Mrs Sally Zacharias

  • Associate Teaching Fellow (School of Education)
  • Research Associate: Mapping Language Ideologies: Perceptions, Practices and Networks (Curriculum Assessment & Pedagogy)


I am an educational linguist and applied linguist with a special interest in cognitive linguistics.

I have worked as a teacher educator for several years and have designed and taught on English-medium ITE courses. I moved to Glasgow in 2012 and currently teach on the MEd/MSc TESOL, PGDE and M.Educ programmes. I have worked as a teacher of English (ESL and EAP/EAL) in France, Germany and the UK, teaching both adults and children.

I'm interested in the role language plays in the development of conceptual thinking.

Research interests: Application of cognitive and functional linguistics in educational settings: Text World Theory, Cognitive Grammar, stylistics, metaphors, image schemas, abstract concepts.


MA TESOL (distinction) -  University of Nottingham 2011

PGCE Science with CLIL (secondary) - University of Nottingham 2004

RSA/Cambridge Diploma TEFLA - British Institute, Paris 1998

RSA/Cambridge Certificate TEFLA 1991

BSc Chemistry with Education, University of York, 1991 


Research interests

I am interested in usage-based (cognitive and functional) approaches to language learning in all pedagogical contexts, as well as the application of principles from these approaches to the knowledge-building process.  I am especially interested in how abstract concepts are understood and learnt in the disciplines. In my doctoral research, I used and developed a cognitive discursive framework to describe and explain the development of how scientific abstract concepts are both constructed and linguistically represented in classroom discourse.

The central question I have that underpins this research interest is:

How does knowing about language support the knowledge building process for both L1 and L2 users?

I am also interested in how different languages and cultures respond to their environment. I am currently the PI of 'The Moon in narrative, metaphor and reason: A multilinguistic perspective', a Creative Multilingualism project funded through AHRC (Open World Research Initiative).


Creative Multilingualism AHRC (Open World Research Initiative) 2018-9 'The Moon in narrative, metaphor and reason: A multilinguistic perspective'

British Council ELTRA award 2017. Challenging the Translingual Turn: Student-Teachers' Perceptions, Practices and Networks (co-researcher with Lavinia Hirsu) £5,000


I supervise MEd and MSc TESOL dissertation students

I co-supervise with Dr Dely Elliot PhD student Idris Hamed Nasser Al Adawi


I teach on and convene the following modules on the MSc and MEd TESOL programmes:

Descriptions of Language (core module)

Language Proficiency, Assessment and Feedback (2nd semester option)

Dissertation module

I teach the EAL/literacy component of ITE/PGDE programmes within the School 

I convene M.Educ 4 enquiry

Additional information

Current research projects:

Developing training materials for student teachers to support the subject literacies of pupils with English as an Additional Language (with E.Daborn and L.Hirsu).


Professional Affiliations:

Committee member (secretary) of LKALE (Linguistics and knowledge About Language) SIG of British Association of Applied Linguistics.

Member of CLARE (Cognitive Linguistics and Research in Education) Small group of scholars from Aston University, UCL, Sheffield Hallam and Sheffield University interested in applications of Cognitive linguistics in education.