Professor Douglas Bell

Head of School

I joined CDU as the Head of the School of Academic Language & Learning (SALL) in 2015, having spent the 6 years immediately prior to that as the Head of the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) and Director of Preliminary Year programmes at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). Before joining the University of Nottingham, I held academic roles in the UK at the University of Aberdeen, the University of Plymouth and the University of Central Lancashire. In addition to the UK, China and now Australia, I have also worked in Austria, Japan and Turkey.

In my current role as HoS SALL, I have responsibility for the strategic leadership and overall academic management of all SALL activities in the LEBA faculty, and across the CDU suite of operations as a whole.

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BA (Hons) German & Italian (Hull)
Advanced Postgraduate Certificate TESOL (Leicester)
Licentiate Postgraduate Diploma TEFL (Edinburgh)
Licentiate Postgraduate Diploma TESP (Edinburgh)
Postgraduate Diploma Teacher Training (Ankara)
MA Teaching English for International Business (Central Lancashire)
PhD (Nottingham)

Areas of teaching expertise

My particular areas of interest/expertise include the teaching of English for Specific Purposes (ESP), especially English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and Business English (BE), teacher training and cross-cultural communication.

In the case of the latter, I am especially interested in business communications between Asia and the West, specifically as these pertain to joint ventures with China and Japan. I have carried out cross-cultural consultancy work in each of these areas for both the corporate and higher educational sectors.

Research bio (including key areas of research expertise and supervision)

Building on aspects of the work which ultimately culminated in my doctoral thesis -‘Practitioners, Pedagogies and Professionalism in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The Development of a Contested Field’-, I have most recently been researching issues around historical developments in the field of teaching English for Academic Purposes (EAP), and as one particular part of this, the trajectory that teachers take when moving from General English language teaching to teaching EAP. In this respect, I am interested in exploring the aspects that make EAP teaching distinct; in defining what constitutes an effective practitioner within EAP contexts; and in understanding how these competencies might then be most effectively measured and evaluated at an institutional level. I also have research interests which examine the status and professional standing of EAP within the broader academic community, and the ways in which different academic disciplines build and then disperse their particular knowledge, credibility, and expertise.

From a broader research perspective, I also remain very interested in the teaching of EAP oral skills, particularly academic oral presentations, and what it means in practice to prepare students well for successful tertiary level studies.

I am always interested in hearing from potential PGR students looking for masters or doctoral supervision in areas related to EAP/ESP.


I make efforts to both publish and present regularly and therefore remain active in the EAP/ELT field. A selection of my work is listed below:


‘Pondering the Periphery: accounting for the positioning of EAP’ (forthcoming)|University of Hong Kong, Centre for Applied English Studies’ International Conference- ‘Faces of English 2: teaching and researching academic and professional English’       

The Practice of EAP in Australia: a rose by any other name?’ (forthcoming)
Wong, L.T. and Wong, H.L. (eds.) Teaching and Learning English for Academic Purposes: current research and practices. New York: Nova Science Publishers, inc.


‘Conceptualizing Practitioner Expertise in the Teaching of EAP’
SALL Research Paperbag Session, Charles Darwin University, Australia.


‘Passport to Academic Presentations- Oral Presentations in English for Academic Purposes’ 2nd (revised) edition. Textbook published by Garnet Education, Reading, UK ISBN: 978 1 85964 400 3/ ISBN: 978 1 85964 415 7/ ISBN: 978 1 85964 416


‘Bringing Students to the Foot of the Ivory Tower: Preliminary Year Programmes, International Foundation Pathways & the Successful Development of Academic Literacy’ (‘Developing Competency & Skills for Tertiary Studies’. GAC Professional Development Conference, Jimei University, Xiamen, CHINA 2013)- invited as keynote speaker.

 ‘The Enduring Legacy of TEFL: Help or Hindrance in teaching EAP?’ (BALEAP bi-ennial conference, ‘The Janus Moment in EAP: Revisiting the Past and Building the Future’, University of Nottingham, UK, 2013).

‘Principles and Practice of Teaching Academic Oral Presentations’ (The 2nd Tertiary Level EAP Teacher Seminar & Training Programme, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, CHINA)- invited speaker.

 ‘Catering for the Demands of a Brave New World: Managing the Transition of Teachers between General English Language Teaching and the Teaching of English for Academic Purposes’ (4th Annual CELA Conference & Symposium on EAP Teaching, Shanghai University, Shanghai, CHINA 2013)- invited as keynote speaker.


‘Successfully Achieving the Establishment, Delivery & Maintenance of High-Quality EAP Provision’ (National Conference on English for Academic Purposes, Fudan University, Shanghai, CHINA, 2012)- invited as keynote speaker.

‘Benchmarking Practitioner Expertise in the Teaching of EAP’ Paper delivered at the 12th BUSEL International Conference, Bilkent University, Ankara, TURKEY.

‘Navigating the Minefield of Cross-cultural Communication’ Paper delivered as a guest speaker at Wanli University, Ningbo, CHINA.


‘Delivering a British-style Education in China: Some reflections on the Experience of the University of Nottingham-Ningbo’ Paper delivered as a guest speaker at the 2012 British Council conference, Sanya, CHINA.

‘Achieving Global Excellence in Teaching and Learning at UNNC’ Paper co-authored with Professor Andrew Marton and delivered at the 2011 International Forum on Higher Education, Chonqqing, CHINA.


‘Teaching Oral Presentations in Academic Contexts’ Paper delivered at the 2nd ESP in Asia International Conference, Ningbo, CHINA.


‘A Passport for Oral Presentation Success: 6 Core Principles’ Paper delivered at the 43rd International IATEFL Conference, Cardiff, UK.

 ‘Stand and Deliver: The Teaching of Academic Oral Presentations’ Paper presented at the national conference on different approaches to EAP, St Andrews, UK.


‘BALEAP Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes’ Publication co-authored with Alexander, Cardew, King, Pallant, Scott, Thomas and Ward-Goodbody.

‘A little bit of culture please…’  Workshop delivered as a guest speaker as part of the Employment Eye series of seminars for HR professionals, Aberdeen, UK|  

‘Why are they being so awkward? Understanding the cross-cultural dimension of modern business’ Workshop delivered as a guest speaker for the International Senior Executive Networking Group, Aberdeen, UK.


T: 08 8946 6779
F: 08 8946 6799

Blue 1.1.69a
School of Academic Language and Learning
Casuarina Campus
Charles Darwin University
Darwin NT 0909