Paul Tench


Retired Senior Lecturer; former Head of the Applied English Language Studies section of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy (1992-4). Now, the Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University.

He was first appointed to the staff in 1967 in what was then the Department of English, UWIST, with teaching responsibilities in the theory and practice of language teaching, applied linguistics, phonology and practical phonetics. During the 1970s, he also taught English as a Second Language for University College Cardiff, phonetics and linguistics in the School of Speech Therapy at Llandaff Technical College (now part of the University of South Wales), and phonetics at the Seminar für Sprachmethodik, the German branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL).

In 1979, with a two-year leave of absence, he took up the post of Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern European Languages at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, with teaching responsibilities in English speech, applied linguistics, and the University-wide Use of English course delivered to all 1000 first year students. He also helped to design the University’s first MA programme in linguistics.

Upon his return to Cardiff in 1981, he took over the main responsibility for the teaching of English phonetics at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels, but also maintained his involvement in language teaching and applied linguistics. This combination is reflected in his first major publication: Pronunciation Skills (Macmillan, 1981), but his research interests focused mainly on intonation. This led to the award of PhD in 1988; his thesis was published in 1990: The Roles of Intonation in English Discourse, and another book followed: The Intonation Systems of English (Cassell, 1996). In the meantime, other publications appeared including: Studies in Systemic Phonology (Pinter, 1992), The Phonetic Transcription of Disordered Speech (with Martin Ball and Joan Rahilly, Singular Press, USA, 1996), and, later, Transcribing the Sound of English (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

A number of articles, book chapters, posters and reviews have appeared over the years; see the publications list. These reflect his main research interests: studies in intonation and pronunciation in general, phonological interlanguage, orthographical awareness and linguistics applied to English language teaching. A recent new dimension in his research is the application of phonology to the creation of new orthographies for unwritten languages in Africa.

He has also been an examiner for the International Phonetic Association.

He retired in 2007, but retained an involvement with Cardiff University as an Associate Researcher, supervising two doctoral research projects, developing a systemic-functional perspective on word phonology, overseeing the publication of Transcribing the Sound of English, and working on orthographies for minority languages in Nigeria and Zambia.

He was honoured to be the plenary speaker at the 60th anniversary celebrations of the School of Modern Languages at Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, in 2018.

He is married to Charlotte (1967), with four children and five grandchildren. He is an elder in Heath Evangelical Church, Cardiff.

Contact at Cardiff University:
Centre for Language and Communication Research (CLCR)
School of English, Communication and Philosophy (ENCAP)
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff CF10 3EU
Wales, UK

Tel: 029 2087 4243 (Carol Rees, Secretary)