Meet your Teacher - Susan Finlay

Published: 21 November 2022

Get to know one of our English for Academic Practice Lecturers, who tells us about her fascinating career to date!

With an ever-expanding complement of Glasgow College UESTC staff, it is important that they get to introduce themselves so we can get to know them better. In this issue, we are delighted to learn more about Susan Finlay.

When did you join the team at Glasgow College UESTC?

End of August 2018.

What is your position?


Lecturer Susan Finlay sitting on a top of a hill in Scotland

Which subjects do you teach?

I work on the English language side of the programme, doing a guest lecture for the introductory course for Year 1 students, and lecturing on English for Communication and Engineering Career Skills for Year 2 students. I am co-creator of all the course materials and assessments.

Which fields of research are you most interested in and why?

I'm interested in English for Academic Purposes in general - more specifically, English for Specific Academic Purposes; and even more specifically, English for Engineering students! At the moment, I'm particularly interested in the notion of "transfer", that is, the extent to which students transfer the skills they study on English courses to their technical courses - e.g. aspects of writing a lab report.

What is the most memorable project you have been involved in at GC UESTC or elsewhere and why?

Definitely it was the James Watt event that was held back in November 2019. This was a wonderful, student-led event that show-cased the work of the students on the English courses at that time on the topic of James Watt. 2019 was the bi-centenary of his death.

What attracted you to take on a role at GC UESTC?

Again, I have to refer to the James Watt event mentioned above! Everyone involved put in a great deal of effort to make it the huge success that it was: there were student comperes; guests from Leeds-SWJT university; prizes from UofG; very imaginatively created videos, posters, other publications, and even a pop-up book; decorations; and delicious snacks. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that we haven't managed to organise another event like this, but hopefully in the future...!

What or who inspired you to study and teach English?

I've always been interested in language and how people communicate. When I was studying Applied Linguistics as an undergraduate, I went to a talk by an English language teacher who talked about his experiences teaching in east Africa, and I thought, 'Wow. There's a job which would be all about language and which I could travel to other countries to do'.

Tell us a about your hobbies and interests outside of work:

I'm a keen hill-walker, and Scotland has many hills and mountains to climb. I also play the piano, I enjoy doing yoga, and more recently I've started cycling.

First published: 21 November 2022