Dr Valerie Hobbs
School of English
+44 114 222 0228
Full contact details
School of English
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the School of English on a permanent post in 2008. My educational background includes a BA in English Literature at Covenant College, an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from Georgia State University, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sheffield. I also spent a summer studying in the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota.
My academic work experience includes several years teaching English for Academic Purposes in USA and UK universities and as an undergraduate adjunct professor on a TESOL Teaching Certificate course in the USA.
I am a member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR).
- Research interests
My research focuses on religious language, and I am currently writing a monograph on religious language in contemporary contexts, to be published by Bloomsbury. My work involves investigating religious language in a wide variety of contexts, from language used in prayer and sermons to language around food, sport, advertising, politics and funerals. My two most recent articles focus on religious language in divorce sermons and in the context of employment discrimination, and I am currently working on the religious functions of the phrase ‘a life well lived.’ My research tends to be corpus-based, and I have built several of my own corpora.
Other areas of expertise include disciplinary discourse and English for Specific Purposes, and projects in these areas have involved examining the concept of clarity in a self-built corpus of philosophy texts. One such study makes explicit the ‘great divide’ between analytic and continental philosophy by examining how the importance of clarity in analytic philosophy, largely connected to its alignment with scientific inquiry, influences use of certain linguistic features and distinguishes analytic from continental journal articles.
I publish in a diverse range of publications, both within and outside my discipline, both for academia and for a popular audience. I have also recently begun making video abstracts for my publications and projects, which can be found here.
- An Introduction to Religious Language Exploring Theolinguistics in Contemporary Contexts. Bloomsbury Academic.
- The discourse of divorce in conservative Christian sermons. Critical Discourse Studies. View this article in WRRO
- Disability, the ‘Good Family’ and Discrimination in the Dismissal of a Presbyterian Seminary Professor. Journal of Language and Discrimination, 2(2), 133-161. View this article in WRRO
- Characterizations of Feminism in Reformed Christian Online Media. Journal of Media and Religion, 14(4), 211-229.
- Looking Again at Clarity in Philosophy: Writing as a Shaper and Sharpener of Thought. Philosophy, 90(1), 135-142. View this article in WRRO
- Accounting for the great divide: Features of clarity in analytic philosophy journal articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 15, 27-36. View this article in WRRO
- A basic starter pack: the TESOL Certificate as a course in survival. ELT Journal.
- Code-switching in Japanese language classrooms: An exploratory investigation of native vs. non-native speaker teacher practice. Linguistics and Education, 21(1), 44-59.
- The challenges of researching language teachers: What research manuals don't tell us. LANG TEACH RES, 12(4), 495-513.
- A Brief Look at the Current Goals and Outcomes of Short-term ELT Teacher Education. Research News (IATEFL Research SIG Newsletter)(2008b).
- View this article in WRRO Can reflective practice be required?. Teacher Trainers and Educators SIG Newsletter(2008a and 2008c).
- Faking it or hating it: Can reflective practice be forced?. Reflective Practice, 3(8), 405-417.
- Grammar in writing plays, secondary level. TESOL Connections.
- Rape Culture in Sermons on Divorce In Blyth C, Colgan E & Edwards K (Ed.), Rape Culture, Gender Violence and Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 87-110). Palgrave Macmillan
- Reflective practice: Assessing ourselves as teachers, Teacher Development Spain: Grao.
- The importance of teachers' thoughts and beliefs, Theory and Practice in English Language Teaching Spain: Grao.
- Survival of the fittest: Immigrant workers' struggle to adapt to an individualist perspective In Cok L (Ed.), Blizina Drugosti: The close otherness (pp. 401-412). Ljubljana: CIP.
Conference proceedings papers
- Examining the Effectiveness of the Four-Week ELT Training Course: Change or No Change?. Oxford: OUP. Harrogate
- View this article in WRRO Clean Lips: The Complexity, Power and Potential of Religious Language.
- View this article in WRRO The Heroic Abuser? Christian Media Headlines about Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini.
- View this article in WRRO The Subordinate Place of Supreme Honor: A Response to Douglas Wilson.
- View this article in WRRO Confronting a Culture of Skepticism about Disability: The Appeal of Dr. John Carrick..
- View this article in WRRO Reformed Women Speak..
- http://theaquilareport.com/women-on-trial-one-observers-view/ View this article in WRRO Women on Trial: One observer’s view.. Retrieved from
- View this article in WRRO Serving the Status Quo.
- View this article in WRRO Portrait of a Deviant Woman.
- View this article in WRRO Beyond Symbolic Gestures: The PCA and Underprivileged Women.
- View this article in WRRO Loving Our Vulnerable Neighbour: When Church Courts Fail and How We Can Do Better.
- Teaching activities
I teach primarily on the MA in Applied Linguistics course on such modules as:
- English Grammar and Discourse
- Teaching English for Specific Purposes
- Theory and Practice of Language Teaching
- Research Methods
At the undergraduate level, I convene a third-year module on Theolinguistics.