Faidra is a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. She teaches and supervises on the MSc in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition and on the MSc in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching. Faidra is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA), and serves on the Executive Board of ELLMEnet, an international network of researchers and practitioners working in the field of early language learning and multilingual education for children between 0-7 years.

Prior to joining the Department as a Lecturer, Faidra received a BA in Linguistics from UCL, as well as an MSc in Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition and a DPhil in Education from the University of Oxford.  Furthermore, she has a CELTA from UCL’s Centre for Languages and International Education and possesses substantial experience of teaching English to adults and children in diverse academic settings.

Faidra’s research explores the linguistic, experiential and socioemotional factors that underpin (pre)school-aged children’s acquisition of English as a second language, with a particular focus on how children’s knowledge of a first language affects their development in the second language. She is also interested in how children’s second language knowledge is measured and can be improved. To this end, Faidra is currently engaged in designing and implementing arts-based interventions aimed at developing children’s oral language and soft skills. The role that the arts play in supporting language teaching, learning, and maintenance is a topic that she explores through the Creative Approaches to Teaching English (CreATE) Group.

Faidra accepts DPhil applications, and welcomes informal contacts from students who are interested in one or more of the following broad topics:

  • Crosslinguistic transfer in bilingual and second language acquisition
  • Language teaching, learning and maintenance through creative/performance arts
  • Learning of additional/foreign languages among (pre-)primary school children.


Research Funding 

  • ‘Oral language development through drama: Practitioner needs and perspectives’ (£2,754.00). Funding Scheme: Department of Education Small Grants. Role: Principal Investigator (Co-Investigator: V.A. Murphy). Funding Period: January 2024 – July 2024
  • ‘Improving the oral language skills of children with English as an Additional Language through a drama-based intervention’ (£44,676.39). Funding Scheme: John Fell Fund. Role: Principal Investigator (Co-Investigator: V.A. Murphy). Funding Period: September 2022 – August 2023.
  • ‘Setting Research Priorities for English as an Additional Language’ (£3,870). Funding Scheme: BAAL Applying Linguistics Fund. Role: Research Assistant (Co-Principal Investigator: V.A. Murphy, Co-Principal Investigator: H. Chalmers). Funding Period: August 2020 – July 2021.
  • ‘From the page to the stage: A feasibility study on using theatre to improve EAL children’s communicative skills’ (£2,996). Funding Scheme: TORCH Theatres Seed Fund 2019-2020. Role: Co-Investigator (Principal Investigator: V.A. Murphy). Funding Period: January 2020 – March 2020 (Interrupted due to COVID-19).



  • Liggins, S. & Faitaki, F. (under review). Introducing the ‘Lex15’: An adaptation of the Lex30 productive vocabulary test for young learners.
  • Faitaki, F., Liggins, S., Li, J., & Murphy, V.A. (under review). Developing young second language learners’ oral language through drama-based activities: A systematic review.
  • Faitaki, F., Liggins, S., & Murphy, V.A. (under review). The effectiveness of a drama-based intervention in developing young children’s oral language and communication skills.
  • Faitaki, F. (2023). Developing Oral Language through a Drama-Based Intervention. Oxford Education Deanery Digests.
  • Chalmers, H., Faitaki, F., Murphy, V.A. (2023). Setting Research Priorities for English as an Additional Language: What do research users want from EAL research?. Language Teaching for Young Learners, 6(1), 1-20.
  • Faitaki, F. & Murphy, V.A. (2023). Subject realization in Greek preschool learners of English. Second Language Research. 00(0), 1-23.
  • Faitaki, F. (2023). Review of Performative Language Teaching in Early Education: Language Learning through Drama and the Arts for Children 3-7, by Joe Winston. Language Teaching for Young Learners, 5(2), 245-251.
  • Faitaki, F. & Murphy, V.A. (2022). “Using theatre to improve English as an Additional Language learners’ communication skills”, in B. Cortina-Pérez, A. Andúgar, A. Álvarez, S. Corral, N. Martínez & A. Otto (Coord.). Addressing Future Challenges in Early Language Learning and Multilingual Education. Madrid: Dykinson.
  • Faitaki, F., Hessel, A.K. & Murphy, V.A. (2022). “Vocabulary and grammar development in young learners of English as an Additional Language”, in M. Schwartz (Ed.). Handbook of Early Language Education (pp. 428-444). Cham: Springer.
  • Faitaki, F., & Nation, K., Murphy, V.A. (2021). Immersion in the Early Years: The future of education and children’s key to success. Proceedings of the Yidan Prize Doctoral Conference, 1, 125-136.
  • Faitaki, F. (2021). Using theatre to improve children’s communication skills: Reflections on the project and plans for the future. TORCH Blog.
  • Faitaki, F. & Murphy, V.A. (2020). “Oral elicitation tasks in language acquisition research”, in H. Rose and J. McKinley (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (pp. 360-369). London: Routledge.
  • Tawell, A., Davison, K., Faitaki, F. & Oldaç, Y.I. (Eds.). (2019). Proceedings of the 2018 STORIES Conference. Department of Education, University of Oxford, Oxford: STORIES Conference.
  • Faitaki, F. (2018). Becoming bilingual at preschool: Greek children’s acquisition of subject pronouns in English. EAL Journal.