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Linda Fisher


  • University Professor of Languages Education 
  • Fellow and Director of Studies for Education, Magdalene College

E-mail Address


01223 767637

Academic area 

Second Language Education

Cambridge Language Sciences Initiative


  • PhD University of Cambridge
  • MBA University of Leicester
  • PGCE Queen's University, Belfast
  • MA (Hons) University of St Andrews

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • Association for Language learning (ALL)
  • Cambridge Language Sciences
  • Cambridge Bilingual Network

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Linda Fisher is Professor of Languages Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Her current research interests are in multilingualism, multilingual identity, creativity in language learning, metaphor in relation to belief schemata, second language teacher education, motivation, and the academic and social integration of English as an Additional Language learners. Her main teaching responsibilities lie in Modern Languages PGCE, MPhil in Research in Second Language Education (RSLE), and PhD supervision for students working in the areas of multilingual identity, language learner and teacher beliefs, teacher education and motivation. She is involved in extensive work with secondary age language learners and their teachers. She is Co-Investigator and Education Strand Lead on the MEITS project (Multilingualism Empowering Individuals Transforming Societies), part of the Open World Research Initiative funded by an AHRC large-grant. This strand investigates participative identity construction in the language learning classroom. She is also Co-Investigator on a second OWRI AHRC large-grant project Creative Multilingualism, investigating creativity in the languages classroom. 

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Research Interests

  • Multilingualism
  • Multilingual identity
  • Metaphor in relation to belief formation and change
  • Creativity in language learning
  • Language learning motivation
  • Language teacher education
  • Sociocultural approaches in relation to the above
  • Policy in relation to the above

Recent research projects

  • Co-investigator and strand lead: MEITS Multilingualism Empowering Individuals Transforming Societies (MEITS)  (AHRC large grant). 

    Outreach: We Are Multilingual campaign and teaching materials

Research Students

Prospective students are encouraged to consider the research themes outlined above before making contact.

I am not currently offering any places for doctoral study starting in 2023.

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Course Involvement

  • PGCE Modern Languages
  • MPhil Researching Second Language Education (RSLE)
  • MEd Researching practice (RSLE)
  • PhD

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Ayres-Bennett, W., & Fisher, L. (Eds.). (2022). Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Cambridge Education Research). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108780469

Ayres-Bennett, W., & Fisher, L. (2022). Towards Interdisciplinarity in Multilingual Identity Research: Differing Perspectives and Common Ground. In W. Ayres-Bennett & L. Fisher (Eds.), Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Cambridge Education Research, pp. 1-18). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108780469.001

Hedman, C., & Fisher, L. (2022). Multilingual Study Mentoring for Critical Multilingual Language Awareness among migrant adolescents: scenarios of possibility. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

Hedman, C., & Fisher, L. (2022). Critical multilingual language awareness among migrant students: cultivating curiosity and a linguistics of participation. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education.

Gayton, A., & Fisher, L. (2022). Multilingual Identity Construction through Participative Reflective Practice in the Languages Classroom. In W. Ayres-Bennett & L. Fisher (Eds.), Multilingualism and Identity: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Cambridge Education Research, pp. 299-320). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108780469.015

Fisher, L., Evans, M., Forbes, K., Gayton, A., Liu, Y. & Rutgers, D. (2022). Language experiences, evaluations and emotions (3Es): analysis of structural models of multilingual identity for language learners in schools in England. International Journal of Multilingualism. DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2022.2060235

Rutgers, D., Evans, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Gayton, A. & Liu, Y. (2021). Multilingualism, Multilingual Identity and Academic Attainment: Evidence from Secondary Schools in England. Journal of Language, Identity & Education. DOI: 10.1080/15348458.2021.1986397

Forbes, K., Evans, M., Fisher, L., Gayton, A., Liu, Y. & Rutgers, D. (2021). Developing a multilingual identity in the languages classroom: the influence of an identity-based pedagogical intervention. The Language Learning Journal. DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2021.1906733.

Wang, T. & Fisher, L. (2021). Using a dynamic Motivational Self System to investigate Chinese undergraduate learners’ motivation towards the learning of a LOTE: the role of the multilingual selfInternational Journal of Multilingualism, DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2020.1863412

Carruthers, J. & Fisher, L., (2020). Conducting Interdisciplinary Research in Modern Languages: Towards ‘Common Ground’ and ‘Integration’. Modern Languages Open, (1), p.49. DOI:

Fisher, L., Evans, M., Forbes, K., Gayton, A., & Liu, Y. (2020). Participative multilingual identity construction in the languages classroom: A multi-theoretical conceptualisation. International Journal of Multilingualism, 17(4), 448-466. DOI: 10.1080/14790718.2018.1524896

Evans, M., Schneider, C., Arnot, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Liu, Y. & Welply, O. (2020). Language development, social integration and academic achievement of EAL students. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Forbes, K. & Fisher, L. (2020). Strategy development and cross-linguistic transfer in foreign and first language writing. Applied Linguistics Review, 11(2), 311-339. DOI:

Graham, S., Fisher, L., Hofweber, J. & Krüsemann, H. (2020) Getting creative in the languages classroom. In: Kohl, K., Dudrah, R., Gosler, A., Graham, S., Maiden, M., Ouyang, W.-c. and Reynolds, M. (eds.) Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. Open Book Publisher, pp. 151-176. ISBN 9781783749294 doi:

Evans, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Liu, Y. (2019). The form and functions of newcomer EAL pupils' speech in English: patterns of progression and communication in semi-structured interview dialogue. Language and Education, 33(1), 18-34. DOI: 10.1080/09500782.2018.1445756

Fisher, L. (2018). 'Emotion recollected in tranquillity’: Blogging for metacognition in language teacher education, In Å. Haukås, C. Bjørke & M. Dypedahl (Eds.). Metacognition in Language Learning and Teaching. Routledge. 

Birketveit, A., Rimmereide, H. E., Bader, M., & Fisher, L. (2018). Extensive reading in primary school EFL. Acta Didactica DOI: 

Liu, Y., Fisher, L., Forbes, K. & Evans, M. (2017). The knowledge base of teaching in linguistically diverse contexts: 10 grounded principles of multilingual classroom pedagogy for EALLanguage and Intercultural Communication. DOI: 10.1080/14708477.2017.1368136   

Fisher, L. (2017). Researching learners' and teachers' beliefs about language using metaphor. Discourse and Education: Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Volume 3. US: Springer.

Evans, M., Schneider, C., Arnot, M., Fisher, L., Forbes, K., Hu, M., & Liu, Y. (2016). Language development and school achievement: Opportunities and challenges in the education of EAL students. Cambridge: the Bell Foundation.

Forbes, K. & Fisher, L. (2015). The impact of expanding advanced level secondary school students' awareness and use of metacognitive learning strategies on confidence and proficiency in foreign language speaking skillsThe Language Learning Journal. DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2015.1010448

Pachler, N., Evans, M., Redondo, A. & Fisher, L. (2014). Learning to Teach Foreign Languages in the Secondary School. Fourth edition. London: Routledge

Fisher L. & Kim, D. (2013). Two approaches to the use of blogs in pre-service foreign language teachers' professional development: a comparative study in the context of two universities in the UK and the USLanguage Learning Journal 41(2) 142-160.

Fisher, L. (2013). Discerning Change in Young Students’ Beliefs about their Language Learning through the use of Metaphor Elicitation in the ClassroomResearch Papers in Education 28(3), 373-392

Evans, M. & Fisher, L. (2012). Emergent communities of practice: secondary schools’ interaction with primary school foreign language teaching and learningThe Language Learning Journal, 40 (2), 157-173

Fisher, L. (2011). The impact of Specialist School status: the views of Specialist Language Colleges and other schools, Educational Review, 63, (3), 261-273

Taber, K.S., Riga, F., Brindley, S., Winterbottom, M., Finney, J. & Fisher, L. (2011) Formative conceptions of assessment: trainee teachers' thinking about assessment issues in English secondary schools. Teacher Development 15(2), 171-186.

Evans, M. and Fisher, L. (2010). 'Translating policy into practice: the impact of the KS3 Framework for MFL on language teaching and learning in schools', Research Papers in Education, 25(4), 479-493

Liu, Y. and Fisher, L. (2010). 'What have we learnt after we had fun?' An activity theory perspective on cultures of learning in pedagogical reforms in Ellis V., Edwards, A. and Smagorinsky, P. (eds.) Cultural Historical Perspectives on Teacher Education and Development: Learning Teaching, 180-195. Oxon: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Fisher, L. (2009). Trainee teachers' perceptions of the use of digital technology in the languages classroom in Evans, M. (Ed.) (2009) Foreign Language Learning with Digital Technology. London: Continuum.

Evans, M. & Fisher, L. (2009). Language Learning at Key Stage 3: The Impact of the Key Stage 3 Modern Foreign Languages Framework and changes to the curriculum on provision and practice. DCSF.

Winterbottom, M., Taber, K.S., Brindley, S., Fisher, L., Finney, J. & Riga, F. (2008). Understanding differences in trainee teachers' values and practice in relation to assessment. Teacher Development 12(1): 15-35. doi/abs/10.1080/13664530701827723

Winterbottom, M., Taber, K.S., Brindley, S., Fisher, L., Finney, J. & Riga. F. (2008). Conceptions of assessment: trainee teachers' practice and values. Curriculum Journal 19(3), 193-213. doi/abs/10.1080/09585170802357504

Fisher, L. (2007). Pedagogy and the Curriculum 2000 reforms at post-16: the 'learn it, forget it'' culture?Curriculum Journal, 18(1), 103 doi: 10.1080/09585170701292257

Liu, Y. & Fisher, L. (2006). The development patterns of modern foreign language student teachers' Conceptions of self and their explanations about change: three cases. Teacher Development, 10 (3), 343-360 doi/abs/10.1080/13664530600922203

Liu, Y. & Fisher, L. (2006). Community of practice and induction teachers as legitimate peripheral participants. Research in Education (75), 88-100.

Evans, M. & Fisher, L. (2005). Measuring gains in pupils' foreign language competence as a result of participation in a school exchange visit: the case of Y9 pupils at three comprehensive schools in the UK', Language Teaching Research, 9 (2),173-192 doi/abs/10.1191/1362168805lr162

Fisher, L., Evans, M. & Esch, E. (2004). Computer-Mediated Communication: promoting learner autonomy and intercultural understanding at secondary level. Language Learning Journal, Winter, 30, 50-58

Fisher, L. (2001). MFL recruitment post-16: the pupils' perspective. Language Learning Journal, 23, 33-40.

Fisher, L. & Evans, M. (2000). The school exchange visit: effects on attitudes and proficiency in language learning. Language Learning Journal, 22, 11-16.