Namala Lakshmi Tilakaratna


Contact Information

Telephone: 6601 2137
Office: CELC #03-10 (10 Architecture Drive, Singapore 117511)

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD (Linguistics), University of Sydney, Australia
  • Master of Letters (Applied Linguistics), Thesis and Coursework, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


  • Teaching Enhancement Conference Grant (2017), Centre for the Development of Teaching Learning (CDTL), National University of Singapore
  • Research fellowship (June, 2017), the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook research, The University of Gottingen, Germany
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (2011-2014), Department of Education and Training, New South Wales, Australia

Professional Memberships

  • Associate Member, The Legitimation Code Theory Centre for Knowledge-building, University of Sydney

Research Interests

  • Systemic Functional Linguistics
  • Legitimation Code Theory
  • ESL, EAP and TESOL
  • Nations, nationalism and national identity


Book Chapter

  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N., & Maton, K. (2015). The Knowledge Practices of ‘Critical Thinking’. In M. Davies, & R. Barnett (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education (pp. 573-591). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal Articles

Conference Proceedings

  • Tilakaratna, N. & Szenes, E. (2017a). The linguistic construction of critical ‘self- reflection’ in social work and business. In P. Chapell, & J. Knox (Eds.), Transforming contexts: Papers from the 44th International Systemic Functional Congress (pp. 61-66). Wollongong: The Organising Committee of the 44th

Book Review

Research Projects

  • Project name: “The knowledge practices of Critical Thinking" (2013 – ongoing) (unfunded research project), The LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building, University of Sydney, Project Team:Professor Karl Maton (LCT Centre for Knowledge-building, Department of Sociology and Social Practice) and Dr Eszter Szenes (Learning Center, University of Sydney)
  • Project name: “Labelling affectual states in web forum text”, 2012-2013, (funded research project AUD $100,000),  Defense Science and Technology Organization (DSTO), Department of Defense, Australia, Project team: Dr Shoshana Dreyfus (Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney) and Tobin Bales (Masters candidate, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney)

Seminars & Conferences

  • Tilakaratna, N. (2015) “Reviving the nation: national identity in English language textbooks in Sri Lanka”, Paper presented at the 42nd International Systemic Functional Congress (ISFC), on "Challenging Boundaries”, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
  • Szenes, E., Tilakaratna, N. (2013) “Critical Thinking and Employment Readiness: The role of semantic waving in preparing students for life after university”, the 11th Biennial Conference of the Association for Academic Language and Learning, RMIT University, Melbourne
  • Dreyfus, S., Tilakaratna, N., Bales, T. (2012) “Dealing with difficult emotions: exploring the limits and expanding the scope of the AFFECT network in SFL” Free Linguistics conference, University of Sydney
  • Tilakaratna., N. (2011) “Reclaiming English by ‘speaking English our way’: English language teaching policy and practice in Sri Lanka”, paper presented at the 17th International Association of World Englishes Conference
  • Tilakaratna., N. (2011) “‘English as a Life Skill’: English language teaching policy and practice in Sri Lanka”, paper presented at the 2nd Combined ALAA-ALANZ conference
  • Raheem, R. and Tilakaratna N. (2010). EAP and the University Benchmarks: The Open University of Sri Lanka Experience. Paper presented at the 6th SLELTA (Sri Lanka English Language Teaching Association Conference)