Dr. Naomi Flynn (Associate Professor of Primary English Education, University of Reading) has spent the past three months in Indianapolis, USA hosted by the School of Education at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and funded by a US-UK Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award. During this time, she has immersed herself in three schools in order to observe the impact of a programme of professional development devised by her colleague Professor Annela Teemant. This approach – called The Enduring Principles of Learning – trains teachers in raising the quality of their teaching for multilingual learners.
In her talk – attended by scholars and teachers from both sides of the pond – Dr. Flynn compared the US and UK contexts for teaching multilingual learners before talking about her findings in both the US and the UK. Those being that teachers are best placed to teach multilingual learners when they use small groups, engage in talk-rich activities and design a curriculum that reflects children’s lived experiences beyond the school gates. In the spirit of Fulbright’s mission to support research and knowledge exchange, the presentation and accompanying discussion allowed for mutually beneficial conversations about what matters in the teaching of multilingual learners.
On her return to the UK in November, Dr. Flynn will be conducting research in a group of three schools and using her new found understanding to translate the Enduring Principles of Understanding to the UK context.