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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Prof Prue Holmes

Professor in the School of Education

Contact Prof Prue Holmes (email at

Completed Supervisions

A qualitative exploration of how host Chinese staff make sense of their intercultural experiences in a Sino-foreign cooperative university

A case study of EFL education in a Chinese independent college: How does the College English curriculum meet learners’ expressed needs?

Applying an Intercultural Approach to Chinese College Language Teaching.

Fluid Cultures and Identifications: The Intercultural Communication Experiences of Saudi International Students in the UK

An ethnographic study of how Chinese students in a UK university understand and respond to emotions in their intercultural adjustment.

National identity (re)construction and negotiation and cosmopolitanism in the intercultural study-abroad context: Student sojourners from Taiwan in the UK

The perspectives of female Emirati pre-service teachers on the use of English as a medium of instruction: An ethnographic investigation.

Mandarin Chinese community schooling in England: Language, culture and pupils’ identities.

 Understanding Japanese students' intercultural learning before, during, and after studying abroad: Using reflective writing as a pedagogic tool.

Developing Intercultural Competence in English Language Teachers: Towards Building Intercultural Language Education in Colombia

Multilingual and intercultural communication in and beyond the UK asylum process: a linguistic ethnographic case study of legal advice-giving across cultural and linguistic borders

An exploration of students' experiences and interpretations of an internationalisation policy implemented in a Chinese university: A case study.

“It makes me feel like part of the world”: How children in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme understand international-mindedness.

A comparative study of English education in Japan: Fostering learners’ intercultural communicative competence, criticality and identity for intercultural citizenship.

The experiences of refugee creative writers: An intersectional feminist study. 


Prue Holmes is a Reader in International and Intercultural Education in the Department of Education and MA Programme Director. She teaches postgraduate modules in international and intercultural education and intercultural communication. Prue’s teaching experience includes intercultural communication at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and English as a Foreign Language and English language teacher education in Italy, China, and Hong Kong.

Currently, Prue leads an AHRC-funded “Researching Multilingually” project ( on building research design and practice in multilingual contexts, and another, funded by HEA/UKCISA on internationalisation and the student experience. Other current research includes intercultural dialogue; the intercultural dimensions of foreign language teaching, and of English as a lingua franca; and internationalisation. She has published extensively on intercultural encounters; communication and learning experiences of international and Chinese students; intercultural competence, immigrant communication experiences; intercultural education; and intercultural dialogue. She has received further research commissions from UNESCO (Paris), Education New Zealand, and the Ministry of Education (International), New Zealand.

Prue is Chairperson of the International Association of Languages and Intercultural Communication (IALIC). She hosted their biannual conference at Durham University in 2012.

Information for prospective doctoral research student supervisions

Prue supervises dissertations and theses in the areas of intercultural communication, intercultural competence, and intercultural education; the intercultural dimensions of foreign language education; intercultural citizenship; internationalisation; students’ learning and intercultural experiences; identity, and Chinese students’ adaptation/adjustment and intercultural experiences abroad. She would welcome applications from prospective doctorate students on the above topics.

Research Groups

School of Education

Research Projects

School of Education

Research Interests

  • Intercultural and International Education
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Language Learning and Teaching
  • Researching multilingually
  • Qualitative Research Methods/ Ethnography

Selected Publications

Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Holmes, P., Fay, R. & Andrews, J. (2017). Education and migration: languages foregrounded. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17 (4): Routledge.
  • Byram, M, Holmes, P & Savvides, N (2015). Special Issue “Intercultural competence II". Language Learning Journal, 43 (2).
  • Holmes, P, Dooly, M & O'Regan, J (2014). Special Issue “Intercultural Dialogue: Current challenges; future directions”. Language and Intercultural Communication, 14 (1).
  • Andrews, J, Holmes, P & Fay, R (2013). Special Issue “Researching Multilingually”. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23 (3).
  • Byram, M., Holmes, P. & Savvides, N. (2013). Teaching and Learning Intercultural communication in the Second/Foreign Language Classroom. The Language Learning Journal Special Issue I, 41 (3).
  • Ganesh, S & Holmes, P (2011). Special issue “Intercultural dialogue. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 4 (2).
  • Cockburn-Wootten, C, Holmes, P & Simpson, M (2008). Special Issue “Teaching teamwork in business communication/management programs". Business Communication Quarterly, 71 (4).

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

Show all publications


Selected Grants

  • 2019: RF230135: Building an intercultural pedagogy for higher education in conditions of conflict and protracted crises: Languages, identity, culture, AHRC, 2019
  • 2017: RICH-Ed: Resources for Interculturality in Chinese Higher Education (£58066.95 from Interreg (ERDF) Europe)
  • 2014: EUROMEC: European Identitiy, Culture, Exchanges and Multilingualism (£22849.43 from European Commission)
  • 2014: Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language: the Body, Law and the State (£343887.12 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
  • 2013: LLP-Travelling AHEAD (£41507.00 from European Commission)
  • 2012: Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers
  • 2012: Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers (£39769.29 from European Commission)
  • 2011: Researching Multilingually (£18395.34 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)