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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.
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.
Koester, A. 2017. Conflict Talk. In B. Vine (ed), The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace. New York: Routledge.
Koester, Almut. 2017. Spoken Workplace Discourse. In G. Mautner & F. Rainer (eds), Business Communication: Linguistic Approaches. Berlin: De Gruyter.
Koester, A. 2014. “We’d be prepared to do something, like if you say.” Hypothetical reported speech in business negotiations. English for Specific Purposes 36: 35-46.
Koester, A. 2012. Corpora and workplace discourse. In K. Hyland, M. H. Chau, & M. Handford (eds), Corpus Applications in Applied Linguistics: current approaches and future directions. London: Continuum.
Koester, A. 2010. Workplace Discourse. London: Continuum.
Handford, M. and Koester, A. 2010. “It’s not Rocket Science”: Metaphors and Idioms in Conflictual Business Meetings. Text & Talk 30 (1): 27-51.
Koester, A. 2007. “About Twelve Thousand or so”: Vagueness in North American and UK Offices. In J. Cutting (ed), Vague Language Explored. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 40-61.
Koester, A. 2006. Investigating Workplace Discourse. London: Routledge.
Koester, A. 2004. The Language of Work. London: Routledge.
Koester, A. 2004. Relational sequences in workplace genres. Journal of Pragmatics 36: 1405-1428.
|2021||Köster, Almut. 2021. Small stories in short interactions: The functions of narratives in care home worker interactions. Narrative Inquiry. Read more|
|2019||Handford, Michael, Köster, Almut. 2019. The construction of conflict talk across workplace contexts: Towards a theory of conflictual compact. Language Awareness. 28 (3), 186-206. 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. Journal of Pragmatics. 130 67-80. Read more|
|2014||Köster, Almut. 2014. "We'd be prepared to do something,like if you say.." hypothetical reported speech in business negotiations. English for Specific Purposes 36 35-46. 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. Applied Linguistics 32 (4): 408-429. Read more|
|2010||Handford, Michael, Köster, Almut 2010. 'It's not Rocket Science': Metaphors and Idioms in Conflictual Business Meetings. Text and Talk 30 (1): 27-51. Read more|
|2008||Low, Graham, Littlemore, Jeannette, Köster, Almut. 2008. Metaphor use in three UK university lectures. Applied Linguistics 29 (3): 428-455. Read more|
|2004||Köster, Almut. 2004. Relational sequences in workplace genres. Journal of Pragmatics 36 (8): 1405-1428. Read more|
|2002||Köster, Almut. 2002. The Performance of speech acts in workplace conversations and the teaching of communicative functions. System 30 (2), 167-184. Read more|
Chapter in edited volume
|2022||Köster, Almut. 2022. Language Awareness and Business Communication. In: Language Awareness in the Professions, Hrsg. Cambridge University Press, 140-161. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Read more|
|2017||Köster, Almut. 2017. Conflict Talk. In: The Routledge Handbook of Language in the Workplace , Hrsg. Bernadette Vine , 272-283. New York: Routledge. Read more|
|2017||Köster, Almut. 2017. Spoken Workplace Discourse. In: Business Communication: Linguistic Approaches, Hrsg. Gerlinde Mautner & Franz Rainer, 629-656. Berlin: De Gruyter. 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, 47-66. London: Continuum. 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, 252-267. London: Routledge. Read more|
|2012||Köster, Almut. 2012. Working in English. In: Worlds of English: Talk, Text and Technology, Hrsg. D. Allington and B. Mayor, 135-163. London: Routledge. Read more|
|2010||Köster, Almut. 2010. Building small specialised corpora. In: The Routledge Handbook of Corpus Linguistics, Hrsg. M. McCarthy and A. OKeeffe, 66-78. London: Routledge. 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, S. 37-47. London: Routledge. 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, S. 40-61. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Read more|