Dr Tatiana Tkacukova
Senior Lecturer and MA English Linguistics Course Director
Dr Tatiana Tkacukova is a Senior Lecturer in English Language. Prior to joining the School of English at Birmingham City University, she was an EU-funded Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for Forensic Linguistics, Aston University.
Tatiana’s interdisciplinary research focuses on legal-lay communication and access to justice for litigants in person, i.e. litigants who represent themselves in legal proceedings without a lawyer. She is interested in the interplay between legal and lay communication styles and how people without any legal experience interact with legal professionals and present their cases in court. She is also interested in the impact such cases with unrepresented litigants have on the role of the judiciary and court administration.
One of the projects Tatiana has collaborated on recently (with CEPLER, Birmingham Law School) surveyed litigants in person in the local court to find out more about their access to legal information and advice prior to court proceedings. Tatiana is currently continuing her research in this area by looking into legal information available online, including social media, and targeted at litigants in person. In line with this, she is planning to explore digital literacy in the context of online courts and potential challenges with access to justice for litigants in person and digitally deprived.
Tatiana’s other research interests include police interviewing techniques, deception detection, English language proficiency assessment for forensic purposes as well as experiences of vulnerable litigants/victims/witnesses and non-native English speakers with legal proceedings in England and Wales.
In her research and teaching, Tatiana builds on her prior work experience of serving as a court interpreter as well as teaching English as a Foreign Language at universities abroad. Tatiana regularly gives invited talks and participates in such external activities as teaching CPD workshops (e.g. at the International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis), acting as an expert evaluator of EU funded large scale collaborative projects (e.g. “The Multilingual Challenge for the European Citizen” in 2013), contributing to professional discussions (e.g. Transparency Projects), acting an external advisor (JUSTICE) and conducting commissioned research for external bodies (JUSTICE Scotland).