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Dr Michelle Aldridge-Waddon BA, PhD (Wales)

Dr Michelle Aldridge-Waddon

BA, PhD (Wales)

Deputy Head of School and Head of Subject

School of English, Communication and Philosophy

+44 (0)29 2087 9017
3.35, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Available for postgraduate supervision


 I am currently Deputy Head of School for the Cardiff School of English, Communcation and Philosphy, and Head of English Language with responsibility for School admissions, marketing and recruitment. My teaching and research areas relate to communication disorders, language development and vulnerable people in the justice system.

I co-chair the University Staff Disability Network and I am actively involved in University Equality, Diversity and Inclusion matters.

My research relates to three cross-college research networks: The Language and Cognition Research Network (LaCRe) and the  Cardiff network in Language and Law (CaLL) and the Cardiff Health and Social Care Improvement Research Network (Choir).  I am also an Academic Fellow of Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute.  

I am on the editorial board of VIAL: International Journal of Applied Linguistics.


Prior to my current role, I held the position of Senior Lecturer in the Linguistics Department at the University of Wales, Bangor (now Bangor University). 


















I teach modules in Child Language Acquisition, Communication Disorders, Forensic Linguistics and Language and Mind to undergraduate students and Forensic Linguistics at MA level.

As a member of the Centre for Language and Communication Research (CLCR), my main research interest lies in the communication abilities of vulnerable people which began with my important book (Aldridge & Wood 1998, translated into Japanese in 2004). 

In addition to my work within the area of the communication of vulnerable people, I also conduct research in two additional areas – multimodality and keystroke logging. 

I also work collaboratively, together with my colleague Dr Lisa El Refaie, with local organisations such as Mirus, People First and Innovate Trust (charities supporting independent living), which contributes to the development of a non-verbal communication system through visual aids for people with a learning disability in local sheltered accommodation. Our website allows interested parties to access our communicative tools for free. This work was funded by the ESRC impact accelerator fund ('Developing collaborative visual recording techniques for use with adults with learning disabilities').

In addiiton, my work with a forensic psychologist at Cardiff prison has produced various easy-read versions of induction, daily living and health documents which are now being trialled in HMP Cardiff, Swansea and Usk prisons.  From my work with vulnerable witnesses I run two annual training days on the advanced police investigative interview training courses (children and vulnerable adults) with the South Wales and Bristol and Avon Police forces.

My research within the Health Discourse Project (Care in Organisational Discourse) with CLCR colleagues and Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is leading to nurse training days in best practice in organisational discourse. This work was carried out initially through funding by the ESRC project 'Managing roles and goals in nursing handover'.

My work in keystroke logging with my colleague Dr Lise Fontaine is currently being employed in a project to help undergraduate students develop their writing skills. We recently completed an ESRC-funded impact project with colleagues from Bangor University and Umeå University on 'Addressing the literacy needs of bilinguals learning to read and write in languages with transparent orthographies' (Prof. Enlli Thomas, PI).     

I have also worked as an Advisor for the JUSTICE Scotland Working Party on Legal Advice and Waiver, providing advice on matters of comprehensibility for vulnerable offenders.

As an active research mentor, I have hosted the following two post-doc researchers: 

  • Examining concepts for understanding civil servants’ perception of the police’ (Daniella Watson, British Academy)
  • 'Communicating Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR): examining tensions in discursive practice' (Katy Brickley, ESRC)

Together with my colleague Dr Lise Fontaine, I will be supervising Leanne Bartley, a Marie Curie Global Fellow (2021) on her project related to 'Revisiting the transitivity system: Sexual abuse in courtroom discourse from a critical perspective'. 


Postgraduate Students

I am interested in supervising PhD students in all areas related to child language acquisition, communication disorders, forensic linguistics and electronic language production.

If you are interested in coming to Cardiff to explore one (or more) of these topics, please contact me to discuss the opportunities offered at Cardiff University in terms of MA studies, PhD research or collaboration.

Current supervision

Manal Alharbi

Research student

Tina Pereria

Tina Pereira

Research student


Kate Steel

Research student

Past projects

Giulia Baker (ESRC funded).‘Do you get it?’ An investigation into the different types of ambiguity children (aged 6-11) are able to comprehend in verbal riddles

External profiles