Pauline Madella

Research Student, Lecturer,;


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Pauline has completed her PhD in Linguistics under the supervision of Dr Tim Wharton. She holds an MA in English Language Teaching from Coventry University and has extensive experience teaching EAP/ESP in HE and in professional contexts. Pauline researches in the field of acquisitional/instructional pragmatics. Pauline's PhD thesis examines one particular way in which we might raise awareness among Chinese L2 hearers of the importance of interpreting paralinguistic behaviour and so enhance their pragmatic competence. It adopts a cognitive-pragmatic approach to instructed L2 oral comprehension informed by relevance theory and show how exposure to one type of paralinguistic behaviour – prosodic pointing – contributes to the development of interpretive strategies. 

Pauline's research has shed new light on the power of pointing not only as a highlighting device but also and more crucially as a connecting device, believed to reach all L1/L2/L3 learners. Her focus on pointing, in its audible and visible form, reflects her view of L2 learning and teaching as having its roots deeply anchored in communication, and, as such, her work is an advocacy for L2 pedagogy that is reflective of communication essentially as a multimodal phenomenon.

Pauline's broader research interests and domains of expertise include: child language acquisition, psycholinguistics, linguistic variation, New Zealand English (NZE), uptalk, Literature and the Teaching of Linguistics/Pragmatics, Literary Nonsense. 

Latest paper (2019): 

Madella, P. and Romero-Trillo, J. (2019) Prosodic Pointing in inferential comprehension: the application of Relevance Theory to L2 listening instruction. Letrônica, 12(4).


Research project: 

2020-2023 Teaching English prosody to L2 and L3 learners in digital learning environments (Autonomous University of Madrid and University of Santiago de Compostela; funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economia y Competitividad). 


Pauline is an Associate Fellow of the HEA, working towards FHEA. 

She is a member of the School of Humanities' Education and Student Experience Committee (SESEC) (2019 -> ). 


Outreach and Widening Participation activities: 

As a Brilliant Club Scholars Programme Tutor, Pauline teaches aspects of her research (i.e. oral communication as a multimodal phenomenon) in a non-selective state school. Her role is to help pupils aged 9-17 from underrepresented backgrounds to develop the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to secure a place at a highly-selective university. Pauline will also be involved in the National Tutoring Programme, a government scheme set up to address the gaps in pupil learning that have emerged during the school closures

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Coventry University

Award Date: 26 Nov 2010

Bachelor, Coventry University

Award Date: 15 Jul 2009

Bachelor, Universite de Metz

Award Date: 30 Jun 2009

External positions

Visiting Lecturer in English: Research, Practice and Professional Communication (Level 5 module integrating Language, Literature and Creative Writing), Level 6 dissertation supervision, Department of Media, Middlesex University

Sep 2019 → …

Associate Tutor in EAP: teaching academic skills, School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey



  • PE English
  • L2 Pragmatics
  • nonverbal communication
  • intentional communication
  • speaker meaning
  • Cognitive Pragmatics
  • salience
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Relevance Theory
  • Instructed Second Language Acquisition
  • Phonology and Phonetics
  • Learning and Teaching in HE
  • Professional Development
  • linguistic variation
  • Relevance Theory & Literature
  • mind style
  • Nonsense
  • NZE


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