Dr Jim King

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Psychology of Language Education

BA (Hons), RSA Cambridge CELTA, MEd (Distinction), PhD (Nottingham)

Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7538

Email: jk249@le.ac.uk

Personal details

I joined the University of Leicester’s School of Education after having previously been part of the language education team within the Department of Education at the University of York. In 2016, I was transferred along with my applied linguistics colleagues to Leicester's Department of English.

My PhD in Applied Linguistics is from the University of Nottingham, where I studied under the supervision of Professor Zoltán Dörnyei. Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked for a number of years in Japan as a lecturer and teacher trainer at Kansai University of Foreign Languages (Kansai Gaidai) and Ehime University. In all, I have over 15 years of experience teaching and teacher training within university settings. Even though I am now based in the UK, my professional links with Japan continue, particularly in the research I do. I am a Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and recently completed a stint as a fully-funded Visiting Research Scholar at Kansai University in Osaka.

In addition to being an Article Editor for the Sage Open Journal, I served for a number of years on the Editorial Boards of the TESL Canada Journal and the Asian EFL Journal, and have done editorial review work for the Modern Language Journal, Classroom Discourse, International Review of Applied Linguistics (IRAL), Language Teaching Research (LTR), System, Journal of the European Second Language Association (JESLA) and Palgrave Macmillan (book proposal reviewer).

I serve as External Examiner for the MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL programme at York St John University.


In addition to my PhD supervision responsibilities, I convene the postgraduate modules Psychological Issues in Language Learning, Research Methods (Applied Linguistics), Second Language Learning, and Intercultural Communication. I teach on the following programmes:

Potential areas for PhD research are as follows:

  • Silence in second language (L2) or general education contexts
  • Psychological aspects of instructed language learning, particularly in relation to anxiety and emotion in the L2 classroom
  • L2 teacher emotion regulation and the emotional labour of teaching
  • L2 teacher stress and burnout
  • Group dynamics within language classrooms
  • Higher education in Japan


Recent and forthcoming publications

King, J. & Ng, K-Y. S. (forthcoming). Teacher emotions and the emotional labour of second language teaching. In S. Mercer & A. Kostoulas (Eds.), Teacher psychology in SLA. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

King, J. & Aono, A. (2017). Talk, silence and anxiety during one-to-one tutorials: A cross-cultural comparative study of Japan and UK undergraduates' tolerance of silence. Asia Pacific Education Review, Open Access Online First Article, 1-11.

Smith, L. & King, J. (2017). A dynamic systems approach to wait time in the second language classroom. System, 68, 1-14.

King, J. & Smith, L. (2017). Social anxiety and silence in Japan's tertiary foreign language classrooms. In C. Gkonou, M. Daubney, & J.-M. Dewaele (Eds.) New insights into language anxiety: Theory, research and educational implications (pp. 92-110). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

King, J. (2016). “It’s time, put on the smile, it’s time!”: The emotional labour of second language teaching within a Japanese university. In C. Gkonou, D. Tatzl, & S. Mercer (Eds.), New Directions in Language Learning Psychology (pp. 97-112). Dordrecht: Springer.

King, J. (Ed.) (2015). The dynamic interplay between context and the language learner. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

King, J. (2014). Fear of the true self: Social anxiety and the silent behaviour of Japanese learners of English. In: K. Csizér & M. Magid (Eds.), The impact of self-concept on language learning (pp. 232-249). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

King, J. (2013). Silence in the second language classroom. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

King, J. (2013). Silence in the second language classrooms of Japanese universities. Applied Linguistics, 34(3), 325-343.

King, J. & Marsden, E. M. (2013). The Instruments for Research into Second Languages (IRIS) digital repository. The Language Teacher, 37(2), 35-38.


I am particularly interested in situated psychological aspects of foreign language teaching and second language acquisition. My most recent and current research projects have focused primarily on the phenomenon of silence and nonverbal communication in language learning, looking at these issues from an affective (emotions) perspective. I am intrigued by the differing forms and functions of silence within educational contexts, how silence impacts upon learning and also by how silent episodes and the concomitant nonverbal behaviour which accompanies them may be misinterpreted during intercultural encounters.

My research is international and collaborative in its outlook and I have recently founded the 'Nonverbal Communication and Affect Research Group (NARG)' with researchers based in the Department of Psychology, Fukuyama University and the Foreign Language Centre of Tokai University in Tokyo. I am also the Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) on a classroom intervention study focusing on silence, willingness to communicate (WTC) and anxiety which I am conducting with research partners from Kansai University in Osaka.

I also take a keen interest in the psychology of language teachers themselves and have recently conducted research which seeks to better understand teachers’ in-class emotional displays and the emotion regulation strategies that they employ when teaching. A further, ongoing, longitudinal project (conducted with my colleague Dr Jim Askham) uses Q-sort methodology to investigate trainee language teachers’ dynamically changing perceptions of teacher autonomy over the course of a year-long MA Applied Linguistics/TESOL programme.

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