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Professor Melani Schroeter

  • Head of Department, Languages and Cultures
  • Department's Director of Postgraduate Research 
  • Lecturer and module convenor
  • PhD Supervisor


Miller 131

Building location

Miller building

Areas of interest

My interests in research and teaching are in the areas of political discourse analysis, (discourse) semantics, lexicology and word formation, pragmatics, (critical) discourse studies, sociolinguistics and cross-linguistic comparative language studies, as well as corpus-assisted methodologies.

I studied the use of silence as a means of communication, and how people make sense of silence and absence of communication especially in the public sphere. In 2013, I published a monograph “Silence and Concealment in Political Discourse” (John Benjamins) and in 2018 a co-edited volume “Exploring Silence and Absence in Discourse: Empirical Approaches” (Palgrave Macmillan).

I am also particularly interested in metalanguage and metadiscourse. Discourses about language use can help us explore language ideologies, i.e., people’s ideas about what language does and how it should (not) be used in various domains. These ideas need to be contextualised by asking whether and which agendas may be pushed when language is put out for debate.

Current debates over 'taboos', 'freedom of speech', 'silent majorities', and minorities gaining a 'voice' reflect societal norms that favour communication and problematise silence. I am about to start a research project together with Prof Theo Jung, University of Halle-Wittenberg, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, that investigates the historical development of such norms from a bottom-up perspective. We will study British and German diaries written between 1840 and 1990, focussing on ordinary people's reflections of communicative opportunities and constraints, and observing the communicative norms underlying such reflections as well as their change over time in the light of broader socio-cultural developments. 

My interest in debates about language and how it serves to construct communities and identity links with my Final Year module where we look at debates about the German language in relation to national identity over time.

Like many of my colleagues, I contribute to peer review for publishers, journals and research funding councils nationally and internationally, I supervise and examine PhD research students, organise or convene academic events, and present my research in talks and publications.

Postgraduate supervision

I am happy to supervise research students in any of my areas of interest as mirrored in my teaching and research activities.

Current supervisions (project titles are provisional):

  • Mashael Althobiti (English Language and Applied Linguistics): A cross-linguistic corpus-based critical discourse study of the representation of Saudi women in British and Saudi newspapers
  • Hanan Alkhuder (English Language and Applied Linguistics): A Corpus–based Study of Conjunctive Adjuncts in the Academic Writings of Native Speakers of English and Saudi Academic English Learners.
  • Fangying Jia (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Group discussion skills from EAP classrooms to academic seminars: a rhetorical discourse analysis
  • Yahya Alqhtani (PhD Translation Studies): Socio-cultural Perspectives on Translation within Online Freelancing Translation Websites
  • Reem Altoriqui (PhD Translation Studies): An investigation into the impact of Google Translate on lexical creativity
  • Iebtsam Altheeb (PhD Translation Studies): The Perception of Translation in Disaster, Conflict and Crisis Situations: Covid-19 in the Arabic speaking world and Saudi Arabia as case study
  • Nada Alshahrani (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Conversational metaphorical speech acts in Saudi Arabic
  • Rasha Alkhrejah (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Exploring the inter-relationship between political discourse analysis and translation studies with reference to famous political speeches of Arabic Crises
  • Jeff Lau (PhD Comparative and Intercultural Studies): A discourse analysis of song lyrics in the context of emerging second-wave feminism

Completed supervisions:

  • Badriyah Yusof (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Representing Power Shifts in Brunei-British Political Discourse 1847-1984 (2019)
  • Lubna Bahammam (English Language and Applied Linguistics): Gendered Discourses of Twitter-Hashtagged Debates about Saudi-Women’s Issues (2018)
  • Sophie Payne (Modern Languages): Representations of Contemporary Feminist Protest in Germany and the UK (2018)
  • Heike Krüsemann (Institute of Education): Language Learning Motivation and the Discursive Representations of German, the Germans, and Germany in UK School Settings and the Press (2018)


I teach mostly language and linguistics across the German Studies curriculum, and I also contribute to linguistics teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students’ research beyond the German language.

I teach and convene the Part 2 module “The World of Words: Lexicology and Word Formation” (for German and English Language students) and the Part 3 module “The German Language and National Identity”. I teach parts of Part 1 “Icons of Modern Germany”, “Texts and Genres” and Part 3 “Language and Power”. I also teach as part of the MA Migration and Intercultural Studies.

Academic qualifications

  • MA German, English & History (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • PhD German Linguistics (University of Leipzig, Germany)
  • PG Certificate in Academic Practice (University of Reading)


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