Dr Catherine Walter

I am an Associate of the EMI Centre, a member of the Applied Linguistics Research Group, and an Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College. I am also the Welfare and Equalities Officer of Linacre College.

I studied French, linguistics and language acquisition at the University of St Thomas (Houston), at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Université Paris III), and at the University of Cambridge, where I obtained my doctorate.  I had a 25-year career as an English language teacher, language educator and materials writer between my studies in Paris and my studies in Cambridge.  I lectured at the University of Bristol, Reading University and the Institute of Education, University of London, before coming to Oxford in 2009 as an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Fellow of Linacre College.

I founded the MSc in Teaching English Language in University Settings, Oxford’s first distance MSc, and taught the course until my retirement in 2015.  I also taught on the MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition course from 2009 until 2015.  I continue to supervise doctoral students in the Department and remain active in research into the cognitive aspects of second language learning, with special emphasis on reading and writing.

Honours and awards

  • 2016: British Council: ELTons Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2015: Oxford University Student Union: Outstanding Tutor in the Social Sciences Division
  • 2015: Oxford University Student Union: Outstanding Senior Member for contribution to the quality of the student experience
  • 2012: University of Oxford: OxTALENT award for excellence in the use of digital technology in teaching
  • 2008: UK Higher Education Academy: Lifetime National Teaching Fellowship

Current advisory roles

  • British Council English Language Advisory Group (Chair)
  • BAAL/LAGB Committee on Linguistics in Education
  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) Advisory Council
  • English Language Teaching Journal Advisory Board
  • Oxford University Disability Advisory Group

Selected publications

  • Briggs, J. & Walter, C.  (2016).  Read On!  Extensive reading and young second language learners’ motivation and attitudes.  A report sponsored by Oxford University Press, available here.
  • Scott, D., Hughes, G., Evans, C., Burke, P.-J., Walter, C. and Watson, D.  (2013).  Learning Transitions in Higher Education.  Basingstoke:  Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Busse, V. and Walter, C. (2013).  Foreign language learning motivation in higher education:  a longitudinal study of motivational changes and their causes.  The Modern Language Journal (in press).
  • Walter, C. and Briggs, J.  (2012).  What professional development makes the most difference to teachers?  A report sponsored by Oxford University Press, available here
  • Macaro, E., Handley, Z., and Walter, C.  (2012).  A systematic review of CALL in English as a second language:  focus on primary and secondary education.  Language Teaching 45(1):1-43.
  • Swan, M. and Walter, C. (2011). The Oxford English Grammar Course. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Winner of the Society of Authors and British Council Award for English Language Teaching Writing, 2012)
  • Walter, C. (2008). Phonology in L2 reading: not an optional extra. TESOL Quarterly, 42(3), 455-474.
  • Walter, C. (2007). First- to second-language reading comprehension: not transfer, but access. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 17/1: 14-37.
  • Walter, C. (2004). Transfer of reading comprehension skills to L2 is linked to mental representations of text and to L2 working memory. Applied Linguistics 25/3:315-339.
  • Swan, M. and Walter, C. (2001). The Good Grammar Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Equal 2nd Prize, English Speaking Union Duke of Edinburgh Award, 2001; Winner of Japan’s National Prize for the Promotion of International Understanding, 2001)
  • Walter, C.  (2001).  French learners.  In M. Swan & B. Smith (Eds.)  Learner English: A Teacher’s Guide to Interference and Other Problems (2nd Edition).  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press.
  • Swan, M. and Walter, C. (1997). How English Works: A Grammar Practice Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Winner of the English-Speaking Union Duke of Edinburgh Award, 1997)