Mark Birtles completed both his BA in English Literature and Sociology and 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 online dual-language music media company and has created online content for outlets such as The Japan Times newspaper and the Japan National Tourism Organization. He then decided to move into academia and use this experience to teach and to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of Bath (UK).
With his background in digital publishing, Professor Birtles is interested in computer-mediated communication, something that now dominates our lives in the Internet Age. Computer-mediated communication comes in many forms: we read information on websites, have online meetings and chat on social media, for example. His doctoral research is primarily concerned with multimodal critical discourse analysis in education, which is looking at how words, video, images etc. work together to form meaning and how this interplay effects/is affected by the wider socio-cultural context it exists within.
・Birtles, MJ (2023). English-medium Instruction for Sale: The Multimodal Discourse of Self-perception on Japanese Liberal Arts Faculty Websites. Forthcoming.
・Birtles, MJ (2022) English-medium Programmes in Japan: A Critical Analysis of Research into Teacher Beliefs. GIS Journal, 8, 163-191.
・Birtles, MJ (2021). Computer-mediated Communication in a Japanese EMI Environment: Students’ Attitudes Towards Technology GIS Journal, 7, 45-59.
・Birtles, MJ (2021). The Changing Use of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) in Japanese English-Medium Instruction (EMI) Programs. 7th Annual Lakeland Conference on Global Higher Education, Tokyo, Japan.
・Birtles, MJ (2019). The usefulness of online grammar check tools for strategic learning in advanced L2 students. GIS Journal, 5, 89-97.
・Birtles, MJ (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 program: Accents, learning strategies and career prospects. Symposium conducted at the 43rd National Conference, the Japanese Association for Asian Englishes, Tokyo, Japan.