Beverley Jennings, a fourth-year part-time PhD student at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education, gave a presentation, titled ‘Vocabulary, reading and the GCSE English language exam: A research project’, at the researchEd national conference on Saturday 4th September 2021 at Chobham Academy, Stratford, East London.

The in-person conference was organised to provide evidence-informed CPD for teachers and Beverley was one of more than 130 presenters. It was a great opportunity for her to share early research findings with practitioners and her session was well attended and got a few mentions on Twitter under the hashtag #rED21.

Beverley was able to share initial findings from the first part of her PhD, which uses corpus linguistics to study GCSE exam texts.  The English teachers in the audience were keen to hear about which genres of reading provide the best exposure to the types of vocabulary found in the exam texts.  There was a great discussion at the end, during the questions, about vocabulary that students find particularly challenging and ways in which practitioners can promote reading in our classrooms.  Beverley was also able to attract a new participant school to her study, drawn from a member of the audience.  There was a lot of interest in her PhD journey, with several teachers keen to find out how they too can get involved in research.

Beverley’s supervisors are Dr. Holly Joseph and Dr. Daisy Powell.