I joined the Education team at QMU part-time in August 2020. I began my career as a primary class teacher before moving into an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teaching post. Currently I work in a local authority development role, training teachers and supporting schools with their provision for EAL learners. I am passionate about young language learning; I am trained to teach both French and Spanish in the primary school and am an advocate for exploring the range of meaningful primary language learning possible, including community languages, in the context of Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy.
My MEd research, completed in 2015, explored through participatory action research how pupils’ first languages and culture can be utilised in the primary curriculum. I began working towards an Ed D part time in 2016, with a completion date of 2021. My thesis is an ethnographic case study of bilingual parent and teacher partnerships in the teaching and learning of second additional languages (L3) in four Glasgow primary schools.
The flexibility that L3 offers in the context of Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy opens up spaces for meaningful and innovative approaches to young language learning. My work highlights the transformative significance of drawing on local resources and families’ ‘Funds of Knowledge’ in schools’ local communities, and meaningful encounters in local multilingual contexts for learners’ developing plurilingual identities. I am currently working alongside other researchers to consider the implications of our work for pedagogy and teacher education relating to young language learners.
Active research interests:
Young language learning in the primary school, especially in the context of Scotland’s 1+2 languages policy; local / community languages; Funds of Knowledge, supporting multilingual and multicultural learners and families; additional language acquisition.
- Qualitative, interpretative, ethnographic
- Case study, action research
- Observation, interview, focus groups, thematic analysis
I teach across both the BA (Hons) Education Studies and BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary) programmes on matters relating to EAL learners, languages, teacher reflective practice and practitioner enquiry.