Dr Christopher Shank

Senior Lecturer in Linguistics (Language Variation and Change)

Contact info

School of Languages, Literature & Linguistics
Bangor University
Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG
United Kingdom
Phone: +44  01248 38 3590


I have a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I also hold two Masters degrees; an MA (MPhil) in Language Literacy & Sociocultural Studies with a Bilingualism and Bilingual Education Specialization, also from the University of New Mexico and a Master of Arts in TESOL from the SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro, VT. Finally, I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison where I majored in 3 subjects: International Relations, Political Science, and History

In addition to my academic degrees I also completed a 3-year post-doc with Professor Hubert Cuyckens, as a member of the Functional Linguistics Leuven (FLL) Research Unit, in the Department of Linguistics at KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.  Our research was conducted as part of a larger  Grammaticalization and (Inter) Subjectification) GRAMIS project  which was funded by the Belgian national research programme. 

My research interests and expertise are in the field of language variation, use and change in both monolingual and bilingual contexts.  I approach language and cognition from a usage-based / functionally oriented perspective and I utilize qualitative, corpus-based, quantitative and ethnographic  methodologies in my research. 

As a corpus-linguist I study language variation, use and change, primarily within the domains of syntax, semantics and epistemic expression, in both synchronic and diachronic contexts.   I also work in the field of bilingualism and multilingualism where I specialize in bilingual and multilingual identity construction, (re) construction, and concomitant issues related to identity, voice, power, representation and performativity.  I am also part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with Public Health Wales – Cardiff where I am researching healthcare delivery, communication and outcomes for the Deaf community in Wales and conducting the first comprehensive research on and survey of the use, linguistic features and geographical distribution of Welsh dialect(s) of British Sign Language.   Finally, I also use (CDA)  Critical Discourse Analyses and Multimodal methodologies to investigate issues of power, inequality, racism, sexism  and the impact of linguistic and cultural hegemony, in the domains of political discourse, journalism, social media, EFL methodology, etc. 


Postgraduate Project Opportunities


I am prepared (and have supervised) MA and PhD level qualitative, quantitative and ethnographically orientated research projects in the  following areas: using spoken and written corpora to explore synchronic and diachronic texts in terms of language variation, use and  change (in English as well as other languages), comparing and contrasting World Englishes,  sociolinguistic variation, language contact and change, functional and descriptive approaches to grammar, polysemy, epistemicity, inter-subjectivity, conceptual metaphor & metonymy, multimodal analysis, and critical discourse analysis (CDA).  I have also supervised projects that look at aspects of bilingualism and multilingualism with respect to the issue of bilingual and multilingual identity, identity construction and (reconstruction), performativity and research questions that have explored the interrelationships between language, culture, power, gender, and language use.  Finally, I have also supervised projects that have looked at TEFL methodology, critical pedagogy, and linguistic imperialism and cultural hegemony on EFL students.


Teaching and Supervision


Classes / modules taught at Bangor:

QXL 1111 Describing Language

QXL 1116 Introduction to Semantics & Pragmatics.

QXL 1117 Introduction to Syntax & Morphology

QXL 2202 Meaning & Mind

QXL 2222 History of English

QXL 3341 UG Dissertation

QXL 3347 Language Change (for undergraduates)

QXL 3363 Language Culture & Power (for undergraduates)

QXL 3377 Corpus Linguistics Theory & Practice (for undergraduates)

QXL 4411 Foundations of Linguistics I

QXL 4431 Foundations of Linguistics II

QXL 4447 Language Change for post graduate taught students)

QXL 4463 Language Culture & Power (for post graduate taught students)

QXL 4477 Corpus Linguistics Theory & Practice for post graduate taught students


Master’s Thesis Supervised at Bangor:

2020      Monther Mohammad Alluhaidah. ‘A CDA Analysis of Al Jazeera’s Online Coverage of the War in Yemen Pre and Post KSA’s Qatar Crisis’.

2020      Constance Croguennec. ‘‘Life is a journey’: How do transgender and gender non-conforming people conceptualize and describe the development of their gender identity?

2020      Susan Bod. ‘Culture in ELT in Kuwait: teachers’ perspectives.

2020      Malak Ibrahim Al Zamanan. ‘Parental attitudes towards their children's participation in English language education immersion programmes in Saudi Arabia’

2019      Luis Felipe García Montaño  ‘Le he escrito hace un hora, a corpus-based descriptive analysis of the use of the ‘Pretérito Perfecto Compuesto’ in domains of the ‘Pretérito Perfecto Simple’ in spoken and written Latin American Spanish’.

2019       Elliott Aboagye ‘A sociolinguistic and Critical Discourse Analysis of Kendrick Lamar’s portrayal of the African American experience’

2019      Owen Middlemas ‘Using Coxhead and Hirsch’s (2007) Science specific word list to predict academic success in the Sciences at GCSE level: A Case study’

2019        Abdullah Azib Alghamdi ‘Major lexical changes within the Bilad Ghamd region of Saudi Arabia’

2018     Alaw Mon Griffiths. ‘Cross cultural, cross linguistic study into the perception of the term Feminist in Wales’.

2018     Ashwaq A Alsulami. ‘A sociolinguistic analysis of the use of Arabizi in social media among Saudi Arabians’

2018     Taghreed Al Thiayabat  ‘Investigating Saudi versus Jordanian undergraduate English Language Studies students’ spelling errors

2017     Justin Thompson. ‘A corpus-based analysis of negative responsives in the speech of Welsh speaking adults’.

2017     Llinos Gough ‘What does it mean to be gay in UK media? A diachronic corpus-based investigation into the representation of sexual orientation in British newspapers’.

2016     Hernando Andrés Jiménez Rocha. ‘Spanish First Person Singular Subject Pronoun Usage in Spoken Castilian Spanish: A Morphosyntactic and Pragmatic Approach’.

2015     Osama Sultan S Alruwaili   ‘Using Discourse Analysis on the Language of the Terrorist Group ISIS as a means of identifying the ideology beneath the rhetoric’.

2015     Alaa Alahmadi ‘Exploring Vocabulary Learning Strategies of Saudi undergraduate EFL students at King Abdulaziz University and its relationship to their vocabulary size’.

2015     Javier Morras Cortes ‘Chilean Cultural models and figurative meaning extension’.

2014     Harry Bradford ‘Identifying linguistic trends in suicide notes over a 50 year period: a diachronic corpus based approach’.

2014     Qianwen Cheng    ‘A Construction Grammar Approach to the Family of Chinese caused-Motion Constructions’.

2014    Farissa Ahmad Fisol. ‘Using Style Markers for Authorship Identification’.

2014    Gareth Monk ‘A corpus linguistic authorship analysis of the Eddie Gilfoyle case

2013    Alexander Cornford   ‘The Language of Food Advertising: How is food represented in advertising and how does it affect choice?’

2012    Abtesam Alshallam ‘Negation errors in Arabic learners of English’.

2012     Thomas Beakes ‘Examining the impact Ideology in discourse

2012     Hannah Coustick ‘Bias in media/discourse with respect to gender and education

2012     Jonathan Hughes  ‘Discourse analysis and public opinion

Grant Awards and Projects

2020 - Santander Mobility Grant to work with Professor Ronice Müller de Quadros at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) in Brazil and learn more about the best research practices she has developed for working with Deaf communities.

Awarded £970.00 


2020 - Open Access Publication fee grant for article to appear in the Frontiers in Public Health from the University of Graz, Austria. Co-author and applicant lead Dr Anouschka Foltz, University of Graz, Austria.

Awarded £1,000 


2018 - Public Health Wales - Scoping Study: Health and Deafness in Wales Survey.  Co-lead Dr Anouschka Foltz, University of Graz, Austria.

Principle objectives: 1) To develop and pilot an appropriate tool/method to collate views on factors influencing health of d/Deaf populations in Wales.  2) To complete a literature review on the health and care needs of the d/Deaf communities in the UK and Wales. 3) To complete a small qualitative study to explore (1) the barriers and enablers to staying healthy in d/Deaf communities, and (2) potential actions for different professional groups (e.g. local authority, schools, employers, planning, health promotion materials, health service (pharmacy, GPs, hospital care)).                                                                                   

Awarded £10,000   


2018- Wales School for Social Care Research - Capacity Building Small Grants Award.

Co-PI with Dr Anouschka Foltz, University of Graz, Austria and Sarah Matthews, Chief Exec, Centre of Sign-Sight-Sound, Colwyn Bay, Wales

Principle objectives: Developing and evaluating the effectiveness of parenting classes in BSL: Developing culturally-sensitive learning materials.

                                                                                                                        Awarded £9,979   

Teaching and Supervision

Current PhD Student Supervision – as 1st Supervisor

Mr Atheer Abdulhadi Ras Aljubouri.  ‘Representation of Iraqis in Hollywood Films in pre and post US led intervention in Iraq:  A Critical Discourse Study’.

Ms. Shailaja Bakshi. ‘Examining Lexico-Grammatical Argument Structure Patterns in Native and Non-Native Varieties of South Asian English:  A Corpus Based Analysis of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan English.

Mr Osama Sultan S Alruwaili. ‘Understanding ISIS’s Ideology, Goals & Propaganda techniques: A Critical Discourse Analysis of ISIS Recruitment Techniques and Tactics Targeting British Muslim Youth’. 

As 2nd supervisor:

Mr Alaa Othman A Alahmadi.  'Exploring the effect of lexical inferencing and lexical translation on Saudi undergraduate EFL students’ vocabulary retention'.

Ms Maram Alamri. ‘Exploring the encoding of motion in verbs in English by L1 Arabic-speaking learners of English’.

Mr Alessandro Arioli.  ‘"Mutual intelligibility among Gallo-Italic, Occitan, Franco-Provençal and Tuscan geolects as a heuristic addressing issues in the classification of Romance languages".



Ph.D. in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico. USA

Dissertation Title: “The Relationship between Metaphorical Language Use and Transitivity:  A Usage-Based Corpus Linguistic Case Study of Four English Verbs of Tactile Perception: Touch, Hold, Handle and Feel”. 

Master of Arts in Language Literacy & Sociocultural Studies – Bilingualism and Bilingual Education Specialization, Department of Language Literacy Sociocultural Studies, College of Education, University of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM. USA

Thesis Title:Flemish (Dutch) and Walloon (French) Identity Construction with Respect to Bilingual Education in Belgium”.

Master of Arts in TESOL. School for International Training, Brattleboro, VT. USA

Thesis Title:From Culture Shock to Assimilation: A Case Study of EFL Lecturers in Kwangju, South Korea”.

Bachelor of Arts  Majors (3) : International Relations, Political Science, and History. University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI. USA

Thesis Title:  “Denmark and NATO membership: Present and Future Challenges



Contact Info

School of Languages, Literature & Linguistics
Bangor University
Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG
United Kingdom
Phone: +44  01248 38 3590

Research areas and keywords


  • PE English
  • LB2361 Curriculum
  • P Philology. Linguistics

Education / academic qualifications

  • Professional , LSA Summer Institute - University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. USA 2001
  • MA , Master of Arts in TESOL
  • MEd , Master of Arts in Language Literacy & Sociocultural Studies – Bilingualism and Bilingual Education Specialization
  • PhD , Ph.D. in Linguistics
  • BA , Bachelor of Arts
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