Nicholas Bremner

Nicky Bremner is Lecturer in TESOL and Award Leader for the MA TESOL.

Personal statement

Before moving to Bath Spa University, I worked as an English teacher and trainer in Mexico and Colombia. I also taught on the MA TESOL at the University of Southampton.

I find it extremely rewarding to work with English language teachers and to help them grow, both professionally and personally. I am very fortunate to have the chance to work with a wide range of teachers from different backgrounds, who regularly enrich my understanding of how English is taught around the world. I have particular experience teaching students from China, but I have also worked with students from the UK, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Research-led teaching

My research focuses on the implementation of new teaching approaches, and in particular the introduction of more student-centred approaches to language learning. As an MA student at Bath Spa University, you'll be part of an ongoing exploration into the challenges of teaching learners. In this way, you'll be invited to think critically about how these approaches could be implemented in your own classrooms.

Practical focus

I strongly believe that giving students the chance to practice teaching English with real students is vital part of both pre- and in-service teacher training. I coordinate the teaching practice component of the MA TESOL, which is one of the most unique and rewarding parts of the course. Here, you'll have the opportunity to experiment with different practices and reflect upon your teaching. You'll also be invited to carry out classroom observations, as well as delivering “microteaching” sessions to your peers.

Context-specific, post-method teacher training

I'm aware of how difficult it can be to teach English. I'm therefore realistic about what is possible, but I'm also optimistic about how we can improve our profession.

As a creative and innovative University, Bath Spa is one of the few universities in the UK to implement context-specific, post-method teacher training. Post-method teacher training values individual differences and recognises that different contexts may require different teaching approaches. Throughout this course, you'll be invited to reflect upon which approaches might be appropriate for students in your contexts.

Personal ethos

I'm a dedicated teacher who is passionate about the TESOL field. I'm an approachable person who places a great deal of emphasis on the human side of teaching.

If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to contact me directly at n.bremner@bathspa.ac.uk.

Academic qualifications

  • Ph.D. Education University of Leeds
  • MA Applied Translation Studies University of Leeds
  • BA Spanish University of Leeds.

Areas of expertise

I’m interested in research which might help us address some of the challenges of teaching English around the world, especially in developing countries.

My research looks at both:

  • What might need to change (e.g. the introduction of new teaching approaches such as “student-centred” language learning), but arguably more importantly,
  • How educational changes might be implemented within diverse contexts.

This has led me to focus on topics such as:

  • Exploring the definition of “student-centred (EFL) learning” and its relationship with “learning-centred” education
  • Developing more contextually appropriate (post-method) forms of language teacher education
  • Understanding the relationships between people’s beliefs and their practices
  • Experimenting with the life history / timeline methodology, both for research and as a form of teacher professional development.

Areas of research supervision

I would be interested in supervising doctoral students in any of the following areas:

  • Educational change management, especially the implementation of new teaching approaches (communicative language teaching, student-centred language learning, learning-centred education, flipped learning, etc.)
  • Students’ perceptions of different teaching approaches; supporting learners during education changes (“learner training”)
  • Language teacher education (e.g. post-method teacher training, innovative forms of reflective practice)
  • Teacher beliefs and relationships to practices
  • Teacher emotions during educational changes
  • Critiques of the “English for All” and/or “younger = better” assumption.

Please feel free to drop me an email if you thinking of studying for a PhD.


Research and academic outputs

Go to ResearchSPAce

Exploring the lives of five Mexican EFL teachers: teachers' beliefs about student-centred learning in relation to their practices
book

Bremner, N (2017) Exploring the lives of five Mexican EFL teachers: teachers' beliefs about student-centred learning in relation to their practices. Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken. ISBN 9783330342880


The multiple meanings of ‘student-centred’ or ‘learner-centred’ education, and the case for a more flexible approach to defining it
article

Bremner, N (2020) 'The multiple meanings of ‘student-centred’ or ‘learner-centred’ education, and the case for a more flexible approach to defining it.' Comparative Education. ISSN 0305-0068


Time for timelines: the take-home timeline as a tool for exploring complex life histories
article

Bremner, N (2020) 'Time for timelines: the take-home timeline as a tool for exploring complex life histories.' International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19. ISSN 1609-4069


'Belief-changing' teacher education: Mexican English teachers’ experiences
article

Bremner, N (2020) ''Belief-changing' teacher education: Mexican English teachers’ experiences.' MEXTESOL Journal, 44 (1). ISSN 2395-9908


What makes an effective English language teacher? The life histories of 13 Mexican university students
article

Bremner, N (2019) 'What makes an effective English language teacher? The life histories of 13 Mexican university students.' English Language Teaching, 13 (1). pp. 163-179. ISSN 1916-4742


From learner-centred to learning-centred: becoming a ‘hybrid’ practitioner
article

Bremner, N (2019) 'From learner-centred to learning-centred: becoming a ‘hybrid’ practitioner.' International Journal of Educational Research, 97. pp. 53-64. ISSN 0883-0355


Reculturing teachers as just the tip of the iceberg: ongoing challenges for the implementation of student-centred EFL learning in Mexico
article

Bremner, N (2015) 'Reculturing teachers as just the tip of the iceberg: ongoing challenges for the implementation of student-centred EFL learning in Mexico.' MEXTESOL Journal, 39 (3). ISSN 2395-9908


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