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Ben was the founding Director of the Centre for Language Discourse & Communication, directed the King’s Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre from 2011-14, and was founding Convener of the Linguistic Ethnography Forum (2001-09).

He has been on the editorial board of more than a dozen international journals (including Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language in Society, Applied Linguistics, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology and Ethnography), and edits Working Papers in Urban Language & Literacies

Ben has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Copenhagen, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Anthropological Institute.


Ben's work involves ethnographic and interactional discourse analysis, cross-referring to work in anthropology, sociology, cultural and security studies. His publications focus on language in relation to urban multilingualism, youth, popular culture, ethnicities, class, (in)securitisation, education, second language learning, and research methodology.



  • LDC Doctoral Lab
  • Micro-Discourse Analysis data workshops (MDA)
  • Security, ethnography, discourse
  • Ethnography, language & communication

MA in Language and Cultural Diversity :

  • Multilingualism, migration and diversity
  • Language & power
  • Language, identity and culture

BA English Language & Linguistics:

  • Analysing spoken discourse (second year)
  • Language, culture and society (third year)

Watch Ben discuss sociolinguistics.

PhD supervision

Current and recent PhD projects include:

  • 'Ideologies of urban Welsh' (Catrin Williams)
  • 'Homeless in discourse, narrative & interaction' (Ceri Mckay-Smith)
  • 'Overseas domestic workers in Hong Kong: Multilingualism, representation and experience' (Nic Guinto)
  • 'English and development: Discourses from two madrasas in rural Bangladesh' (Qumrul Chowdhury)
  • 'Linguistic landscape: An interactional perspective' (Louise Eley)
  • 'Policy change in literacy education: A multi-dimensional approach to the production of the 2010 Greek-language syllabus in Cyprus' (Maria Magklara)
  • 'Grounded high-flyers: How academically elite students are EN-territorialised in Singapore' (Lu Jiqun Luke)

Further information

For further details, please see Ben's  Research Staff Profile