David Block

Universitat de Lleida (UdL)


I am ICREA Research Professor in Sociolinguistics in the Departament d'Anglès i Lingüística, Universitat de Lleida. There I am a member of the Cercle de Lingüística Aplicada. I am Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences (UK); Visiting Professor at University College London, Institute of Education; and editor of the Routledge book series Political Economy and Applied Linguistics. I joined ICREA in September 2012 after 16 years at the University College London Institute of Education, where I was Professor of Languages in Education. Prior to that, I worked in Barcelona for 18 years as an English teacher in centres such as ESADE, and as a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. I completed my PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University Lancaster (UK) in 1995.

Research interests

I have published articles, chapters and books on a variety of topics in applied linguistics, including second language identities, bi/multilingualism and language in society. At present, I am incorporating into my work past and present thinking in political economy (from Smith and Marx to Piketty and Harvey), as I develop conceptual frameworks for understanding globalization, internationalisation, multiculturalism, bi/multilingualism, identity and social movements. In my most recent work I have focussed on neoliberalism as the dominant ideology/rationality in contemporary societies, socioeconomic stratification in 21st century societies and class as a key dimension of being in the world. This orientation is reflected in two books, Neoliberalism and Applied Linguistics (Routledge, 2012; co-authored, with John Gray and Marnie Holborow) and Social Class in Applied Linguistics (Routledge, 2014); numerous articles and chapters appearing in 2016, 2017 and 2018; and two additional books under contract and in preparation: Political Economy and Sociolinguistics: Neoliberalism, Inequality and Social Class. (Bloomsbury) and (with Lídia Gallego-Balsà) Minority Ethnic Students in Higher Education: Talking Multilingualism and Identity (Multilingual Matters).

Selected publications

Block D & Gray J 2016, ‘’Just go away and do it and you get marks’: The degradation of language teaching in neoliberal times’, Multilingual and Multicultural Development, vol 37, no. 2, pp 481-494.

Block D 2016, ‘The impact of globalisation, internationalisation and migration on the use and vitality of Catalan in secondary school and higher education settings’, Lang Cult Curric, vol 29, no. 1, pp 107-116.

Block D 2016, ‘Social class in language and identity research’, in S Preece (ed.) The Routledge handbook of language and identity, Routledge, London, pp. 241-254.

Block D & Corona V 2016, ‘Intersectionality in language and identity research’, In S Preece (ed.) The Routledge handbook of language and identity, Routledge, London, pp. 507-522.

Block D 2016, ”What is class?’, In A Lin (ed.) Investigating English in Europe, Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, pp. 125-132.

Block D 2016, ‘Internationalisation policies and practices in European universities: the development of language proficiency, intercultural competence and European citizenship awareness’. Introduction to the special issue of Language Learning Journal (ed. D Block), vol. 44,no. 3, pp 1-4.

Selected research activities

*CO Principal Investigator, Towards an empirical assessment of the impact of English-medium instruction at university: language learning, disciplinary knowledge and academic identities/Analisis empirico del impacto de la docencia en ingles en la universidad: aprendizaje de lengua (ASSEMID), MINECO, Reference: FFI2016-76383-P, 30 December 2016 – 29 December 2019, Amount: €60,500.

*15 papers given at conferences and universities in Canada (1), Mexico (1), Spain (6), Switzerland (2), the UK (3) and the US (2)

*Ongoing PhD supervision (3 students)

*Visiting professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Ciudad de México, October 2016

*Editor, Routledge book series Language, Society and Political Economy

*Associate Editor, Applied Linguistics Review

*Reviewing academic journal articles, grant proposals and book proposals