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Deborah Orpin

Deborah Orpin

Subject Leader, English Language, Linguistics and TESOL

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 3544
  • Location MX103, Housman Building
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts
  • Institute School of Humanities
  • Areas of expertise

    Corpus Linguistics, Text Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, Corpus Assisted Discourse Studies

I joined the University of Wolverhampton in 1998 and lecture in English Language and Linguistic studies. Before taking up my post at Wolverhampton, I taught for many years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and lecturer in English for Academic Purposes, working in the West Midlands area and, before that, in the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies at Ancona University, Italy. I also worked for a period as a freelance lexicographer on the COBUILD project.

At undergraduate level, I teach modules in lexis and grammar, stylistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis. I also teach a post-graduate module in corpus linguistics. My specialist area is corpus-assisted discourse studies. I am happy to supervise PhD projects in corpus linguistics and discourse analysis.

My research is in the field of corpus-assisted discourse studies. I am particularly interested in the public understanding of science. My PhD examined the ways in which the risks associated with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) triple vaccine are expressed in a corpus of texts taken from a vaccine-critical website. Since completing my PhD I have researched the recontextualization of epidemiological content on Twitter by a public health agency and representations of loneliness in the press and in an online forum.

  • Senior Fellow of HEA (2016)
  • Member of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • 2015 PhD English Language and Applied Linguistics, University of Birmingham
  • 1997 MA Applied Linguistics, University of Birmingham
  • 1978 BA (Hons) German Language and Literature, University of Birmingham
  • 1991 PGCE, Warwick University

Chapters in edited collections

  • #Vaccineswork: Recontextualizing the content of epidemiology reports on Twitter. In M. J. Luzon and C. Perez Llantada (eds.). Science communication on the Internet: Old genres meet new genres. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. (forthcoming)


  • “The fact that there is no other credible theory … strengthens the case against vaccination”: expressing factual status in vaccine-critical discourse. (In preparation for resubmission to Discourse, Context and Media)

  • 'Corpus Linguistics and CDA: examining the ideology of sleaze' International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 10.1, 2005

Recent Conference Papers

  • ‘Representations of loneliness: a comparison of news and forum discourse’. 7th Conference on Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (CADAAD), Aalborg, Denmark, 3-6 July 2018.
  • ‘“Never been proven to work in the real world”: appeals to the notion of the ‘real world’ as a discursive strategy in vaccine-critical discourse’. Corpus Linguistics 2017. Birmingham, July 2017.
  • ‘The expression of claims to truth in a corpus of vaccine-critical texts’, 14th International Communication, Medicine and Ethics Conference (COMET 2016), University of Aalborg, 4 July – 6 July 2016
  • ”Ordinary people”’ and risk discourse: the challenges of disambiguating voices in a corpus of online discussion forum threads’, Corpora and Discourse, University of Siena, 30 June 2016 - 2 July 2016
  • ‘Evaluation as a persuasive strategy in computer-mediated vaccine-critical discourse’, BAAL Health and Science Communication SIG Event, Queen Mary University, London, 9 November 2015
  • ‘Talking about Risk in the MMR debate’, 5th Corpus Linguistics Conference, Liverpool, July 2009

Professional Experience

  • From 1993 until 1996, I worked as a freelance lexicographer for COBUILD, HarperCollins