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Laura Alba-Juez is currently a tenured Professor of Linguistics at the National Distance Education University (UNED) in Madrid, Spain. She received her undergraduate degree in English Linguistics and Literature from the National University of San Juan, Argentina, where she later held different teaching and research positions. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and a Ph. D. in English Linguistics from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), Spain, where she also taught, did research on Linguistics, and coordinated the Master's program in Applied Linguistics for several years. She carried out post-doctoral research as a Visiting Researcher and Scholar in the Linguistics Department at Georgetown University (Washington D. C., U.S.A.), where she subsequently held a Lecturer position for three years in the Spanish and Portuguese Department . She is now in charge of two research projects, and is involved in both undergraduate and graduate teaching within the English Studies Programs (Bachelor, Master's and Doctoral) at the UNED. She is the Director of the Masters programme in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language at the same university, and also participates in the supervision of doctoral theses. Her main areas of research are Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics and Applied Linguistics. She is the author/editor of seven other books, and has published numerous articles in refereed journals on topics such as verbal irony, pragmatic markers, linguistic humor and politeness theory, as well as computerized language teaching and evaluation.