Portrait of Dr Renia Lopez Dr Renia Lopez

r.lopez@hud.ac.uk | 01484 473794


Before joining the School of Linguistics and Modern Languages as Spanish and Italian coordinator, I worked at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University,  in the English Department,  developing the studies of Spanish as a Foreign Language and contributing to the European Studies Minor. Previously I had also worked in the Spanish Departments of Hong Kong University and City University of Hong Kong.

Research and Scholarship

My current area of research is in gestures, a field of growing interest in linguistics. My master thesis focused on turn-giving and non-verbal devices used by foreign language speakers and from this developed my PhD thesis, which centered on self-corrections and disfluencies and the gestures associated with these. Very little research has been done in this field and my results open up a number of further research avenues including gender differences in disfluency and gesture, processing input (be it written, aural or video) and further output production differences, and disfluency differences by language. I am collaborating with other gestures scholars on follow up projects, in particular the differences in gestures between native Spanish speakers from Spain and Mexico (in collaboration with Dr. Stam, National Louis University).

In addition I also study the importance of nonverbal communication in the classroom to create immediacy (closeness) between teachers and students, and the use of nonverbal communication in literature. I am also interested in cognitive grammar and the place gestures should occupy within this field.  

Publications and Other Research Outputs


López-Ozieblo, R (2016) ‘Cultural Aspects of Immediacy in an Asian Classroom ContextElia (15), pp. 13-34. ISSN 15765059