Accessibility statement

Dr Natalie Finlayson



I joined the department in 2019 as a Learning Resource Developer on the NCELP project and moved to the Research Associate role in 2022. I have worked in tertiary foreign language education since 2013, starting as a native language teacher at the University of Nice before taking up various teaching positions at the University of Glasgow. My research is applied in nature, and largely influenced by my classroom experiences. I seek to contribute to Vocabulary Studies in Languages other than English in ways that can shape the development of evidenced-based materials, tools and methodological processes for pedagogical purposes


  • 2022-present: Research Associate, University of York
  • 2021-23: Part time Research Assistant, University of Leeds: Unveiling the factors for the predictive validity of IELTS for postgraduate studies: Assessment, teaching and learning in the TLU domain
  • 2021-22: Senior Research-informed Learning Resource Developer, University of York
  • 2019-21: Research-informed Learning Resource Developer, University of York
  • 2018-22: External Examiner for German, University of Salford
  • 2017-20: PGCert Academic Practice and Recognising Excellence in Teaching Fellowship, University of Glasgow
  • 2017-18: Convenor of Modern Foreign Languages, University of Glasgow
  • 2016-21: German Language Tutor, University of Glasgow Short Courses
  • 2015-19: Graduate Teaching Assistant in French, German and Translation Studies, University of Glasgow
  • 2015-22: Part time PhD Student, University of Glasgow: Making and evaluating topic word lists for intermediate learners of English and German: A corpus and cognitive semantic approach
  • 2013-15: Native Language Teacher in EFL and Translation, University of Nice
  • 2012-13: MSc in Translating and Conference Interpreting, Heriot-Watt University
  • 2009-12: MA in French and German, University of Glasgow

Departmental roles

  • LOC member for BAAL 2023 (Inclusivity and Sustainability Officer)



I am interested in corpus and cognitive semantic approaches to the contrastive study of lexis across modern Romance and Germanic languages and applications of this knowledge in foreign language education. My current work focuses on corpus-based approaches to the learning, teaching and testing of French, German and Spanish vocabulary, specialising in the creation and evaluation of pedagogical word lists.



Collaborators: Emma Marsden, Laurence Anthony, Giulia Bovolenta, Rachel Hawkes

MultilingProfiler is a freely-available online vocabulary profiling tool for French, German and Spanish. Users can profile texts against embedded word frequency lists, curriculum-aligned word lists, lists corresponding to weeks in the NCELP Schemes of Work, and custom lists provided by the user. Many of the functionalities of MultilingProfiler are aligned with the needs of beginner and low-intermediate learners, for example, a unique feature which allows users to adapt embedded word lists by (de)selecting inflectional patterns in line with expected knowledge. Funded by the Department for Education.

Vocabulary tests for beginner learners of French, German, and Spanish

Collaborators: Emma Marsden, Rachel Hawkes, Nick Avery

This project involved developing and piloting word lists, research-informed schemes of work and practice schedules, and syllabus-based achievement tests aligning with the new GCSE in MFL subjects. We identified established test types corresponding to relevant aspects of word knowledge, adapted the design of test items to suit the context of school pupils, developed online and pen and paper assessments for use in schools in the NCELP network, and revised the tests in line with teacher feedback. Funded by the Department for Education.

Research group(s)


Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD