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Almut Köster

Prof. Almut Köster

Prof. Almut Köster

Full Professor

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Almut Köster was born in Heidelberg, Germany and grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where she attended primary and secondary school. She received a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University (Connecticut, USA) in 1980 and an M.A. in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Birmingham (UK) in 1989. In 2001 she was awarded a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Nottingham (UK), after completing a dissertation on naturally-occurring workplace conversations in British and American businesses and organisations. Prior to her appointment to a chair in English Business Communication at the WU in September 2014, she was Senior Lecturer in English Language at the University of Birmingham in England, where she taught English Language and Applied Linguistics and supervised dissertations at all levels. She also has a Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults, which she was awarded in 1983, and has extensive practical experience working as an English language teacher, teacher trainer, and director of studies in Germany, France and the USA.

Research Interests

Almut Köster’s research focuses on spoken workplace discourse, and she has investigated key areas of business communication, such as decision-making and negotiating. She is particularly interested in the ways in which linguistic features such as idioms, metaphor or vague language are deployed in workplace talk in pursuing both transactional and relational goals. Her interest in interpersonal features of language has also led her to examine conflictual interactions and the use of small talk at work. Her methodological approach to analysing workplace interactions is situated within the field of discourse analysis, drawing both on conversation analysis and genre analysis, and combining these approaches with corpus linguistics. She also has a keen interest in applying her research to the field of Teaching English for Business Communication: she has co-authored a Business English textbook and frequently speaks at conferences and events for language teachers.

Professor Köster supervises PhD and doctoral students investigating various aspects of workplace and business discourse.

A full list of publications and research activities can be found in PURE.

Book (monograph)

2010 Köster, Almut. 2010. Workplace Discourse. Read more
2006 Köster, Almut. 2006. Investigating Workplace Discourse. Read more
2004 Köster, Almut. 2004. The Language of Work. Read more

Journal article

2021 Köster, Almut. 2021. Small stories in short interactions: The functions of narratives in care home worker interactions. Read more
2019 Handford, Michael, Köster, Almut. 2019. The construction of conflict talk across workplace contexts: Towards a theory of conflictual compact. Read more
2018 Köster, Almut, Handford, Michael. 2018. ‘It's not good saying “Well it it might do that or it might not”’: Hypothetical Reported Speech in Business Meetings. Read more
2014 Köster, Almut. 2014. "We'd be prepared to do something,like if you say." hypothetical reported speech in business negotiations. Read more
2011 Chen, Phyllis, Littlemore, Jeannette, Barnden, John, Köster, Almut. 2011. Difficulties in metaphor comprehension faced by international students whose first language is not English. Read more
2010 Handford, Michael, Köster, Almut. 2010. 'It's not Rocket Science': Metaphors and Idioms in Conflictual Business Meetings. Read more
2008 Low, Graham, Littlemore, Jeannette, Köster, Almut. 2008. Metaphor use in three UK university lectures. Read more
2004 Köster, Almut. 2004. Relational sequences in workplace genres. Read more
2002 Köster, Almut. 2002. The Performance of speech acts in workplace conversations and the teaching of communicative functions. Read more

Chapter in edited volume

2022 Köster, Almut. 2022. Language Awareness and Business Communication In: Language Awareness in business and the professions. Hrsg. Darics, Erika. Read more
2017 Köster, Almut. 2017. Conflict Talk In: The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace. Hrsg. Bernadette Vine. Read more
2017 Köster, Almut. 2017. Spoken Workplace Discourse In: Business Communication: Linguistic Approaches. Hrsg. Gerlinde Mautner & Franz Rainer. Read more
2013 Köster, Almut. 2013. English for Occupational Purposes In: Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Hrsg. C.A. Chapelle. Read more
2012 Köster, Almut, Handford, Michael. 2012. Spoken professional genres In: The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Hrsg. J. P. Gee and M. Handford. Read more
2012 Köster, Almut. 2012. Corpora and workplace discourse In: Corpus Applications in Applied Linguistics: current approaches and future. Hrsg. K. Hyland, M. H. Chau, & M. Handford. Read more
2012 Köster, Almut. 2012. Working in English In: Worlds of English: Talk, Text and Technology. Hrsg. D. Allington and B. Mayor. Read more
2010 Köster, Almut. 2010. Building small specialised corpora In: The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics. Hrsg. M. McCarthy and A. O’Keeffe. Read more
2009 Köster, Almut. 2009. Conversation Analysis in the language classroom In: Introducing Applied Linguistics: Key Concepts and Skills. Hrsg. Susan Hunston & David Oakey. Read more
2007 Köster, Almut. 2007. ¿About Twelve Thousand or so¿: Vagueness in North American and UK Offices In: Vague Language Explored. Hrsg. Joan Cutting. Read more