Dr Bróna Murphy

Deputy Head of Institute for Education, Teaching & Leadership (IETL) / Lecturer in Language Education


Dr Bróna Murphy works in English Language Education at the Institute for Education, Teaching and Leadership (ETL), where she teaches on the MSc TESOL and the MSc in Applied Linguistics.

Before coming to Edinburgh in 2008, Bróna held posts in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at the University of Limerick and University College Dublin as well as at the Association de Formation Professionelle des Adultes (AFPA), Lille, France. Her research interests are in spoken discourse, sociolinguistics (gender and language), corpus linguistics and its applications in teacher education especially around issues of reflective practice. She teaches and publishes in these areas as well as supervises Masters and PhD dissertations and theses.

Bróna has worked with corpora since 2002 and has been involved in the creation of two one-million word corpora of Irish English: the Limerick Corpus of Irish English (LCIE) and the Limerick-Belfast Corpus of Spoken Academic English (LIBEL Case), as well as other smaller sociolinguistic oriented corpora. To support this work, she has secured funding from the British Academy (2010-2012) as well as the Carnegie Trust (2013).

Bróna has also taught as a visiting scholar at the University of Extremadura, Spain (2012) and continues to engage in research with international institutions. Her corpus-based publications have included a monograph, published with John Benjamins, on Corpus Linguistics and Sociolinguistics as well as chapters in edited volumes, and articles in journals such as Corpora, the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Intercultural Pragmatics and Classroom Discourse.

Bróna is a member of international research groups such as IVACS (Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies) and CLAVIER (Corpus Linguistics and Language Variation) and is currently Convenor of the British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Corpus Linguistics Special Interest Group and Co-Director of the Corpus Linguistics in Scotland Network (CLiS).


  • BA (Hons) in English and French, University of Limerick
  • MA in English Language Teaching, Limerick
  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, Limerick

Undergraduate teaching

  • Corpus Linguistics

Postgraduate teaching

  • Corpus Linguistics 
  • Corpus Linguistics and Language Teaching
  • Text, Discourse and Language Teaching 
  • Research Methods 
  • Dissertation supervision 

Areas of interest for supervision

I have supervised over 40 Masters dissertations on a range of topics to do with second language teaching/learning; corpus linguistics and academic discourse/sociolinguistics. 

Past PhD students supervised

  • Teachers' lives: A life history narrative inquiry into Chinese college English teachers' professional development in the context of Chinese culture- Ling Meng (and supervised with Prof. Morwenna Griffiths). Completed: 2014
  • Exploring vague language as used by Japanese learners of English in an academic context: A corpus-based approach  - Tomoko Watanabe (and supervised with Dr Joan Cutting). Completed: 2015
  • Investigating metacognitive discourse awareness in second language listening - Alan Huang (and supervised with Dr Charles Anderson, Dr Pauline Sangster). Completed: 2015

Research summary

Bróna's principal research areas span corpus linguistics, pragmatics, spoken discourse, and sociolinguistics. Her work, across these areas, involves looking at small specialised sociolinguistic-oriented corpora to explore functionally-motivated linguistic variation across social groups. She also carries out work around corpus-based explorations of reflective practice in international teacher education settings.

Project activity

Current projects include exploring gender issues in Irish English fictional media corpora as well as corpus-based investigations of reflective practice in international teacher education settings (see publications).  

View all 12 publications on Research Explorer