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Dr Valerie Hobbs

Education: PhD in Applied Linguistics

Affiliation: University of Sheffield, UK


Room 2.26, Jessop West

1 Upper Hanover St.

Sheffield S3 7RA


Phone: +44-114-222-0228

Fax: +44-114-222-8481





I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics in the School of English at the University of Sheffield. I am also a Fellow in Christianity and Language at Greystone Theological Institute) and Associate Director of the Lydia Center for Women and Families, founded to advance Reformed scholarship in the areas of gender, marital and family ethics. Past academic service includes several years on the Executive Committee for the British Association for Applied Linguistics.

My educational background includes a BA in English Literature from Covenant College, an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from Georgia State University, and a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Sheffield. In addition, I spent a summer studying in the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota. I began my teaching career as an English for Academic Purposes teacher in USA and UK universities and as an undergraduate adjunct professor on a TESOL Teaching Certificate course in the USA.

My research has consistently focused on examining the ways in which seemingly inclusive large institutions establish community boundaries and, in many cases, marginalize and exclude vulnerable members. My work is characterized by responsiveness to current events and is also often controversial. I publish in a diverse range of publications, both within and outside my discipline, both for academia and for a popular audience.

My areas of expertise and interest range from language teacher training and education, code-switching in the language classroom, academic discourse communities (particularly the field of philosophy), and discourse of, about, and for women in the Christian Church. One recent project involved examining the concept of clarity in a self-built corpus of philosophy texts. My work in this area sought to make explicit the ‘great divide’ between analytic and continental philosophy by examining how the importance of clarity in analytic philosophy, largely connected to its alignment with scientific inquiry, influences use of certain linguistic features and distinguishes analytic from continental journal articles. As my work is interdisciplinary, I employ methodologies from a wide range of fields of inquiry, frequently using corpus linguistics. However, I consistently focus on language teaching and language in use, firmly situating my scholarship within the field of Applied Linguistics. I am currently working on compiling a corpus of religious texts.

Selected Publications

Hobbs, V. (2015). Characterizations of Feminism in Reformed Christian Online Media. Journal of Media and Religion, 14(4), 211-229.
Hobbs, V. (2015). Looking Again at Clarity in Philosophy: Writing as a shaper and sharpener of thought. Philosophy, 90(1), 135-142.
Hobbs, V. (2015). Accounting for the great divide: Features of clarity in analytic philosophy journal articles. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 15, 27-36.