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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


James Algie


College: King’s          
Supervisors: Prof Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, Dr Elaine Schmidt, and Dr Nick Saville.
Research Topic: L1 influence on L2 English possessive constructions: Combining corpus-based and psycholinguistic methods



James has started his PhD in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics in 2018, shortly after completing an MPhil in the same department. In 2017, James completed a BA in Hispanic Studies and Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. He has carried out various roles in recent years both within and outside the department. In addition to teaching in Cambridge and at University College London, he spent three months as a visiting doctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen and previously contributed to the organisation of regular weekly CamPAL talks as well as the Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium in 2019 and 2020.



James employs corpus and psycholinguistic methods to investigate how the processes involved in second language acquisition are influenced by learners' native language backgrounds. He is interested in first and second language acquisition, bi/multilingualism and cognition, language policy, and language education and assessment.


2018 – 2022: ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences and Cambridge Assessment Studentship (full award)

2017 – 2018: AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences studentship (full award)



2022 -

Affiliated Lecturer, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge. MSt in English Language Assessment.

2020 –

External Lecturer, Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London. PLIN0044 Bi/Multilingualism: Development and Cognition.

2018 – 2020

Academic Supervisor, Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, University of Cambridge

Li3 Language, Brain and Society; Li15 First and Second Language Acquisition; Working with linguistic data sets.

2015 – 2016

English Language Teaching Assistant, Department of Education of Aragón, Zaragoza, Spain

2013 – 2014

English Teacher, The Albion School, Gosport


Conference papers
November 2021: ‘What drives learner errors in written L2 production? Surface Overlap versus Derivational Complexity in the English genitive alternation’ (poster), Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium 2021, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

July 2021: ‘The English genitive alternation: A learner corpus study of L1 transfer and L2 proficiency effects’ (talk), Corpus Linguistics International Conference 2021 (CL2021), University of Limerick, Ireland.

July 2019: ‘An introduction to the Cambridge Learner Corpus’ (invited talk), Language Analysis to Enhance Language Teaching Workshop, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

May 2019:  ‘“Like she’d totally gone into like Sunderland mode like”: A corpus-based analysis of LIKE in Northeast and Southeast English’ (talk), XI Congreso Internacional de Lingüística de Corpus, Universitat de València, Spain.

April 2019: ‘A corpus-based analysis of the discourse marker LIKE in Northeast English and Southeast English’ (talk), 13th Newcastle Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

November 2018: ‘L2 English genitive choices of L1 Spanish speakers’ (poster), Cambridge Language Sciences Annual Symposium 2018, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

May 2018: ‘L2 English genitive choices of L1 Spanish speakers’ (poster), 2nd International Symposium on Bilingual and L2 Processing in Adults and Children, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany


Other activities and roles

Copy-editor and communications assistant, Languages, Society and Policy (LSP) journal