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Mohammed Ateek

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL

PhD in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Anglia Ruskin University); MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (University of Aleppo, Syria); BA in English Language and Literature (University of Aleppo).

Contact details

Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
Birkbeck, University of London,
26 Russell Square,


Research interests & Academic Background

    Mohammed's main areas of interest are theories and practice of TESOL, learner autonomy, language and migration, refugee language education, language and identity and Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO). He is particularly interested in exploring the effectiveness of using different methods and techniques on students' language performance and autonomy. He also researches the role of language in refugee/migrant education and how it facilitates social cohesion in hostile environments. In the same vein, he is interested in researching the role of LADO, its validity and ways to improve it, along with the language used in asylum interviews.

    More recently, Mohammed has developed a new research interest in the area of translanguaging, language in social media and language and identity off/online. This is evidenced in his new research project on refugees’ identity construction for the self and other online. In addition, he also worked with the British Council as a research consultant to look at how language enhances the resilience of refugees in the neighbouring countries of Syria Language for Resilience

Current Research Projects

  • Translanguaging in multicultural classrooms: A case-study of a classroom in Kurdistan (in collaboration with Dr Tony Capstick, the University of Reading)
  • Investigating the language used in asylum interviews: Analysing questions and their impact on the applicants.
  • Working on a collaborative research project (with Prof. Penelope Gardner-Chloros and Dr. Lisa McEntee-Atalianis) about language and identity, code-switching and linguistic choices of Syrian refugees in the UK on social media

Areas of Research Supervision

    I welcome students who are planning to do their PhDs in one of these areas:
    theories and practice of TESOL, English language education, teacher training, EFL reading, learner autonomy, language and migration, language and identity, analysing the language of media and social media, Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO), language and asylum.

    If you are considering applying for MPhil/PhD research in any of these areas, you are advised to contact me and/or the departmental research director (Prof. Jean Marc Dewaele) about your research plan before making an application.


    Prior to joining Birkbeck, Mohammed taught in different modules in Applied Linguistics in different universities in the UK and the Middle East, most recently at the University of Reading.

    He also taught EFL/EAP in different institutions in the UK and abroad.

    At Birkbeck Mohammed teaches the following modules:

    + Second Language Acquisition
    + Language Teaching


Recent Conferences

    2019    Ateek, M. Linguistic Issues Affecting Asylum Seekers and Refugees (2 Jul 2019, University of Reading) “Language Analysis for Determination of Origin as a ‘Gatekeeper’.”

    2018    Ateek, M. Pro Language (20-21 Sep 2018, University of Reading) “Language learning and social cohesion in a multicultural classroom with vulnerable learners”

    2018    Ateek, M., Gardner-Chloros, P. & McEntee-Atalianis, L. Migration and Language Learning: Histories, Approaches and Policies (23-24 Feb 2018, University of Leeds). “Translanguaging social media and identity: A study of migrant Facebook posts.”

    2016 Ateek, M. UKLA 52nd International Conference on literacy, equality and diversity (8 -10 July 2016, Bristol). “Learner Autonomy and its Challenges in the Jordanian Classroom.”

    2015    Ateek, M. Saarbrücken University: Third Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching (29-31 Oct 2015, Germany). “Learners’ Increased Motivation through Extensive Reading.”