I am Dr Ivan Lowe, Associate Professor (Maître de Conferences) in Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Tunis.

Home. Personal. Research Methodology. Adult L1 Acquisition. Delightfully Provocative. ESP/TEFL. Linguistics. Pronunciation. Humour. Computing. Contact. Reviews.

Lecturing is demanding, and fun. There is something about it - you have 20 to 300 students in front of you with only your personality, your voice, a whiteboard pen. and a piece of chalk. Some, but not all, are eager to learn. All the responsibility is on you.

I smile, relax, joke with the students and swing into action. Good lecturing is better than good theatre - both have atmosphere. The thrill of lecturing frequently overcomes my tiredness. Good lecturing is satisfying, demanding, and addictive.

Personal History

I grew up in the countryside near Cambridge, UK and took my A levels in 1976 in Nuffield Physics Chemistry and Biology at the Cambridge Boys Grammar, Queen Edith’s way. I was a miserable failure at French. There was a mistake in my biology grade so I ended up studying for a Bachelors in Human Biology instead of studying medicine. By the time the mistake was corrected I was so happy at the University of Surrey I decided to stay. I became a teacher of science - in the glorious days before the National Curriculum, OFSTED inspectors, and national standards tests.

While in France learning French properly, I went on a holiday to Tunisia and heard about an unusual secondary school in which the sciences were taught in English instead of French as all the other schools were. I decided that an unusual situation meant a Ph.D somehow. So I came to Tunisia, learned some Arabic, and started research - into the language of science at baccalaureate level between English and French. After field work I found a job at the University of Tunis and wrote up my thesis which I defended in 1992. Then I got promotion and steadily taught myself linguistics through adding courses. En route I met a Swiss lady and married her, and we have two children educated in local schools and speaking fluent Arabic and French.

Undergraduate courses written and taught

All courses are one semester unless otherwise indicated. ‘Shared’ indicates that both teaching and preparation was shared.

1989-94     Oral expression, oral comprehension, pronunciation, Y1                         and Y2 (shared)

1990-93     British Civilisation, Y1 (shared)

1994          Research methodology, Y4

1995-98     Advanced Study Skills, Y3

1995-2002  Introduction to Linguists, Y2 (shared)

1998/9       ESP, Y1, and  Y2 (shared)

1999-2000  Descriptive Linguistics Y3 (shared)

2000-  .      Phonology Y3

2000-6       Research Methodology Y3 (Critical reasoning)

2001-8.       Research Methodology Y4, (First Semester, Qualitative                  methodology)

2001-8.       Research Methodology Y4, (Second Semester,                              Quantitative methodology)

2001- 2011  Psycholinguistics Y4

2001- 2011  Current Linguistic Research Y4

2001-3 and  2006-8. Corpus Linguistics Y4

2001-3        Advanced Writing  Y3, (both semesters).

2006-8 .      The Modern History of English. Y3 general course.

2006-2011   World Englishes. Y3 general course.

In 2011 the degree system changed. This meant that semi-specialised courses have been replaced or cut. Therefore I have been teaching a variety of Masters courses including Psycholinguistics, Research Methodology, ESP, and Computers in Linguistics.

I also became a founder member of Tunisia TESOL in 2013 and currently serve as a board member.

Post-graduate courses

1996-2002              ESP/TEFL. DEA.

2003-2004              ESP. DESS

2004                      Statistics. DESS,

2005-9, 2013- .       ESP/TEFL, MA, Manouba

2011-2012              ESP

2010-2012              Computers in Linguistics

2011-                     Pscholinguistics

2011-                     Various Methodology courses

Ph.D Thesis: Scientific language between English and French at pre-university level. Unpublished Ph.D thesis. University of Surrey. UK. 1992.


D Rose, I Lowe 1982. Dynamics of adaptation to contrast.

Perception (5):505-28.

1. Lowe IR 1995. A new look at the irresponsible passive. Tunisia ESP Newsletter vol 11 p10-14.

2. Lowe IR 1996. Non verbal devices in pre-university science: the extent of correspondence between English and French. English for Specific Purposes 15(3):217-236.

3. Lowe IR 2001. Statistics and Research Design:  Essential Concepts for Working Teachers. English teaching forum vol 39(3) p39-46  available online at


4. Lowe IR 2008 Textbook of research, thesis writeup, and statistics. Centre de Publications Universitaire, Tunis (432 pages plus index).


Lowe I. 2014 A first textbook of research methodology and thesis writeup for second language English speakers.  (Free textbook: www.scientificlanguage.com).

Lowe I. 2014 A feel for Statistics – essential concepts underlying the calculations. (Free textbook: www.scientificlanguage.com).

Lowe I. 2014 Statistics beyond the absolute basics. (Free textbook: www.scientificlanguage.com).