Tonkyn and Wilson, 2004).
Research projectsAlan is a co-investigator in a research project funded by the Nuffield Foundation (Principal Investigator: Professor Suzanne Graham) involving an investigation of the effects of teaching approaches and other factors in the learning of French in English primary schools.
BackgroundAlan was formerly the Programme Director of, and Admissions Tutor for, the MA in Applied Linguistics and MA in ELT (campus-based) programmes, and taught a range of modules on these programmes. He has continued to teach the LSMSP (Spoken Language) module as a Visiting Lecturer in 2012-13. He also supervised a number of PhD students, but will cease to supervise with effect from June 2013.
Outside of the University, Alan has contributed to the MA in ELT and Applied Linguistics programme at St Mary's University College, Twickenham by teaching the Research Methods and Dissertation module. He is on the Editorial Board of the Asian EFL Journal, and reviews for the journals
- BA (Hons) English (Natal)
- MA English Language and Literature (Oxon)
- PGCE in TEFL (London)
- MA in Applied Linguistics (Reading) PhD (Reading).
- Graham, S. , Courtney, L. , Marinis, T. , Tonkyn, A. (2017) Early language learning: the impact of teaching and teacher factors. Language Learning , 67 (4). pp. 922-958. ISSN: 0023-8333 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lang.12251
- Courtney, L. , Graham, S. , Tonkyn, A. , Marinis, T. (2017) Individual differences in early language learning: a study of English learners of French. Applied Linguistics , 38 (6). pp. 824-847. ISSN: 1477-450X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amv071
- Gruber, A. and Tonkyn, A. (2017) Writing in French in secondary schools in England and Germany: are the British really 'bad language learners’?. Language Learning Journal , 45 (3). pp. 316-335. ISSN: 1753-2167 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2013.856456
- Tonkyn, A. (2008) Short-term changes in complexity, accuracy and fluency: developing progress-sensitive proficiency measures. In: Daele, V. , Housen, A. , Kuiken, F. , Pierrard, M. , Veddere, I. , (eds.) Complexity, accuracy and fluency in second language use, learning and teaching. Handelingen van de Contactfora KVAB , Brussels. pp. 263-284.
- Tonkyn, A. (2006) Assessing speech: what can the spoken language researcher tell the test developer?. In: Coombe, C. , Davidson, P. , Lloyd, D. , (eds.) Proceedings of the 7th and 8th current trends in English language testing (CTELT) conference . , 4. TESOL Arabia , Dubai. pp. 3-22.
- Tonkyn, A. (2003) Revising a speaking test: a new look at What? Why? and How?. In: Phipps, S. , (eds.) Speaking in the monolingual classroom: need for a fresh approach?: Proceedings of the 8th international Bilkent University school of English language ELT conference. Bilkent University , Ankara. pp. 256-273.
- Furneaux, C. , Robinson, P. , Tonkyn, A. (1998) Making friends and influencing teachers: strategies for acculturation in the EAP classroom. In: Brookes, A. and Grundy, P. , (eds.) Individualization and Autonomy in Language Learning. MEP in association with the British Council pp. 88-99.
- Tonkyn, A. , Locke, C. , Robinson, P. , Furneaux, C. (1993) The EAP teacher: prophet of doom or eternal optimist? EAP teachers' predictions of students' success. In: Blue, G. , (eds.) Language, Learning and Success: Studying through English. MEP in association with the British Council pp. 37-48.
- Furneaux, C. , Locke, C. , Robinson, P. , Tonkyn, A. (1991) Talking heads and shifting bottoms: the ethnography of academic seminars. In: Adams, P. , Heaton, B. , Howarth, P. , (eds.) Socio-Cultural issues in English for Academic Purposes. MEP in association with the British Council pp. 74-85.