Guy's research is in three areas: discourse analysis, English language teaching, and literary stylistics.
In discourse analysis, he is particularly interested in the language of public debate, especially in matters concerning humans and the natural world. Guy was principal investigator for a major Leverhulme project on the way people talk about animals. This is called 'People', 'Products', 'Pests' and 'Pets': the discursive representation of animals and ran from 2013-2016 in collaboration with Professor Alison Sealey at Lancaster University.
From 2002-2008 he directed four ESRC projects on disputes about food policy (about GM agriculture, organic farming, and school meals). (See Genetically Modified Language Routledge, 2004).
In Guy's work on English language teaching, he advocates the use of translation and students' own languages, and an opponent of exclusively monolingual and utilitarian approaches. (See Translation in Language Teaching. Oxford University Press 2010.)
In stylistics, early work on literature and advertising expanded into a more general theory of the role of language play in cognition, social relations and language learning. (See The Discourse of Advertising, 2nd edition, Routledge 2001; and Language Play, Language Learning Oxford University Press, 2000)
- EFL teacher in Egypt, Italy and the Soviet Union (1974-1983).
- Lecturer University of Leeds (1985-1991)
- Head of TESOL and Languages, London University Institute of Education (1991-1998),
- Professor of Applied Linguistics, University of Reading (1998-2004)
- Professor of English Language, Open University (2004-2012).
- Co-editor of the journal Applied Linguistics 2004-2009
- Chair of the British Association for Applied Linguistics 2009-2012.
- Academician of the Academy for the Social Sciences.
For further details please see Guy's Research Staff Profile.