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School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics, Percy Building
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 7RU

Academic employment

Lecturer in Phonetics and Phonology
University of Newcastle – September 2019 – July 2021

Teaching Associate
University of Sheffield – October 2018 – June 2019

Teaching Assistant
University of Newcastle – October 2018 – January 2019

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant
University of Sheffield – October 2014 – June 2018


PhD Linguistics – 2018, University of Sheffield, Passed without correction
Thesis: Sociophonetic variation in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery industry
Examiners: Professor David Britain & Professor Joan Beal
Supervisors: Dr Emma Moore & Dr Chris Montgomery
Funded by a Wolfson Scholarship for the Arts and Humanities from the Wolfson Foundation

MA Linguistics – 2012, University of York, Awarded with distinction
Thesis: The witch[i:z] watch [ɪt]: variable tense unstressed vowels in Stoke-on- Trent Supervisor: Dr Dominic Watt

BA English Language & Linguistics – 2010, Lancaster University, Awarded with First-Class Honours
Thesis: Phonetic cues for the naïve listener perception of accent varieties of the North- West Midlands
Supervisor: Dr Kevin Watson

Research and teaching interests: sociolinguistics; language variation and change; world Englishes, multilingualism and language contact; language and social class; acoustic and articulatory phonetics and the fundamentals of the International Phonetic Alphabet; language and gender; language, discrimination and prejudice; urban dialects of the North and Midlands


Leach, H. (2021) /h/-dropping and occupational role in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery industry. Journal of Sociolinguistics. Available here (open access).

Leach, H. (2018) Sociophonetic variation in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery industry. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield. Available here.

Leach, H., Watson, K. & Gnevsheva, K. (2016) Perceptual dialectology in northern England: Accent recognition, geographical proximity and cultural prominence. Journal of Sociolinguistics 20 (2) pp. 192-211. Available here.

Leach, H. (2013) [review] English accents and dialects: An introduction to social and regional varieties of English in the British Isles. Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43, pp. 358-361.



SEL3094 Accents of English – Module convenor
Key topics: phonetic and phonological variation in the accents of English; acoustic phonetics and quantitative methods

SEL1032 Language Variation and Change: Dealing with Data – Module convenor
Key topics: introduction to quantitative data analysis, theory and practice

SEL8163 The Sociolinguistics of Language and Society – Module Lead (postgraduate)
Key topics: Variationist sociolinguistics theories and methods; language contact and multilingualism; language endangerment, death and revitalisation; pidgins and creoles

SEL2091 Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language – seminar tutor
Key topics: Variationist sociolinguistics theories and methods; language contact and multilingualism; language endangerment, death and revitalisation; pidgins and creoles


ELL232 Phonology – Module convenor
Key topics: Phonological rules and derivations; features, classes and phonological processes; Autosegmental Phonology, Optimality Theory, Syllables

ELL120 Introduction to Linguistic Theory – Lecturer/seminar tutor
Key topics: Intro to theories in phonology, morphology and syntax

ELL110 Varieties of English – Lecturer/seminar tutor
Key topics: phonological, grammatical and lexical dialect variation in the UK; theories and methods in dialectology; world Englishes; standardisation of English; dialect commodification

EGH607 Research Methods – Lecturer (postgraduate)
Key topics: methods in perceptual dialectology and acoustic phonetic analysis

ELL112 Sounds of English – Seminar tutor
Key topics: Introduction to the articulation and English phonology; connected speech processes; intonation

ELL217 Sociolinguistics – Seminar tutor
Key topics: Language variation according to class, age, gender, ethnicity, topic, style, social networks and communities of practice

ELL207 Phonetics – Seminar tutor
Key topics: Practical training in articulation and transcription of the full IPA, and acoustic analysis

Peer-reviewed presentations

– Sociolinguistic variation, affect, topic and emotion in oral history interviews; The interface of emotion and cognition in language learning and use event, University of Essex

– Phonetically-motivated morpho-phonological change in an unstressed vowel: the horses vowel in Stoke-on-Trent English; BAAP, University of York (event postponed)

– Salience, noticeability and enregisterment of dialect features in Stoke-on-Trent English (with Dr Chris Montgomery); UKLVC, Queen Mary University of London
– The interaction between language, occupation and social meaning in Stoke-on- Trent’s pottery industry; ICLaVE10, University of Leeuwarden/Ljouwert (unable to attend)

– The making of local social meaning: /h/ variation in Stoke-on-Trent; 8th Northern Englishes Workshop, University of Newcastle
-Making it local: /h/ variation in Stoke-on-Trent’s pottery industry; Language, Place and Periphery, University of Copenhagen

– Phonetic variation and the particulars of the Potteries; UKLVC11, University of Cardiff
– Language variation and the local social relationships of the Potteries; ICLaVE9, University of Malaga

– Construction of identity in the Potteries; Masterclass on Language and Place, University of Copenhagen
– Priv[i:]t (ɪ)s – the curious case of the (ɪ) vowel in Stoke-on-Trent; 7th Northern Englishes Workshop, University of Edinburgh

– Selected speaker; Wolfson Scholars Symposium, British Academy
– Forced Alignment techniques in social meaning studies, ShefLingPGC, University of Sheffield
– Forced Alignment techniques in social meaning studies; the study of sociolinguistic meaning in the era of ‘big data’: issues, questions and future directions, University of Sheffield

– Proximity, cultural prominence and sociolinguistic salience in perceptual dialectology (with Dr Kevin Watson and Dr Ksenia Gnevsheva); Language and Society, University of Waikato

– Stoke-on-Trent: a case study investigating the ‘new working class’; UKLVC9, University of Sheffield [poster]
– A region divided: accent and identity in Stoke-on-Trent (with Dr Chris Montgomery); iMean 3, University of the West of England

– The witch[i:z] watch [ɪ]t – variable tense unstressed vowels in Stoke-on-Trent; Manchester Forum in Linguistics, University of Manchester

Research-based employment

Research Assistant: A Future for Cornish English project, University of Sheffield
Transcription and coding of sociolinguistic interviews.

Research Associate: Digital Humanities Institute, University of Sheffield
Assistance on a variety of digital humanities projects, using GIS mapping software and designing websites

Reviewer: Annotation for Transparent Inquiry initiative, Syracuse University
Review and workshop regarding the use of digital annotations to enhance transparency in qualitative research (

Research Assistant: Sheffield Archives and Special Collections, University of Sheffield
Cataloguing and digitising of dialect recordings and producing a report assessing their viability and providing instructions for use.

Project Officer: Temporal co-ordination in talk-in-interaction, University of York
British Academy funded ( Transcribed, coded and analysed dyadic video recordings of talk and music for conversational and gestural pikes.

Research Assistant: Scilly Voices, University of Sheffield
Transcribing and coding of phonetic variables ( .

Writing and media experience

Public engagement and outreach

  • English Language and Linguistics schools outreach representative
  • Accents and judgements: why there is no wrong way to speak; The Mobile University, University of Sheffield
  • Miners, mugs and Monkeys – the Sheffield dialect; guest speaker, Woodland Heritage Festival
  • Miners, Monkeys and Robbie Williams – dialect change over time; City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College
  • English Language taster session for Y13 pupils; Discover Arts and Humanities open day, University of Sheffield


  • Outstanding Contribution to Teaching – HASS Faculty [Nominated]
  • Outstanding Contribution to Personal Support [Nominated]
  • Best Postgraduate Student Who Teaches, University of Sheffield [Nominated]
  • Learned Societies Fund award (£530, University of Sheffield)
  • Research Strategy Committee award (£100, University of Sheffield)
  • Learned Societies Fund award (£350, University of Sheffield)
  • Second year examinations award (Lancaster University)
  • Mary Bishop Prize for English Language (City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College)

Professional development

Decolonising the Curriculum workshop (March 2019)
Autism Awareness training (February 2019)
Supporting LGBT+ students training (January 2019)
LAGB student committee (2016-2018)
Co-ordinator, UK Linguistics Olympiad (2015-present)
MA Applied Linguistics mentor(2016)
Conference chair, ShefLingPGC; 5th & 6th March (2015)
Organiser, ShefLingPGC; 4th & 5th February (2014)
Organiser, Work in Progress (School of English postgraduate research seminars)


available on request