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Dr Bimali Indrarathne



I am an Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Applied Linguistics in the Department of Education. I joined the Department in January 2019. Before joining York, I worked at King’s College London and Lancaster University. Prior to coming to the UK, I worked at Kotelawala Defence University and in several government schools in Sri Lanka.

I have a PhD in Applied Linguistics and an MA in TESOL, both from Lancaster University. I also have an MA in Linguistics from Kelaniya University, Sri Lanka and a BA from Peradeniya University, Sri Lanka. I hold both Cambridge DELTA and CELTA.

I teach a range of modules in bachelor’s and master’s programmes and supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

I’m also the Chair of the Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment Committee in the Department.



My main research interest is in the area of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). I am interested in investigating cognitive aspects of language processing as well as topics related to Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA). I also work with teachers, teacher educators and policy planners on research and teacher education projects such as English language education and inclusive practices.


The following are some of the recent projects I have worked on:

  • Non-native speaker language education researcher experience of publishing research in English (Collaborator: Dr Sharon McCulloch, University of Central Lancashire, UK)
  • Event realisation and anaphoric binding in Sinhala and English (Collaborators: Dr Norbert Vanek, University of Auckland New Zealand, Dr Sujeewa Hettiarachchi, University of Sri Jayewardenepura Sri Lanka)
  • Raising teacher awareness of dyslexia type learning difficulties and inclusive practices - GCRF funded
  • Exploring the status of English language teaching, learning and assessment in Sri Lanka - British Council funded (Collaborator: Dr Sharon McCulloch, University of Central Lancashire, UK)
  • EAP provision in Higher Education in South Asia - British Council funded (Collaborator: Dr Sharon McCulloch, University of Central Lancashire, UK)
  • Engaging teachers in South Asia with research evidence: Improving English language learning in areas with poor access to resources - GCRF funded
  • Unknown vocabulary density and reading comprehension: Replicating Hu & Nation 2000 (Collaborators: Professor Judit Kormos, Lancaster University UK, Dr Benjamin Kremmel, Innsbruck University Austria, Dr Shungo Suzuki, Waseda University Japan)

Research group(s)


  • Nadhee Peries (Completed): Streamlining identification practices of dyslexia among primary school children in Sri Lanka

  • Jeehaan Terngano: Saudi migrant children’s motivation to learn English in the UK and its relationship with their bilingual family language policy and practices

  • Jie Rao: Learning Chinese as a second/foreign Language in the UK and in China: A comparison of the motivation and influencing factors among adult learners

External activities

Editorial duties

I am an editorial board member of the Language Testing journal.

I am a reviewer for several journals including:

  • Studies in Second Language Acquisition
  • Language Learning
  • Teaching and Teacher Education
  • TESOL Quarterly
  • Language Testing
  • Dyslexia
  • International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • The Modern Language Journal

Invited talks and conferences

Visiting appointments

  • Adjunct Lecturer: Department of Languages, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka
  • Visiting Lecturer: Department of English and Linguistics, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka


  • Commonwealth of Learning, Canada (2018-2021): ICT training for online teaching in Sri Lanka, School Based Professional Teacher Development (SBPTD) project in Sri Lanka
  • British Council (2021-2022): Development of country overviews on the status of English in basic education in South Asia, Country report – Sri Lanka

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +441904322088