Dr John McKenny

Dr John McKenny

Assistant Professor
Before joining the British University in Dubai in September 2013, he worked for six years as Head of the School of English and then Lecturer at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

Contact details

+971 4 279 1400 Ext: 443
+971 4 279 1490


He holds a PhD from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on the teaching and learning of languages for specific purposes. He has been teaching EFL since 1978 and has been a teacher educator since 1987. A good deal of his research has been with specialists in various academic fields including International Business Studies, Corporate Social Responsibility, Tourism and Translation Studies. 

His collaboration involved using research methodologies from applied linguistics such as discourse and corpus analysis to provide deeper understanding of the language and conceptualizations of the academic disciplines of his research partners. During his career he has held various managerial posts. In his previous job, he set up and was Head of the School of English at the Nottingham University Ningbo China campus. 


Degrees / Professional Qualifications

  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, School of English, University of Leeds, UK
  • PhD in Applied Linguistics, School of English, University of Leeds, UK
  • M.Sc. in Teaching English for Academic Purposes  , University of Aston, Birmingham
  • DELTA Cambridge ESOL, University of Cambridge, UK
  • PGCE  in Religious Studies, University of Cambridge, UK
  • MA in Mental and Moral Science (Philosophy) Trinity College, Dublin
  • BA inMental and Moral Science (Philosophy) Trinity College, Dublin




Journal articles:

McKenny, J. (2005). Content analysis of dogmatism compared with corpus analysis ofepistemic stance in student essays. Information design journal+ document design, vol. 13 (1), pp. 40-50.

McKenny, J. (2003). Swift’s Prescience: a polite precursor of corpus linguistics. Journal of Language and Literature, vol. 2 (1), pp.1-11.


McKenny, J. (2013). World Englishes : Volume 1 Englishes of The British Isles (12-volume series) co-edited witt Tometro Hopkins. London: Bloomsbury Academic.  ISBN: 9780826478481

McKenny, J. (2011). A corpus study of the phraseology of written argumentative English. Frankfurt: Lambert Academic Publishing.  ISBN 978-3-8383-7656-1

McKenny, J., & Bennett, K. (2010). 'Polishing Papers for Publication: Palimpsests or Procrustean Beds?', in A. ,Frankenberg-Garcia, L., Flowerdew, & G., Aston, (eds). New Trends in Teaching and Language Corpora. London: Continuum.

 Gillon Dowens, M., & McKenny, J. (2009). Training Self and Peer Evaluation Skills A movie paints a million words. EDULEARN09. Barcelona, Spain. ISBN 978-84-612-9802-0

McKenny, J., & Bennett, K. (2009). Critical and corpus approaches to English academ ic te revision: A case study of articles by Portuguese humanities scholars, English Text Construction 12. Amsterdam: John Benjamins

1998 An Online Dictionary of English Loan Words and Phrases in Portuguese www.ipv.pt/anglicismos" www .ipv.pt/anglicismos

Book Chapters:

 Xu , J., Morgan, M., & McKenny, J. (2012). 'Chinese Learners' use of formulaic sequences in spoke interactions', In Input, Process and Product. Developments in Teaching and learner Corpora. Brn Masaryk University Press.  ISBN 978-80-210-5896-5

Conference Papers:

Xu, J., Morgan, M., & McKenny, J. (2011). Chinese Learners' use of formulaic sequences in their spoken interactions. The Proceedings of the 9th Teaching and Language Corpora Conference. Brno: Masaryk University, Czech Republic. 30 June-3 July.

Xu, J., Morgan, M., & McKenny, J. (2010).The overuse of the formulaic sequence ‘as wo. all know' in Chinese English discourse . Interdisciplinary Conference on Formulaic Language 4. University of Paderborn: Paderborn, 23-26 March.

McKenny, J. (2003). 'Stance and spin in academic writing' in L., Lagerwerf , W., Spooren, & Degand, (eds). Determination of Information and Tenor in Texts: Proceedings of MAD conference (Multiple Approaches to Discourse). Munster: Nodus Publikationen.pp. 115-137

McKenny, J. (2003). Seeing the wood and the trees: Reconciling findings from discourse and   lexical analysis. Corpus Linguistics 2003 Conference, University of Lancaster. Published by University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language Technical Papers Volume 16-Special Edition. Lancaster

McKenny, J. (1997).Teaching and Learning English in the Primary School: Justifying Outcomes. In Proceedings of the Cultures for Learning Conference jointly published by Nottingham University and Escola Superior de Educa ao de Castelo Branco

McKenny, J. (1996). LSP Teachers: 'Polymaths or Chameleons: Metaphors to teach by. Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of tertiary level language teachers. University of Evora, Portugal

McKenny, J. (1995). Needs Analysis Revisited. The Sixth Hispano-Portuguese International Conference on Languages for Specific Purposes.



  • Syllabus and Materials Design
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Second Language Teaching and Learning
  • Research Methods in Education

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