School of Languages and Applied Linguistics


Photo of Mr William Forsyth

Mr William Forsyth

  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer, English and Linguistics
  • Address: Park Building, King Henry 1 Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DZ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6168
  • Email:
  • Department: School of Languages and Area Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


I am a teacher and writer. I have a BA Hons. in English from the University of Leeds; a PGCE (English and Drama) from Bretton Hall College; the RSA Dip TEFL from the Bell School, Cambridge; and an MA TEFL from the University of Reading. I have QTS and, since 1982, have taught in the Secondary, Further Ed and HE sectors, as well as long stretches in private language schools. I have written seven English Language Teaching text books, five of them with my wife, Susan Lavender. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA.

I have taught General English in the UK; Business English in Italy (3½ yrs); and applied linguistics and trained teachers at the Pedagogic University of Mongolia (2½ yrs) in Ulaan Baatar. Other courses include initial and in-service teacher training at the University of Reading and Chichester College; and training Uzbek teachers in course book planning and design at the University of Reading. More recently, I have written and performed verse in primary schools (a) because I love verse and (b) because I think the figurative and phonic effects of language are important in the development of human cognition.

At the University of Portsmouth, I am a senior lecturer and Course Leader of the BA in Communication and English Studies. I coordinate “Business Communication” for non-native learners at Level 6; and “How Language Works”: an introduction to the basics of applied linguistics for level 4 students.

In addition to my interest in learning, and particularly language learning, I am interested in how language works both in the mind and in social groups. At the moment, I am trying to pursue two research interests: (1) how we construct the idea and institution of non-physical structures such as a nation; and (2) how prosody organises and manages linguistic information, its relationship with syntax, and how this might help with language learning.



Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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