Education and Experience

Mark Birtles completed both his BA in English Literature and Sociology as well as his MA in Writing for Performance and Publication at the University of Leeds in the UK. He then pursued a career in writing, contributing to several UK-based music publications, before relocating to Japan in 2008. In Tokyo, he co-founded an event and dual-language online music media company and has written freelance for outlets such as The Japan Times newspaper and the Japan National Tourism Organisation. After gaining this real-world experience, he has returned to academia to pursue his interest in the theoretical side of digital content creation and consumption.

Research Interests

With his background as a digital content creator, Professor Birtles has a strong research interest in digital writing and how the age of the internet has impacted traditional modes of communication. Another area of interest is the varying experiences of L2 English speakers consuming English language content on the internet – specifically their ability to pick up on misinformation, fake news and satire. He plans to look at these questions in his PhD research, commencing in 2020. He is currently working on a paper entitled The Last Word: AI and the Future of Digital Writing, which will look at how the application of artificial intelligence will impact content creation.

Teaching courses
Research output

Birtles, M. J. (forthcoming). The last word: AI and the future of digital writing.


Birtles, M. J. (2019). The usefulness of online grammar check tools for strategic learning in advanced L2 students. GIS Journal, 5, 89-97.


Birtles, M. J. (2018, December) The usefulness of online grammar check tools for strategic learning in advanced L2 students.  In Y. Watanabe (Chair), Outcomes and implications of an EMI programme: Accents, learning strategies and career prospects. Symposium conducted at the 43rd National Conference, the Japanese Association for Asian Englishes, Tokyo, Japan.