Dr. Naomi Flynn (Associate Professor of Primary English Education, University of Reading) has been awarded a University of Reading Research Fellowship during the 2021-2022 academic year. In keeping with her researcher-practitioner identity, Naomi’s project involves working directly with staff in a group of schools where many pupils are learning English as an additional language (EAL). This project will investigate the extent to which a US-designed programme of professional development can enhance the pedagogy of teachers of pupils with EAL who make up around 20% of the school population.

Naomi’s Fellowship project is a close follow-on to her US-UK Fulbright Funded study through which she will spend time evaluating and adapting the programme of professional development – known as The Enduring Principles of Learning. This approach is centred on a talk-based curriculum and is already the subject of Naomi’s pilot work in schools.

The Fellowship will allow Naomi to deliver professional development in this approach, over seven months, to teachers of children aged 5, 9 and 13 years old. Working alongside her will be ESRC-funded PhD student Aniqa Leena who will analyse, through pupil testing, how far the changes to teachers’ practice are improving pupils’ progress in English.

Each academic year, the University Committee for Research & Innovation is supporting six University Research Fellowships providing up to £10,000 to cover teaching replacement costs and research expenses. The University Research Fellowships are intended to support researchers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences across the four University research themes.

“I am very excited to win this Fellowship because it will allow me to capitalise on my research in both the US and the UK and to scale up my work with more schools, more EAL learners, and more teachers in future.” said Dr. Flynn. “It will generate much needed enhanced understanding of how best to support our many multilingual children towards academic success.”

To learn more about Dr. Flynn’s research interests, click here. She tweets at @naomiflynn61.