Kate Steel

Research student, School of English, Communication and Philosophy

I’m a PhD student at the Centre for Language and Communication Research, working on legal-lay communication in domestic abuse policing. My thesis centres on police-victim interactions at the scene during first response call-outs in England and Wales. The study draws from a relatively new policing technology, body-worn video.

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BA Honours in English in 2007 and an MA with distinction in Linguistics in 2008. After a hiatus from academia, during which I worked abroad in a variety of countries and industries, I graduated from Aston University in 2017 with an MSc with distinction in Forensic Linguistics.

Research interests

My research interests converge on interactions in institutional contexts, with a broad focus on pragmatics, power and gender. I’m particularly interested in legal-lay communication in various settings, including investigative interviews, emergency calls and criminal trials. My current study of domestic abuse call-out interactions takes a conversation-analytic approach, informed by ethnographic research, to explore the interpersonal work done by both police and alleged victims at the scene.

My PhD research is funded by the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership.


I was a seminar Instructor in English and Applied Linguistics at De La Salle University Manila for two years, from 2010 to 2012. I taught English for the purpose of writing up research.

Michelle Aldridge

Dr Michelle Aldridge-Waddon

Deputy Head of School and Head of Subject

Areas of expertise

External profiles