Personal details

I started my career teaching English as a foreign language in schools, colleges and universities in East Asia and the United Kingdom. I have lived and worked in Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan for extended periods. Over the years my professional interests have cycled through various roles, such as teacher trainer, assessor, and materials developer. I am currently a senior associate professor in the Center for Language Research at the University of Aizu.

I am primarily interested in research communications, e.g. theses, articles and abstracts. Academic and scientific writing is a skill that draws upon a range of literacies, e.g. critical, logical and statistic; and requires mastery of range of language features, e.g. coherence and cohesion.

I use corpus linguistics and discourse analysis to develop research-based materials to deliver learner-centered EAP or ESP classes that are enjoyable, challenging and relevant. I am an avid grammarian, and enjoy discussing any aspect of any grammar from anaphora to zeugma.


Degrees, diplomas and professional qualifications

  • PhD Applied linguistics (ABD, in progress)
  • MSc Computer science
  • MEd Applied linguistics
  • MBA with specialization in financial management
  • BA(Hons) Combined studies
  • AdvDipEd Advanced Diploma in Education (Language and literacy)
  • DipMan Diploma in Management
  • MBCS Professional member of the British Computer Society
  • RSA Dip RSA Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (now called DELTA)
  • RSA Cert RSA Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (now called CELTA)
  • Cambridge CELTA Lead tutor

Linguistic-related interests

  • Research themes: scientific and academic writing, educational technology
  • Branches of linguistics: corpus, computational, applied and forensic
  • Languages: Japanese, Chinese (Cantonese/Hakka), Thai

Favourite sayings

  • "Outwork everyone."
  • "Grit, tenacity and perseverance outweigh talent"
  • "Aggregate marginal gains" Dave Brailsford, British Olympic Cycling Team manager
  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Will Durant
  • "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." Gandhi
  • "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill
  • "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." Friedrich Nietzsche
  • "People first, then money, then things." Suze Orman
  • "Ready for anything [Utrinque paratus]." motto of the Parachute regiment
  • "Stay strong." David Goggins
  • "Be polite, be professional but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." General James (Mad Dog) Mattis (former US Secretary of Defense)
  • "Always carry a knife with you. Just in case there's cheesecake or you need to stab someone in the throat." General James (Mad Dog) Mattis (former US Secretary of Defense)

Non-linguistic-related interests

  • Outdoor pursuits: mountaineering, winter and ultralight camping
  • Martial arts: arnis (escrima, kali), Thai boxing and judo
  • Brain-focussed: chess, crosswords and ciphers

Multiple intelligences

According to Gardener's theory of multiple intellgences, intelligence can be thought of as modalities. Each person has a different balance of intelligences. As can be seen below, I have to work hard to deal with music and people.

multiple intelligences

Contact details

  • Office: Research quadrangles #265
  • Office hours: By appointment
  • Email: jblake (followed by @ and u-aizu.ac and the country domain .jp)
  • Postal address (en): Center for Language Research, University of Aizu, Aizu-wakamatsu, 965 8580. Japan
  • Postal address (jp): 〒965-8580 福島県会津若松市一箕町鶴賀 会津大学語学研究センター
  • Telephone: not my preferred choice of communication

Recent reviewing work

I am an ad hoc reviewer for the following journals: