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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre


Assistant Professor in Second Language Education

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ, UK

Faculty of Education staff Profile:

E-mail Address


+ 44 (0)1223

Phung Dao is assistant professor in Second Language Education at the Faculty of Education,University of Cambridge, where he teaches on MPhil/MEd courses in Research in Second Language Education (RSLE). Before joining the University of Cambridge, Phung was a senior Lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University, teaching undergraduate/postgraduate courses and supervising PhD students in TESOL/Applied Linguistics. He also taught undergraduate/postgraduate courses in Applied Linguistics at University of Queensland (Australia), Concordia University (Canada) and An Giang University (Vietnam). His research interests focus on technology for language teaching, instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), peer interaction, learner engagement, Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), L2 pedagogy, and L2 teacher education. His publications appear in international peer-reviewed Applied Linguistic journals such as Modern Language Journal, TESOL Quarterly, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, Language Teaching, Computer Assisted Language Learning, Language Teaching Research, Applied Linguistics Review, TESOL Journal, System, Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Language Learning Journal, IRAL and among others.

Areas of research interests

My research interests are situated in the general area of applied linguistics, more specifically second language (L2) acquisition and technology for L2 learning and teaching. My current research focus is to investigate how learner engagement in peer interaction (both face-to-face and computer-mediated communication) positively contributes to the learning of EFL/ESL and how teachers facilitate this face-to-face and technology-enhanced interaction within the context of classroom. The goal of this research line is to investigate how researchers and instructors can promote effective interaction by exploring which task features, implementation condition, and cognitive, social and contextual factors affect this learning process. Areas of research interests are below.

  • Instructed second language acquisition
  • Language and technology
  • Learner engagement
  • Peer interaction
  • Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT)
  • Second language pedagogy
  • Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)
  • Language Teacher Education

PhD supervision: I welcome prospective doctoral students that intend to work on the following research themes/areas:

Language and technology; Classroom second language acquisition; Peer interaction; Learner engagement; Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT); Second language pedagogy; Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC); Teacher Education


Current projects

Books (under contract)

  • Monograph: Learner engagement in online second language class. London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Understanding L2 classroom interaction: A guide for language teachers. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Collaborate with Noriko Iwashita & Mai Nguyen

Current funded research projects:

  • 2023-2024: English in a multilingual world: Exploring the characteristics of Vietnamese English and its implications for classroom practice. Funding (£20,000) by British Council-Vietnam. Co- Investigator
  • 2022-2023: A landscape review of online English Language Teaching at public schools in Vietnam. (£20,000)-(Principal investigator). Funded by British Council.
  • 2022-2023: “IELTS Juniors” in Vietnam: Perceptions of Key Stakeholders—Young Learners, Parents and Course Providers (14,000AUD)-(Principal investigator). Funded by IDP IELTS Australia.
  • 2022-2023: Continuing professional development for school-level English language teachers in Vietnam through Teacher Activity Groups: An identity-focused approach. Teacher Activity Group (TAG) (£20,000)-(Co-investigator)

Past funded research projects:

  • Effects of SCMC mode and interlocutor familiarity on learner engagement (2019-2021). Language Learning’s Early Career Researcher Grant ($10,000USD).
  • Effect of pronunciation instruction on L2 learners’ listening comprehension (2017-2018). English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant Program. TOEFL Education Testing Service (ETS), USA ($5,000USD) co-awarded with Huy Nguyen and Mai Nguyen

Expert reviewer for peer-reviewed journals

  • Applied Linguistics
  • TESOL Quarterly
  • Modern Language Journal
  • Language Teaching Research 
  • Annual Review of Applied Linguistics
  • Pedagogies: An International Journal
  • Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching
  • System (An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics)
  • TESOL Journal
  • Computer Assisted Language Learning
  • International Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
  • Applied Linguistics Review
  • TESL Canada
  • Language Awareness
  • Teacher and Teaching Education
  • Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching
  • Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics
  • International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL)
  • Invited book reviewer for Taylor & Francis/Routledge (Publisher)

Grants, scholarships and awards

  • English Language Teaching Research Award (ELTRA) - British Council  (2019),
  • Language Learning’s Early Career Researcher (2019),
  • IELTS Joint-funded Research Programme (2019)
  • TOEFL English-language Researcher/Practitioner-ETS (2018)
  • TOEFL Award for Student Research on Task-Based Language Teaching (2015),
  • Concordia University Conference and Exposition Award (2015-2017)
  • Concordia Graduate Student Mobility Award (2015-2016)
  • Concordia University Full Tuition Recruitment Award (2014-2017)
  • Australian Development Award/Scholarship for MA in TESOL (2011-2012)



PhD in Applied Linguistics, Concordia University, Canada (2017)

MA in Applied Linguistics, The University of Queensland, Australia (2012)

BA in Language Teaching, An Giang University, Vietnam (2007)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Key publications: 

Peer-reviewed journal articles and edited book chapters

Research reports

Dao, P. & Nguyen, M. (2022). K–12 Vietnamese learners’ oral peer feedback in classroom L2 task-based interaction in English as a Foreign Language: frequency, characteristics and influencing factors. British Council English Language Teaching Research Award (ELTRA).

Nguyen, H., Nguyen M. XNC, & Dao, P. (2020). The impact of IELTS on teachers in Central Vietnam. IELTS Joint-Funded Research–British Council—IDP IELTS Australia.

Dao, P. (2021). Effects of SCMC mode and interlocutor familiarity on learner engagement. Language Learning’s Early Career Researcher report.

Publications (from Symplectic)

Journal articles

2023 (Accepted for publication)

  • Bui, T. and Dao, P., 2023 (Accepted for publication). Primary school children’s peer interaction: Exploring EFL teachers’ perceptions and practices Language Teaching Research,
  • Nguyen, MXNC., Dao, P., Iwashita, N. and Spinelli, F., 2023 (Accepted for publication). Teachers generate theories: A case of the concept of learner engagement in second language classroom interaction. Teaching and Teacher Education,
  • Bui, T. and Dao, P., 2023 (Accepted for publication). Primary school children’s peer interaction: Exploring EFL teachers’ perceptions and practices Language Teaching Research,
    Doi: 10.1177/13621688231160727
  • 2023

  • Dao, P., Duong, PT. and Nguyen, MXNC., 2023. Effects of SCMC mode and learner familiarity on peer feedback in L2 interaction Computer Assisted Language Learning, v. 36
    Doi: 10.1080/09588221.2021.1976212
  • Phan, HLT. and Dao, P., 2023. Engagement in collaborative writing: Exploring learners’ control of task content and text quality International Journal of Applied Linguistics (United Kingdom), v. 33
    Doi: 10.1111/ijal.12462
  • Nguyen, MXNC., Dao, P., Iwashita, N. and Spinelli, F., 2023. Teacher learners theorizing from practice: A case of the concept of learner engagement in interactive second language learning tasks Teaching and Teacher Education, v. 129
    Doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2023.104151
  • Dao, P., Bui, TLD., Nguyen, DTT. and Nguyen, MXNC., 2023. Synchronous online English language teaching for young learners: insights from public primary school teachers in an EFL context Computer Assisted Language Learning,
  • 2022

  • Dao, P., Nguyen, MXNC., Iwashita, N. and Spinelli, F., 2022. A Dialogic Approach to Fostering TESOL Teacher-learners’ Research Engagement: Insights from a ‘Learning-to-Research’ Procedure TESOL Quarterly, v. 56
  • Trofimovich, P., McDonough, K., Dao, P. and Abashidze, D., 2022. Attitudinal bias, individual differences, and second language speakers' interactional performance Applied Linguistics Review, v. 13
  • Nguyen, MXNC., Dao, P. and Iwashita, N., 2022. Nurturing Teachers’ Research Mindset in an Inquiry-Based Language Teacher Education Course Modern Language Journal, v. 106
  • Dao, P., Hoang, STT. and Chi Nguyen, MXN., 2022. Young learners’ synchronous online peer interaction: teachers’ beliefs of its benefits and implementation Language Awareness,
    Doi: 10.1080/09658416.2022.2152828
  • 2021

  • Dao, P., Nguyen, MXNC. and Nguyen, NBC., 2021. Effect of pronunciation instruction on L2 learners' listening comprehension Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, v. 7
  • Dao, P., Nguyen, MXNC., Duong, P. and Tran–Thanh, V., 2021. Learners’ Engagement in L2 Computer-Mediated Interaction: Chat Mode, Interlocutor Familiarity, and Text Quality Modern Language Journal, v. 105
  • Dao, P. and Sato, M., 2021. Exploring fluctuations in the relationship between learners’ positive emotional engagement and their interactional behaviours Language Teaching Research, v. 25
  • Dao, P., Chi Nguyen, MXN. and Chi, DN., 2021. Reflective learning practice for promoting adolescent EFL learners’ attention to form Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, v. 15
  • Dao, P., 2021. Effects of task goal orientation on learner engagement in task performance IRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, v. 59
  • Dao, P., Nguyen, MXNC. and Iwashita, N., 2021. Teachers’ perceptions of learner engagement in L2 classroom task-based interaction Language Learning Journal, v. 49
  • 2020

  • Dianati, S., Nguyen, M., Dao, P., Iwashita, N. and Vasquez, C., 2020. Student perceptions of technological tools for flipped instruction: The case of padlet, kahoot! and cirrus Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, v. 17
  • Dao, P., 2020. Effect of interaction strategy instruction on learner engagement in peer interaction System, v. 91
  • McDonough, K., Trofimovich, P., Dao, P. and Abashidze, D., 2020. Eye gaze and L2 speakers' responses to recasts: A systematic replication study of McDonough, Crowther, Kielstra and Trofimovich (2015) Language Teaching, v. 53
  • 2019

  • Nguyen, XNCM. and Dao, P., 2019. Identity exploration and development in TESOL teacher education: A three-dimensional space narrative inquiry perspective TESOL Journal, v. 10
  • 2018

  • Dao, P., Trofimovich, P. and Kennedy, S., 2018. Structural alignment in L2 task-based interaction ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics (Belgium), v. 169
  • Dao, P. and Iwashita, N., 2018. Teacher mediation in L2 classroom task-based interaction System, v. 74
  • Dao, P. and McDonough, K., 2018. Effect of proficiency on Vietnamese EFL learners’ engagement in peer interaction International Journal of Educational Research, v. 88
  • 2017

  • Dao, P., Iwashita, N. and Gatbonton, E., 2017. Learner attention to form in ACCESS task-based interaction Language Teaching Research, v. 21
  • Dao, P. and McDonough, K., 2017. The effect of task role on Vietnamese EFL learners' collaboration in mixed proficiency dyads System, v. 65
  • McDonough, K., Trofimovich, P., Dao, P. and Dion, A., 2017. EYE GAZE and PRODUCTION ACCURACY PREDICT ENGLISH L2 SPEAKERS' MORPHOSYNTACTIC LEARNING Studies in Second Language Acquisition, v. 39
  • Assistant Professor
    Departments and institutes: 

    Contact Details

    Room 3S22
    184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ
    Email address: 



    What we do

    Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.