Pauline Madella

Research Student, ECR, HPA,

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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Pauline is currently completing a PhD in Linguistics and English Language under the supervision of Dr Tim Wharton. She holds an MA in English Language Teaching and has extensive experience teaching EAP/ESP in HE. Pauline researches in the field of Applied Linguistics. Her research interests and domains of expertise include Pragmatics and Cognition, the pragmatics-prosody interface, the study of 'beyond meaning', multimodality, Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA), information-processing models of second language acquisition and the points of contact between Relevance Theory's comprehension procedure and ostensive-inferential model of communication and second language listening acquisition models.
Her doctoral research explores the use and interpretation of paralinguistic behaviours – intonation, facial expressions, gaze, gesture - in intentional communication, and in particular the central role of multimodality in communicating and interpreting intentions/speaker meaning. Her doctoral work focuses on testing whether and how exposure to prosodic pointing can enhance pragmatic competence and epistemic vigilance in Chinese interpreters of L2 English. 

Pauline's broader research interests and domains of expertise include: New Zealand English (NZE), uptalk and HRT, the Semantics-Pragmatics interface, Pragmatics and the Teaching of Literature, Literature and the Teaching of Pragmatics, Relevance & Literary Nonsense, Cognitive Poetics, Surrealism.

Current and postdoctoral research interests: Along with her doctoral research, Pauline has developed an interest in exploring the value of relevance theory for literary studies. She is particularly interested in how relevance theory's fundamental claim that the code model alone does not provide a satisfactory account of the processes underlying human communication can inform the analysis of Literary Nonsense. She is also and equally interested in how Nonsense and Surrealist Literature can provide a broad and rich base of support for introducing students to the study of meaning while developing their critical thinking and creative writing skills.

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).  

Working papers: 

Madella, P. From Contrastive Stress to Prosodic Pointing. In Ifantidou, E., De Saussure, L. and Wharton, T. (Eds.), Beyond Meaning. tbc.

Madella, P. Making sense of Nonsense Literature: when Pragmatics meets Literary Studies in the English classroom.


Approach to teaching

I teach holistically, inviting my students to draw on the different modules and disciplines they study. I believe that this motivates them to develop perspective-taking skills and an ability to connect and integrate ideas. From Biggs and Tang (2011: 67), I have taken the idea that 'good teaching always contains a structure, hidden away, but there to be found'. My teaching is process-oriented in that it emphasises the interconnectedness of ideas/topics and makes those connections explicit. This is likely to induce deep learning, facilitate conceptual development and foster independent thinking. I believe that passion for your subject and enthusiasm is everything and that it can go a long way towards inducing inspiration and engagement in your students. 

Associate Fellow of the HEA, working towards FHEA. 

I am also a member of the School of Humanities' ESE (Education and Student Experience) Committee (2019 -> ).

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Coventry University

Bachelor, Coventry University

Bachelor, Universite de Metz

External positions

Visiting Lecturer in English: Language, Literature and Writing (Level 4), Research, Practice and Professional Communication (Level 5 module integrating Language, Literature and Creative Writing) and Global Englishes (Level 4), Level 6 supervision, Department of Media, Middlesex University

Sep 2019 → …

Associate Tutor: EAP and Research Skills, School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey



  • PE English
  • L2 Pragmatics
  • nonverbal communication
  • intentional communication
  • speaker meaning
  • Cognitive Pragmatics
  • shared attention
  • salience
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Relevance Theory
  • Instructed Second Language Acquisition
  • Phonology and Phonetics
  • Learning and Teaching in HE
  • Professional Development
  • Semantics-Pragmatics Interface
  • Relevance Theory & Literature
  • mind style
  • Nonsense and Surrealism

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Research Output 2019 2019

ethnic group

Prosodic Pointing in inferential comprehension: the application of Relevance Theory to L2 listening instruction

Madella, P. & Romero-Trillo, J., 2019, In : Letrônica. 12, 4

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
intercultural communication

Activities 2017 2020

  • 6 Oral presentation
  • 2 Membership of professional body
  • 1 Publication Peer-review

Making sense of Nonsense Literature: when Pragmatics meets Literary Studies in the English classroom

Pauline Madella (Presenter)
30 Jan 2020

Activity: External talk or presentationOral presentation

Journal of Pragmatics (Journal)

Pauline Madella (Reviewer)
2020 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPublication Peer-review

(PALA) The Poetics and Linguistics Association (External organisation)

Pauline Madella (Member)
2019 → …

Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesMembership of professional body