Dr. Michael Thomas

Dr. Michael Thomas

Reader and Associate Professor

School of Language and Global Studies

Adelphi Building, AB119

+44 (0) 1772 89 3148

Subject Areas: Languages and International Studies

Dr Michael Thomas BA (Hons) M.Ed. MBA Ph.D. Ph.D. FHEA FRSA is a Reader and Associate Professor in Digital Education and Learning in the School of Language and Global Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He has taught at universities in the UK, Germany and Japan since 1994 and holds two PhDs, one from Newcastle University in Critical and Cultural Theory and a second from Lancaster University in Applied Linguistics and Technology Enhanced Learning. He has authored or edited 33 books and special editions of peer reviewed journals.

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He is the lead and founding editor of two world-leading book series, Digital Education and Learning (Palgrave Macmillan US) and Advances in Digital Language Learning and Teaching (Bloomsbury Academic). Among his 33 books and special editions are: E-Research in Educational Contexts: The Roles of Technologies, Ethics and Social Media (2017). Contemporary Task-based Language Learning and Teaching in Asia (2014), Contemporary Computer-Assisted Language Learning (2012) (with Mark Warschauer), Handbook of Research on Web 2.0 and Second Language Learning (2008), Task-Based Language Learning & Teaching with Technology (with Hayo Reinders) (2010), Interactive Whiteboards for Education: Theory, Research and Practice (2010), Digital Education: Opportunities for Social Collaboration (2011), Deconstructing Digital Natives: Young People, Technology and the New Literacies (2011) and Online Learning: IV Volume Major Work (2011). He is Co-editor of the International Journal of Computer Assisted Language Learning and Teaching, General Editor of the Journal of Second Language Teaching & Research, and has guest edited peer reviewed special editions on learning and technology for leading journals such as the CALICO Journal, the CALL Journal, the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology and the International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching.

He has organized thirty-seven national and international conferences on digital education in the UK, Germany and Japan. He is a member of a number of leading editorial boards including the Journal of Research in Learning Technology (ALT-C) and an advisory member for the Laureate-Cambridge University Press Virtual Institute for Research (VIROLL). Dr Thomas is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

He is founding Course Leader of the fully online MA in TESOL with Applied Linguistics by distance learning, which he has grown to be the largest taught masters in his School. He has taught undergraduate, postgraduate and research students at universities around the world, in the UK, Germany and Japan. His research interests are in online and distance learning, with specific interests in learner collaboration using computer-mediated communication; digital discourse analysis; multimodal and digital research methods; and higher education policy in the age of neoliberalism. Having completed two PhDs himself, he is an experienced supervisor and currently supervises PhDs on mobile-assisted learning, task-based learning, social networking in education, curriculum development and organisational change, sociolinguistics and identity, vocabulary acquisition, and social media and professional development.



Thomas, Michael, Reinders, Halo and Gelan, Anouk (2017) Social learning analytics in online language learning: Challenges and future directions. In: Faces of English language education: Teachers, learners and pedagogy. Routledge, London and New York. ISBN 9781138201590.

Thomas, Michael (2017) Project-based language learning with technology: Learner collaboration in an EFL classroom in Japan. Routledge Studies in Applied Linguistics . Routledge, London & New York. ISBN 978-0415788281.

Thomas, Michael and Schneider, Christel (2017) Language Learning with Machinima: Video Production in 3D Immersive Environments. In: Teaching English reflectively with technology. IATEFL, Canterbury, UK.

Gasmi, Afef and Thomas, Michael (2016) Academic writing in the flipped EFL classroom: A case study on student engagement in Oman. In: Flipped Instruction Methods and Digital Technologies in the Language Learning Classroom. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA, pp. 232-251.

Thomas, Michael (2015) Introduction to Contemporary Task-Based Language Teaching in Asia. Contemporary Linguistics Series . Bloomsbury, London and New York.

Dixon, Edward and Thomas, Michael (2015) Researching Language Learner Interactions Online: From Social Media to MOOCs. CALICO Monograph Series, 13 . CALICO, Texas.

Thomas, Michael (2015) Researching Machinima in Project-Based Language Learning: Learner-Generated Content in the CAMELOT Project. In: Researching Language Learner Interactions Online: From Social Media to MOOCs. Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium series, 13 (13). CALICO, Texas, pp. 129-147.


Higher education policy; neoliberalism in education; applied linguistics; digital education and learning; online learning.


  • GUINEVERE (2017-2019): Games Used IN Engaging Virtual Environments for Real-time language Education (EU Erasmus+).
  • VITAL (2015-2017): Visualisation Tools and Analytics to Monitor Online Language Learning & Teaching (EU KA2 Strategic Partnership in Higher Education).
  • CAMELOT (2015-2017): Creating Machinima Enhances Online Language Learning and Teaching (EU KA2 ICT / Lifelong Learning Programme).

Research Groups

  • Unit 28 of Assessment, MFL and Linguistics
  • Language, Literacy and Digital Education
  • Worldwise Centre

Membership of professional and learned bodies

  • Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
  • British Association of Educational Research (BERA)
  • British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • The Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Teaching Activities and Responsibilities

  • MA and PhD thesis supervision
  • Lead, Research Degrees Tutor
  • Lead, REF Unit of Assessment 28 MFL and Linguistics
  • Research Methods on the MA TESOL with Applied Linguistics
  • Course Leader, MA TESOL with Applied Linguistics (distance learning)



1. Thomas, M. (2017). Keynote. Mobile technologies and intercultural learning, 7th June, Challenges in Intercultural and Mobile Learning, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.

2. Thomas, M. (2017). Keynote. The use of technologies in foreign language learning, 19th May, Conference on Educating for Change, University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain.

3. Thomas, M. (2015). Keynote. Technology-mediated Task-Based Learning with Machinima. Language and Technology Conference, Luneburg University, Germany, 20-21 November.

4. Thomas, M., & Scholler-Schai, D. (2014b). Keynote Panel. Why E-Learning Fails? NCeL 12th Seminar on E-Learning Practices. 1-2 April. Al Jouf University, Saudi Arabia.

5. Thomas, M. (2014a). Keynote. E-Learning Futures. NCeL 12th Seminar on E-Learning Practices: Factors for Successful Performance. 1-2 April. Al Jouf University, Saudi Arabia.

6. Thomas, M. (2013). Keynote. The Discourse of Massive Open Online Courses. 5th International Roundtable on Discourse Analysis. City University of Hong Kong. May 23-25.

7. Thomas, M. (2012). Keynote. Tasks and Technology. TBLT in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities, Osaka Shoin University, Osaka, Japan. 19-20 May.

8. Thomas, M. (2011b). Keynote. Tasks, Technology and Blended Language Learning. Symposium on Re-conceptualising the Language Classroom. University of Pennsylvania, USA. 10 December.

9. Thomas, M. (2011a). Invited Plenary Presentation. English Testing Service (ETS) English Language Learning (ELL) Research Colloquium on Next Generation Assessments. Texas, USA. 14-15 September.

10. Thomas, M. (2010). Keynote. Web 2.0 Tools, Digital Natives and Personal Learning Environments. 2010 Asian EFL Journal International Conference. Providence University, Taiwan, 23-25 April.


1. Thomas, M. (2017). “Using learning analytics to inform the process of formative feedback”, 3-5 July, 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain.

2. Thomas, M. (2016b). “The Culture and Cultural Impact of Machinima”, 25 June, International Machinima Convention, De Montford University, Leicester, UK.

3.  Thomas, M. (2016a). “Learning Analytics in Online Language Learning: Challenges and Future Directions”, 4-6 July, EDULEARN16, Barcelona, Spain.

4. Thomas, M. (2015g). “The CAMELOT Project and learner creativity”. International Academic Conference on Teaching, Learning and E-Learning, 13-14 November, Vienna, Austria.

5. Thomas, M. (2015f). “The CAMELOT Project: Language Learning with Machinima in Virtual Worlds”. Language. Learning. Technology, 20-21 November, Luneburg, Germany.

6. Thomas, M. (2015e). “Tasks, Technologies and Machinima: The EU-Funded CAMELOT Project”. 27 October. SLA Education Research Group, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University, UK.

7. Schneider, C., & Thomas, M. (2015d). “CAMELOT - CreAting Machinima to Empower Live Online Language Teaching and Learning”, European Distance Education Network, 9-12 June, Barcelona, Spain.

8. Thomas, M. (2015c). “Evaluating the use of machinima in language learning: Findings from the CAMELOT Project”. 28 August. EuroCALL 2015. Padova, Italy.

9. Thomas, M. (2015b). “The CAMELOT Project: Language Learning in Virtual Worlds”. Learning and Teaching Conference, 5 June 2015, University of Central Lancashire, UK.

10. Thomas, M. (2015a). “Identity in Immersive Language Learning Environments: Findings from the CAMELOT Project”. AAL, Toronto, Canada. 21-24 March.

11. Thomas, M. (2014h). “The CAMELOT Project: Language Learning with Machinima in Virtual Worlds”. Language Media and Technology, 20-21 November, Brussels, Belgium.

12. Thomas, M. (2014g). “The CAMELOT Project: Language Learning with Machinima in Virtual Worlds”. OpenSim Community Conference, 8-9 November.

13. Philp, H., Can, T., & Thomas, M. (2014f). “Language Learning with Machinima”. Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education: Connections (VWBPE), 9-12 April.

14. Thomas, M. (2014e). “Language Learning with Machinima”. 21st Annual Association of Learning Technologies (ALT-C) Conference, University of Warwick, UK. 1-3 September.

15. Thomas, M. (2014fd). “The CAMELOT Project”. European Distance Education Conference (EDEN) 2014, EU Project Synergy Strand, Croatia, 20-23 August.

16. Thomas, M., & Philp, H. (2014c). “The CAMELOT Project: An Overview”. SLanguages 2014, EduNation, 28 February.

17. Thomas, M. (2014b). “Business Discourse in Corporate”. The 13th Asia Association for Business Discourse Asia-Pacific Conference. Shanghai University of IBE, China. 27-29 March.

18. Thomas, M. (2014a). “Machinima and Learner-generated Content in 3D Immersive Environments: A Case Study of the EU CAMELOT Project”. INTED2014. Valencia, Spain, 10-12 March.

19. Thomas, M. (2013b). “Augmenting Reality in the Language Classroom”. JALT CALL Annual Conference, Shinshu University, Japan, 30 May-2 June.

18. Thomas, M. (2013a). “Augmented Reality in Education: A Case Study”. Annual E-Learning in Languages Conference, University of Southampton, 24-25 January.


External Activities

  1. Invited Member, International Advisory Committee. Virtual Institute for Research into Online Language Learning. Cambridge University Press, UK.
  2. Co-editor, International Journal of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and Teaching (IJCALT). 2017 – current.
  3. Publications Officer, World Association of Online Education (WAOE).
  4. Reviewer, International Journal of Educational Policy Research and Review.
  5. Reviewer, Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching.
  6. Reviewer, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/La Revue canadienne de l'apprentissage et de la technologie.
  7. Reviewer, Language, Media and Technology.
  8. Reviewer, The Linguistics Journal.
  9. Abstract Reviewer for American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL).
  10. Founding Editor and Member of the International Advisory Board. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments.
  11. Reviewer, Educational Researcher and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice.
  12. Book proposal reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan UK and US.     
  13. Reviewer, Language Learning Journal. Taylor & Francis.
  14. Reviewer, System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics.
  15. Reviewer, Language Resources and Evaluation.
  16. Book proposal reviewer, Routledge, UK and US. 2011-current.  
  17. Reviewer, Language Learning and Technology.
  18. Co-editor, UCLan Journal of Pedagogic Research.       
  19. Invited Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Teaching English with Technology.    
  20. Invited member of the Editorial Board, Journal of Pedagogic Research.
  21. Book proposal reviewer, Continuum and Bloomsbury
  22. General Editor, Journal of Second Language Teaching & Research (JSLT&R).
  23. Board of reviewers, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET).
  24. Invited member of the Editorial Board, Research in Learning Technology Association of Learning Technology Journal (ALT-J).
  25. Reviewer, Association of Learning Technology Journal (ALT-J).
  26. Reviewer, Language Teaching Research.
  27. Editorial Board, International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society.
  28. Book Reviews Panel, British Journal of Educational Technology.
  29. Advisor, The Asian Editorial Index, Category of Business English.
  30. Journal Academic Editor, The Asian English for Special Purposes Journal.
  31. Editorial Group, Asian Journal of English as a Foreign Language.