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School of Education

Dr Nicholas Bremner

Dr Nicholas Bremner

Lecturer in Language Education


 +44 (0) 1392 724790

 Baring Court BC108


Baring Court, University of Exeter St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


I am Lecturer in Language Education and Programme Director for the MEd TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

I am originally from Newcastle in the North-East of England, but have subsequently lived in Mexico and Colombia. Before moving to the University of Exeter, I led the MA TESOL programme at Bath Spa University, and I have also worked on the MA TESOL at the University of Southampton.

I find it extremely rewarding to work with English language teachers and to help them grow, both professionally and personally. I am very fortunate to have the chance to work with a wide range of teachers from different backgrounds, who enrich my understanding of how English is taught around the world. I have particular experience teaching students from China, but I have also worked with students from many other countries, such as the UK, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

My research focuses on the implementation of new teaching approaches, and in particular the introduction of more 'learner-centred' approaches to language learning. As an MEd student at the University of Exeter, you'll be part of an ongoing exploration into the challenges of teaching learners. You'll be invited to critically reflect about how different teaching and learning approaches might be implemented in your own classrooms.

I'm a dedicated teacher who is passionate about the TESOL field. I'm an approachable person who places a great deal of emphasis on the human side of teaching. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly at


  • PhD in Education - University of Leeds
  • MA Applied Translation Studies - University of Leeds
  • BA Spanish - University of Leeds
  • Cambridge Diploma in English Language Teaching (DELTA) - British Study Centres, Oxford
  • PGCHE (Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education) - Bath Spa University
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • DELE Spanish Level Certification - C2 Level

Research group links

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Research interests

I’m interested in research which might help us address some of the challenges of teaching English around the world, especially in low- to middle-income countries.

My research looks at both:

  • What might need to change (e.g. the introduction of new teaching approaches such as 'learner-centred' language learning), but arguably more importantly,
  • How educational changes might be implemented within diverse contexts.

This has led me to focus on topics such as:

  • Exploring the definition of 'learner-centred' education and its relationship with 'learning-centred' education
  • Developing more contextually appropriate (post-method) forms of language teacher education
  • Understanding the relationships between people’s beliefs and their practices
  • Experimenting with the life history / timeline methodology, both for research and as a form of teacher professional development.

I would be particularly interested in collaboration, and/or supervising doctoral students, in the following areas:

  • Educational change management, especially the implementation of new teaching approaches (communicative language teaching, learner-centred education, learning-centred education, flipped learning, etc.)
  • Students’ perceptions of different teaching approaches and ways of supporting learners during educational changes ('learner training')
  • Language teacher education (e.g. post-method teacher training, innovative forms of reflective practice)
  • Teacher beliefs and relationships to practices
  • Teacher emotions during educational changes
  • Critiques of the 'English for All' and/or 'younger = better' assumption.

Please feel free to email me at if you are interested in collaborating with me on a research project, or are thinking of studying for a PhD. I'm especially interested in hearing from you if you have research interests in Latin America.

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Bremner N (2017). Exploring the Lives of Five Mexican EFL Teachers Teachers' Beliefs about Student-centred Learning in Relation to Their Practices.

Journal articles

Bremner N (In Press). Teacher Education as an Enabler or Constraint of Learner-Centred Pedagogy Implementation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Teaching and Teacher Education Abstract.
Koutsouris G, Bremner N, Stentiford L (2023). Do we have to rethink inclusive pedagogies for secondary schools? a critical systematic review of the international literature. British Educational Research Journal
Morris TH, Bremner N, Sakata N (2023). Self-directed learning and student-centred learning: a conceptual comparison. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 1-20.
Sakata N, Bremner N, Cameron L (2022). A systematic review of the implementation of learner‐centred pedagogy in low‐ and middle‐income countries. Review of Education, 10(3).
Bremner N, Sakata N, Cameron L (2022). The outcomes of learner-centred pedagogy: a systematic review. International Journal of Educational Development, 94, 102649-102649.
Bremner N (2022). What is Learner-Centered Education? a Qualitative Study Exploring the Perspectives of English Language Teachers in Colombia. TESL - EJ, 25(4). Abstract.
Bremner N (2021). Learner-centredness. ELT Journal, 75(2), 213-215.
Bremner N (2021). The multiple meanings of ‘student-centred’ or ‘learner-centred’ education, and the case for a more flexible approach to defining it. Comparative Education, 57(2), 159-186. Abstract.
Bremner N (2021). What is learner-centered education? a quantitative study of English language teachers' perspectives. TESL-EJ, 25(2). Abstract.
Bremner N (2020). Time for Timelines: the Take-Home Timeline as a Tool for Exploring Complex Life Histories. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 19 Abstract.
Bremner N (2020). “Belief-changing” Teacher Education: Mexican English Teachers’ Experiences. Mextesol Journal, 44(1). Abstract.
Bremner N (2019). From learner-centred to learning-centred: Becoming a ‘hybrid’ practitioner. International Journal of Educational Research, 97, 53-64. Abstract.
Bremner N (2019). What Makes an Effective English Language Teacher? the Life Histories of 13 Mexican University Students. English Language Teaching, 13(1), 163-163. Abstract.
Bremner N (2015). Reculturing teachers as just the tip of the iceberg: Ongoing challenges for the implementation of student-centred EFL learning in Mexico. Mextesol Journal, 39, 1-14. Abstract.


Bremner N (2021). Academic writing in English: What’s worked?. Escritura Académica en Inglés: Retos y Soluciones Estratégicas.
Bremner N (2021). Implementing ‘student-centred’ EFL learning – is it possible?. Foro para la Defensa de Tesis y Protocolos.
Bremner N (2020). Experiencias pedagógicas internacionales ante el COVID-19. Jornadas Pedagógicas 2020.
Bremner N (2020). The multiple meanings of learner-centred education. Educación e innovación: las acciones de hoy transcienden a la normalidad de mañana.
Bremner N (2020). The multiple meanings of ‘student-centred education’. Conferencia Magistral.
Bremner N (2019). Timelines: a tool for teacher professional development. 2nd Kracow Language Teaching Staff Training Week.
Bremner N (2016). Implementing ‘student-centred’ EFL learning – is it possible?. 16th Teachers’ Moot.
Bremner N (2015). Student-centred EFL learning. 15th Teachers’ Moot.
Bremner N (2014). El aprendizaje del inglés como lengua extranjera en México: Limitantes de una exitosa implementación del Aprendizaje Centrado en el Alumno. IX Foro de Investigación Nacional e Internacional.
Bremner N (2011). Learning teaching or teaching learning? How to make your students better learners. MEXTESOL 2nd Regional Conference.
Bremner N (2010). The inductive approach: rejigging PPP. MEXTESOL 1st Regional Conference.

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External Engagement and Impact

Editorial responsibilities

Co-Editor of The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language (TESL-EJ)

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Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Fatima Al Zadjali
  • Ohud Alderaan
  • Rasha Aloufi
  • Mingyan Gao
  • Mustafa Kileci
  • Zhiyuan Ma
  • Wesal Maash
  • Silvia Mustaklem
  • Amna F Hassan Salem
  • Rui Shu
  • Nelressa Stallings
  • Elsa Urmston

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