Previous I.A. Gordon Fellows

Browse a list of previous I.A. Gordon Fellows and find out about the work they have done in their chosen field of specialisation.

Fellows listed by year

2020, 2021 & 2022 – No Fellows were appointed because of Covid border restrictions.

2023 Professor Tess Fitzpatrick

Professor Tess Fitzpatrick was the second invited Fellow to visit in 2023. Tess is a Professor of of Applied Linguistics at Swansea University, UK, where she leads the Lexical Studies research group. In 2017 she was awarded a Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences for her work in lexical studies and wider understanding of cognitive processes in language learning and education. In 2021 she became a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Tess delivered a public lecture on  Tuesday 12th December.  You can listen to the lecture below.

2023 Professor Scott Crossley

Professor Scott Crossley is the first of two invited Fellows to visit in 2023. Scott is a professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University whose research focuses on using data science and artificial intelligence to explore cognition, with an emphasis on natural language processing.  Scott delivered two public lectures in July and early August.  You can listen to the public lectures below by clicking on the links.  Please note the audio  quality for the 2nd recording has some background interference.

2019 Dr Natalie Schilling

Dr Natalie Schilling was the first of two invited Fellows in 2019.  Natalie is a Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University.  She delivered a public lecture on Tuesday 9th April 2019 titled "Forensic Linguistics-Solving Crimes Through Language".  She presented her lecture on how language scientists use linguistic clues to help identify anonymous authors and speakers and keep innocent people out of prison.

2019 Professor Lucie Ménard

Professor Lucie Ménard was the 2nd of two Fellows in 2019 and is from the Université du Québec à Montréal She presented a public lecture on when learning to speak is challenging for some.  Professor Ménard is the founder and director of the Phonetics Laboratory at Université du Québec à Montréal; chair of the Department of Linguistics; and adjunct-director of the Center for Research on Brain, Language, and Music (CRBLM) in Montreal, Canada.

2018 Professor Anne Cutler

Professor Anne Cutler, Distinguished Professor at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development, Western Sydney University, presented a public lecture on 27 November as the 2018 Ian Gordon Fellow. In her lecture, The Roots of Native Listening, Professor Cutler discussed her own and others’ research that relates to the specialisation of listening for our native languages over the first months of life and addressed the question of why babies find language learning so easy and yet adults find it so hard.

2017 Professor Mark Steedman

Professor Mark Steedman from the University of Edinburgh was the 2017 IAG Fellow. Prof Steedman is Professor of Cognitive Science in the School of Informatics at Edinburgh. Prof Steedman gave a series of three public lectures on ‘The Evolution of Language’ (10 October), ‘The Acquisition of Language by Children’ (17 October) and ‘Computers, Minds, and Language’ (19 October). The series was highly interdisciplinary, reflecting Prof Steedman’s interests in language, computer science, cognitive science and philosophy. The lectures were well attended, both by the public and by staff and students from a range of disciplines. Prof Steedman also gave presentations to Philosophy and Computer Science. In addition, Professors Steedman met with staff and postgraduate students in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies to discuss research issues.

2016 Professor Tom Farrell

Tom Farrell’s interests include reflective practice, and language teacher education and development. He has published widely in academic journals and has presented at major conferences worldwide on these topics. His latest books are Promoting Teacher Reflection in Second Language Education: A Framework for TESOL Professionals (Routledge, 2015) and From Trainee to Teacher: Reflective Practice for Novice Teachers (Equinox, 2016).

2015 Professor Deborah Cameron

Deborah Cameron is currently the Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at Oxford University. A sociolinguist and discourse analyst, her research interests include language attitudes, media language and the relationship of language, gender, and sexuality. She is the author of The Myth of Mars and Venus, which was published in 2007. Professor Cameron gave a public lecture titled, 'Sex, lies, and stereotypes: Do we ask the right questions about language and gender?'

2014 Letuimanu’asina Dr Emma Kruse Va’ai

Letuimanu’asina Dr Emma Kruse Va’ai is the Deputy Vice Chancellor at the National University of Samoa. Dr Va'ai has published poems and short stories for young adults and children. She maintains a strong interest in Linguistics, particularly in the use of language in bilingual Samoa. Her book, Producing the Text of Culture, documents the appropriation and use of English in various domains in contemporary Samoa. Listen to Emma’s public lectures:

2014 Jenny McClure

Jenny McClure a teacher from St Mary’s College in Wellington was seconded to the School for a period of three months from April to June 2014. During her time at the School Jenny worked on resources designed to facilitate and promote the inclusion of New Zealand English in the secondary curriculum. Find information on the Research Bank NCEA Level 3 resources.

2013 Associate Professor Shamila Pillai

Assoc Professor Shamila Pillai is from the Department of English Language at the University of Malaya. Associate Professor Pillai is an expert on Malaysian English and delivered two public lectures in September 2013.

2012 Professor Nick Ellis

Professor Nick Ellis is Professor of Psychology and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Before going to Michigan in 2006, he was Professor of Psychology at the University of Wales, Bangor. His research interests include language acquisition, cognition, emergentism, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and psycholinguistics. He is an adviser to the Oxford University Press Applied Linguistics series and serves as the General Editor of Language Learning. Nick delivered a public lecture in July 2012 analysing how, as a complex adaptive system, language has evolved to be learnable.

2011 Professor Jack Richards

Professor Jack Richards is an international scholar with a long-standing relationship with Victoria University of Wellington, where he taught in the 1960s. In 2011, he was made an honorary professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney, Australia. The honorary degree of Doctor of Literature was conferred by Victoria University of Wellington in 2011 in recognition of his contributions to English language teaching and the arts. Jack delivered a series of three public lectures in August 2011 entitled 'English in the world', 'The world of English language teaching', and 'The language teacher’s world'.

2010 Professor Kate Burridge

Professor Kate Burridge is an expert on the English language and her books are full of fascinating facts about the ways in which English has changed over time. She certainly has a talent for striking titles. Her latest book is Gifts of the Gob: morsels of English language history, and earlier books are entitled Blooming English and Forbidden Words. Kate delivered a series of three public lectures in September 2010 entitled ‘Frequent Coarse Language’: Swearing and taboo language in antipodean English, The French influence on English: How different would it be if William had lost at the Battle of Hastings? and Blooming English—‘in forme of speche is chaunge’

2009 Regents’ Professor Douglas Biber

Professor Douglas Biber is one of the world’s leading corpus linguists, and an excellent researcher and presenter. Prof Biber taught a two week intensive MA course at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies on Corpus-based study of register variation. He also delivered a public lecture which you can listen to:

2008 Associate Professor Elizabeth Gordon

Associate Professor Elizabeth Gordon has published books and articles on New Zealand English, sociolinguistics, and attitudes to language. She delivered a series of three public lectures at Victoria University of Wellington entitled “I’ll write a letter to the paper”—the lay person’s view of New Zealand English, New Zealand English past and present—looking for the evidence, and The New Zealand accent—a clue to New Zealand identity?

2007 Dr Sasha Calhoun

Dr Sasha Calhoun received her PhD from Prof Gordon’s alma mater the University of Edinburgh. A native of Wellington, she completed her Honours degree in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington in 2000. She has won a range of awards for her work, including a Commonwealth Scholarship and British Academy fellowship. Her research concentrates on how intonation and rhythm are used in speech and how they affect its meaning. During the Fellowship, Sasha contributed to the School’s teaching program and presented a research seminar; as well working on an original research project with Dr Paul Warren.

2006 Professor David Crystal

Professor David Crystal is one of the world’s leading scholars of language. He has published over 100 books—including the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Language, Pronouncing Shakespeare, and Language and the Internet—as well as contributing to numerous radio and television series on language. In 1995 he received an OBE for services to the English language. Prof Crystal shared his love of language with audiences at Victoria University of Wellington in three public lectures entitled The Stories of English, Language Death: Writing the Obituary of Languages? and The Future of Language.