An experienced English Language teacher, Sarah has a BA in Linguistics and MAs in both TEFL and Educational Research and Evaluation. She teaches on the BA and MA programmes and is Course Leader for the BA (hons) English Language degree at the University of Brighton College of Arts and Humanities.
Sarah Varney-Burch currently lectures in English language and applied linguistics on both the BA degree programmes and on the MAs which make up the postgraduate English Language Teacher Education Programme (ELTEP).
Sarah joined the University of Brighton in 1997 as an EAP tutor and teacher trainer. Alongside her continuing interest in EAP and specifically academic writing, she specialises in teaching the structure and grammar of English and World Englishes. She was an Admissions tutor for the undergraduate programme for seven years and is now the course leader for the single honours BA (hons) English Language. She was a member of the Working Group which produced the current English Language Benchmark Statement for use in British universities teaching English Language at degree level.
Sarah has been working with a writing development group made up of international MA students, trying to understand the social and cultural, rather than linguistic, challenges that they face when writing extended essays for assessment. As part of an on-going action research project the group explored the use of a variety of techniques to increase confidence and develop academic voice. Sarah presented some initial findings of this project at the IATEFL conference in Brighton in April 2011.
She completed her first degree in Linguistics at the University of Hull. Following a Diploma in TEFL at the University of Brighton, she then taught EFL, ESP and EAP (English as a Foreign Language, for Specific Purposes and for Academic Purposes) in Morocco, Indonesia, Slovakia and France. Sarah returned to Brighton in 1995 to complete her MA in TEFL at the university and to work as an EFL teacher and teacher trainer in a language school. She also has an MA in Educational Research and Evaluation from the University of Sussex.