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Prof Prue Holmes

Professor, Director of Research

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Professor, Director of Research in the School of EducationCB2032 


Prue Holmes is Professor and Director of Research in the School of Education, and Chair of the AHRC Liaison Group at Durham University.

Prue has led two AHRC-funded projects (“Researching Multilingually”, and “Building an Intercultural Pedagogy in Higher Education in Conditions of Conflict and Protracted Crises: Languages, Identity, Culture”, BIPHEC). She has also been co-investigator on several other multinational research projects (funded by UKRI, and the European Commission). She has also received research commissions from UNESCO (Paris), Education New Zealand, and the Ministry of Education (International), New Zealand.

Prue’s research and publications focus on several interrelated areas: researchers’ multilingual resources in the research process in multidisciplinary, multilingual, and multinational contexts; interculturality; intercultural competence; intercultural dialogue and critical intercultural pedagogies in higher education and in contexts of (forced) migration and conflict; internationalisation, including international and Chinese students’ learning and study-abroad experiences; and the doctoral experience.

Prue is Chairperson of the International Association of Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC), and a member of five editorial boards. She also leads the series “Researching Multilingually” published by Multilingual Matters.

Prior to coming to Durham in 2010, Prue taught in several universities internationally (New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, and Italy). She regularly receives invitations internationally to give keynotes and workshops in her research areas.

Completed Supervisions

A qualitative exploration of how host Chinese staff make sense of their intercultural experiences in a Sino-foreign cooperative university

A case study of EFL education in a Chinese independent college: How does the College English curriculum meet learners’ expressed needs?

Applying an Intercultural Approach to Chinese College Language Teaching.

Fluid Cultures and Identifications: The Intercultural Communication Experiences of Saudi International Students in the UK

An ethnographic study of how Chinese students in a UK university understand and respond to emotions in their intercultural adjustment.

National identity (re)construction and negotiation and cosmopolitanism in the intercultural study-abroad context: Student sojourners from Taiwan in the UK

The perspectives of female Emirati pre-service teachers on the use of English as a medium of instruction: An ethnographic investigation.

Mandarin Chinese community schooling in England: Language, culture and pupils’ identities.

 Understanding Japanese students' intercultural learning before, during, and after studying abroad: Using reflective writing as a pedagogic tool.

Developing Intercultural Competence in English Language Teachers: Towards Building Intercultural Language Education in Colombia

Multilingual and intercultural communication in and beyond the UK asylum process: a linguistic ethnographic case study of legal advice-giving across cultural and linguistic borders

An exploration of students' experiences and interpretations of an internationalisation policy implemented in a Chinese university: A case study.

“It makes me feel like part of the world”: How children in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme understand international-mindedness.

A comparative study of English education in Japan: Fostering learners’ intercultural communicative competence, criticality and identity for intercultural citizenship.

The experiences of refugee creative writers: An intersectional feminist study. 

How to integrate intercultural communication in Chinese language teaching: An interpretive study of the perspectives and experiences of teachers in Confucius Institutes in the United Kingdom.

Investigating the use of literary texts in a pedagogy to teach intercultural communicative competence in an EFL Master’s course in Algeria.

Experiencing multilingual identities and interculturality through learning and socialising in languages: The ecologies of two “language cafés”. 

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Prue supervises dissertations and theses in the areas of language and intercultural communication, and intercultural education; intercultural citizenship; and internationalisation. Recently, her research has investigated critical intercultural pedagogy, intercultural dialogue, and the creative arts in contexts of forced migration and conflict. She welcomes applications from prospective doctoral students on any of the above topics.

Research interests

  • Intercultural and International Education
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Language Learning and Teaching
  • Researching multilingually
  • Qualitative Research Methods/ Ethnography

Research Projects


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Holmes, P., Reynolds, J. & Ganassin, S. (2022). The politics of researching multilingually. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Holmes, P. & Dervin, F. (2016). The cultural and intercultural dimensions of English as a lingua franca. Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education, 29. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Haydari, N. & Holmes, P. (2014). Case studies in intercultural dialogue. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Edited Journal

  • Holmes, P., Fay, R. & Andrews, J. (2017). Education and migration: languages foregrounded. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17 (4): Routledge.
  • Byram, M, Holmes, P & Savvides, N (2015). Special Issue “Intercultural competence II". Language Learning Journal, 43 (2).
  • Holmes, P, Dooly, M & O'Regan, J (2014). Special Issue “Intercultural Dialogue: Current challenges; future directions”. Language and Intercultural Communication, 14 (1).
  • Andrews, J, Holmes, P & Fay, R (2013). Special Issue “Researching Multilingually”. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23 (3).
  • Byram, M., Holmes, P. & Savvides, N. (2013). Teaching and Learning Intercultural communication in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom. The Language Learning Journal Special Issue I, 41 (3).
  • Ganesh, S & Holmes, P (2011). Special issue “Intercultural dialogue. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 4 (2).
  • Cockburn-Wootten, C, Holmes, P & Simpson, M (2008). Special Issue “Teaching teamwork in business communication/management programs". Business Communication Quarterly, 71 (4).

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets and Databases

  • Young, Y.K. (2017). The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, 3 Volume Set. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

Journal Article

Supervision students