Nikki Swift

Director of Linguistics

School of Languages & Linguistics


T: 01904 876781

Portrait of tutor smiling, arms folded

BA (Leeds), MA (York), Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (York St John), SFHEA

I have been teaching linguistics at York St John since 2000.  Between 2007 and 2014 I was Head of Programme for the undergraduate BA English Language and Linguistics. I then spent two years as Head of Learning and Teaching in the Business School.  In September 2016 I returned to leading the Linguistics programmes in a new role, Director of Linguistics.  This involves overseeing curriculum development, quality assurance and the student experience in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Linguistics.  These programmes include the BA English Language and Linguistics, Joint Honours English Language, and our postgraduate programmes, MA  Language and Linguistics and MSc Clinical Language Science.  I teach articulatory and practical phonetics, phonetics and phonology, and child language acquisition.

I am a member of the School of Languages and Linguistics Leadership Team, a validation panel chair, and a member of the University Board of Examiners.

I have a particular interest in e-learning, most recently in e-marking and feedback using mobile technologies.  In 2010 I was awarded and University Senior Teaching Fellowship which involved carrying out a two year project investigating the application of mobile devices such as the iPad for marking and giving feedback to students online. 

Further Information


I teach on the undergraduate programme in English Language and Linguistics and the MA in English Language and Linguistics.  I specialise in Phonetics and Phonology; my interests in are in the phonetic/phonological interface, sociophonetics and child phonology.  I teach first year Phonetics (articulatory and practical phonetics), my second year courses include Phonetics and Phonology and Language Acquisition and I occasionally contribute to the Accents and Dialects module for third years.  I have also contributed to the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (Bahrain) in the areas of assessment and e-learning.

Professional Activities

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a mentor and assessor for members of staff seeking fellowship of the HEA through the University’s dialogic route.

Research & Publications


My PhD research looks at the phonological acquisition of children growing up in multi-dialectal environments.  I am particularly interested in how having parents who speak a different variety from the local dialect manifests itself in a child’s accent, and how this changes over time.

Conference Papers:

2012 Technology to support the transition from paper based to electronic modes of feedback and assessment. (With Mark Dransfield) e-Assessment Scotland, University of Dundee.

2006 Sound FX in Writing: Representing speech in online discourse. (With Dr. A Goddard) World Congress on the Power of Language.

2006 TH-fronting in Hull: Investigating the Inland Revenue! (With K Whisker & Dr. AJ Merrison)

Sociolinguistics Symposium 16.

2005 Getting a Voice: Perceptions of the use of technology in learning and teaching phonology. (With Dr. A. Goddard) ALT-C (Association of Learning Technology).


2007 Working With Texts. 3rd edn. London: Routledge

Co-Authors: R Carter, A Goddard, D Reah, K Sanger & N Swift Edited by Adrian Beard

2007  TH-fronting in Hull: Investigating the Inland Revenue. In York Papers in Linguistics. Co-Authors: K Whisker, AJ Merrison & N Swift

Cookie Settings