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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor Prue Holmes

Professor in the School of Education

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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.


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

  • Holmes, P. & Dervin, F. (2016). The cultural and intercultural dimensions of English as a lingua franca. Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education, 29. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Haydari, N. & Holmes, P. (2014). Case studies in intercultural dialogue. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Chapter in book

  • Lin, W., Shie, J. & Holmes, P. (2017). Enhancing intercultural communicative competence through online foreign language exchange: Taiwanese students’ experiences. In Centre for Applied English Studies, The University of Hong Kong. 4: 73-88.
  • Holmes, P. (2017). Intercultural communication in the global workplace, critical approaches. In The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication. Kim, Y.Y. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1-16.
  • Hua, Z., Holmes, P., Young, T. & Angouri, J. (2016). How to identify research questions. In Research methods in intercultural communication: a practical guide. Hua, Z. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 73-87.
  • Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J. & Attia, M. (2016). How to research multilingually: Possibilities and complexities. In Research methods in intercultural communication: a practical guide. Hua, Zhu Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell. 88-102.
  • Holmes, P. & Dervin, F. (2016). Introduction - English as a lingua franca and interculturality: Beyond orthodoxies. In The cultural and intercultural dimensions of English as a lingua franca. Holmes, P. & Dervin, F. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 1-32.
  • Holmes, P. (2016). Navigating languages and interculturality in the research process: The ethics and positionality of the researcher and the researched. In The critical turn in intercultural communication pedagogy: Theory, research and practice. Dasli, M. & Díaz, A.R. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 91-108.
  • Holmes, P. (2015). Intercultural encounters as socially constructed experiences; Which concepts? Which pedagogies? In Routledge companion to cross-cultural management. Holden, N., Michailova, S. & Tietze, S. New York: Routledge. 237-247.
  • Holmes, P. (2014). "Why did it all go so horribly wrong?": Intercultural conflict in an NGO in New Zealand. In Case studies in intercultural dialogue. Haydari, N. & Holmes, P. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt. 189-206.
  • Haydari, N. & Holmes, P. (2014). Contextualising 'Intercultural dialogue' and the 'case study'. In Case studies in intercultural dialogue. Haydari, N. & Holmes, P. Dubuque, IA: Kendall J Hunt.
  • Holmes, P. (2014). Researching Chinese Students' Intercultural communication Experiences in Higher Education: Researcher and Participant Reflexivity. In Reflexivity in Language and Intercultural Education: Rethinking Multilingualism and Interculturality. Clark, Julie S. Byrd & Dervin, Fred London: Routledge. 100-118.
  • Holmes, P. (2014). The (inter)cultural turn in foreign language teaching. In A Practical Guide to Teaching Foreign Languages in the Secondary School. Pachler, N. & Redondo, A. Abingdon: Routledge. 76-86.
  • Holmes, P. (2012). Business and management education. In The Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication. Jackson, J. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 464-480.
  • Holmes, P. & O'Neill, G. (2010). Autoethnography and Self-reflection: tools for self-assessing intercultural competence. In Becoming intercultural: Inside and outside the classroom. Tsau, J. & Houghton S. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. 167-193.

Journal Article

  • Holmes, P., Bavieri, L., Ganassin, S. & Murphy, J. (2016). Interculturality and the study abroad experience: students’ learning from the IEREST materials. Language and Intercultural Communication 16(3): 452-469.
  • Holmes, P. (2015). ‘The cultural stuff around how to talk to people’ immigrants' intercultural communication during a pre-employment work-placement. Language and Intercultural Communication 15(1): 109-124.
  • Holmes, P., Bavieri, L. & Ganassin, S. (2015). Developing intercultural understanding for study abroad: Students' and teachers' perspectives on pre-departure intercultural learning. Intercultural Education 26(1): 16-30.
  • Byram, M.S., Holmes, P.M. & Savvides, N. (2015). Guest editorial. The Language Learning Journal 43(2): 129-130.
  • Holmes, P. (2014). Intercultural dialogue: challenges to theory, practice and research. Language and Intercultural Communication 14(1): 1-6.
  • Byram, M., Holmes, P. & Savvides, N. (2013). Intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education: Questions of theory, practice and research. Guest editorial I. The Language Learning Journal 41(3): 251-253.
  • Ganassin, S. & Holmes, P. (2013). Multilingual Research practices in Community Research: The case of Migrant/Refugee Women in North East England. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 23(3): 342-356.
  • Holmes, P., Fay, R., Andrews, J. & Attia, M. (2013). Researching multilingually: New theoretical and methodological directions. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 23(3): 285-299.
  • Holmes, P. & O'Neill, G. (2012). Developing and evaluating intercultural competence: Ethnographies of intercultural encounters. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 36(5): 707-718.
  • Ganesh, S. & Holmes, P. (2011). Positioning intercultural dialogue—theories, pragmatics, and an agenda. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 4(2): 81-86.
  • Zaidman, N. & Holmes, P. (2009). Business communication as cultural text: Exchange and feedback of promotional video clips. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 33(6): 535-549.
  • Holmes, P. (2008). Foregrounding harmony: Chinese international students voices in communication with their New Zealand peers. China Media Research 4(4): 102-110.
  • Holmes, P. & Janson, A. (2008). Migrants' communication practices with ICTs: Tools for facilitating migration and adaptation? International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society 4(6): 51-62.
  • Cockburn-Wootten, C., Holmes, P. & Simpson, M. (2008). Teaching teamwork in business communication/management programs. Business Communication Quarterly 71(4): 417-420.
  • Holmes, P. (2004). Negotiating differences in learning and intercultural communication: Ethnic Chinese students in a New Zealand university. Business Communication Quarterly 67(3): 294-307.

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).

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

  • Young, Y.K. (2017). The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication, 3 Volume Set. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

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