Tess Fitzpatrick is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Swansea University, and is Head of the Department of Applied Linguistics. She returned to Swansea in 2017 after five years at Cardiff University’s Centre for Language and Communication Research.
Tess’ research focuses on vocabulary processing, and she leads the Lexical Studies research group. Her work on second language vocabulary acquisition and testing is informed by her early career as an EFL teacher and teacher trainer. Through the development of a new methodology for lexical investigation, using associative responses, she has extended her lexical research to contexts of ageing, dementia, and word choices in medical care. Tess has lived in Wales for over thirty years, and her familiarity with this bilingual part of the UK feeds into her work. Her current research role on a major Welsh corpus project is enhanced by this, and by her experience as a language teacher and learner.
Since 2011 Tess has directed a part-time distance PhD programme in Applied Linguistics, and supervises students investigating lexical approaches to language processing and language use. Recent students include:
Jon Clenton: Exploring the construct of productive vocabulary with Lex30 (completed 2010)
Ian Munby: Development of a multiple response word association test (completed 2011)
Mark Maby: Polysemy and depth of word knowledge (completed 2017)
John Racine: Investigating the L2 mental lexicon using word association data (completed 2019)
Jeff Stewart: Item difficulty in vocabulary tests (completed 2018)
Dale Brown: Acquisition of collocation knowledge in L2 (completed 2018)
Kimberly Klassen: Vocabulary load of proper nouns in L2 reading texts (completed 2018)
Peter Thwaites: Individual differences in lexical storage (completed 2019)
Tom Caton: Vocabulary acquisition and study abroad
Caroline Handley: Nonverbal influences on language processing
Andrew Wimhurst: The effect of presentation mode on word association responses
Tess was Chair of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) between 2015 and 2018. She is on the Editorial Boards of Applied Linguistics (OUP), Language Teaching (CUP), System: International Journal of Educational Technology and Language Acquisition (Elsevier), and Journal of the European Second Language Association - JESLA (White Rose University Press), and is a member of the IRIS Advisory Group (Instruments for Research into Second Languages - IRIS).
In 2017 she was awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences for her work in lexical studies and in wider understanding of cognitive processes in language learning and education.