Dr Mohammed Ateek

Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Language Education

School/Department: Education, School of



I am a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and Language Education at the School of Education. I came to the UK in 2013 to do my PhD in Applied Linguistics and TESOL after fleeing the war in Syria. As a refugee academic and social justice activist, my research focuses on language and migration, language and identity, linguistic issues affecting refugees and migrants, minority language education and others (please see research tab for more details). I have been invited as a keynote speaker and a guest to national and international events to talk about my research.

Prior to joining the University of Leicester, I worked as a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Birkbeck, University of London, and as a Teaching Fellow in English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading. I also taught EFL/EAP in different countries in the Middle East and also in the UK. Previously, I worked as a TV journalist and was involved in making different investigatory reports on international contemporary stories as well as researching emerging news stories. 



My main areas of interest are language and migration, migrant ESOL provision and challenges, migrant family language policy, multilingualism, refugee language education and Language Analysis for Determination of Origin (LADO). I am is particularly interested in exploring the role of language in refugee/migrant education/integration and how it facilitates social cohesion in hostile environments.

My most recent research projects focused on multilingualism and identity construction on social media.  In addition, I worked with the British Council as a Research Consultant to look at how language enhances the resilience of refugees in the neighbouring countries of Syria Language for Resilience


  • Ateek, M. (In Press)I don’t like them to know I’m Syrian’: Family language policy amongst Syrian refugees in Turkey. International Journal of Multilingualism.

  • Ateek, M. (In Press). Participatory translanguaging as a pedagogy for language learners in challenging circumstances: a drive to social justice. European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL.

  • Müezzin, A.D., Jesry, M., Ateek, M., Heron, M., Abdullah, A., & Ajam, S. (2023). The Effectiveness of Online Learning and Teaching of Arabic as a Foreign Language in Turkish Universities. Istanbul University darulfunun ilahiyat, 0(0), DOI :10.26650/di.2023.34.1.1190007

  • Ateek, M. (2022). Refugee foreign language learning: Trauma and the use of translanguaging space as a vehicle for psycho-social support. European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL, 11(2), 21-41.

  • McEntee-Atalianis, L., Ateek, M, & Gardner, P. (2022) Multilingual Repertoires and Identity in Social Media: Refugees on Facebook. International Journal of Bilingualism.

  • Capstick, T., & Ateek, M. (2021). Translanguaging spaces as safe space for psycho-social support in refugee settings in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-16.

  • Ateek, M. (2021). Review of Cooke & Peutrell (2019): Brokering Britain, educating citizens: Exploring ESOL and citizenship. Language Problems and Language Planning.

  • Ateek, M (2021) Extensive reading in an EFL classroom: impact and learners’ perceptions. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics 7 (1), pp. 109-131. ISSN 2149-1135.

  • Ateek, M., & Rasinger, S. (2018). Syrian or non-Syrian? Reflections on the Use of LADO in the UK. In I. Nick, (ed.). Forensic Linguistics: Asylum-seekers, Refugees and Immigrants. Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press. pp. 75-93.

  • Ateek, M. (2017). The impact and effectiveness of extensive reading in a Jordanian EFL classroom (Doctoral dissertation, Anglia Ruskin University).

Other publications:

Ateek, M. 2019. Language learning and social cohesion. British Council. Language for Resilience. Available at:

Ateek, M (2019). Language learning and social cohesion in a multicultural classroom with vulnerable learners. Teaching English. Available at:


I am interested in supervising doctoral research in the following areas:

Research areas
Language and migration

Potential topics/projects
Multilingual interactions in society and in the classroom
Adult migrant ESOL provision
Translanguaging in educational and non-educational settings
Language analysis and determination of origin
Refugee language education
Migrants' family language policy
Linguistic issues affecting migrants and refugees
Language and identities on social media
Language and social cohesion/justice



I teach sessions on different modules:


Research Methods for the Dissertation and Professional Enquiry Dissertation

Language in Society

Second Language Teaching



Member of British Association for Applied Linguistics 



2022 (Keynote Speaker) Ateek, M. Cambridge Seminars and BAAL. Researching Vulnerable Multilinguals (10 June 2022, University of West London). Cambridge Seminars and BAAL Multilingual Sig

2021 (Keynote speaker) Ateek, M. BAAL Multilingualism SIG (June 16 2021, Newcastle University) “Language learning and refugees: issues in language teaching in displacement.”

2021 Ateek, M. 4th International Conference on the Sociolinguistics of Immigration (27-28 May 2021, University of Turin) “Research Methods in Language and Migration.”

2019 (Keynote speaker) Ateek, M. Arabic LADO in the UK Asylum System: Does It Work? (2 Oct 2019, The Aga Khan University) “LADO: Asylum Seekers’ Voices”.

2018 Ateek, M. Pro Language (20-21 Sep 2018, University of Reading) “Language learning and social cohesion in a multicultural classroom with vulnerable learners”

2018 Ateek, M., Gardner-Chloros, P. & McEntee-Atalianis, L. Migration and Language Learning: Histories, Approaches and Policies (23-24 Feb 2018, University of Leeds). “Translanguaging social media and identity: A study of migrant Facebook posts.”

2016 Ateek, M. UKLA 52nd International Conference on literacy, equality and diversity (8 -10 July 2016, Bristol). “Learner Autonomy and its Challenges in the Jordanian Classroom.”

2015 Ateek, M. Saarbrücken University: Third Saarbrücken Conference on Foreign Language Teaching (29-31 Oct 2015, Germany). “The Power of Extensive Reading in the EFL Classroom.”


Media coverage

I was interviewed by the Guardian about my research on Language Analysis for Determination of Origin:



PhD in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Anglia Ruskin University

MA in TESOL, University of Aleppo

BA in English Language and Literature, University of Aleppo
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