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RiPL network

All the members of the RiPL network are involved in research, working on projects which relate to children and second language or foreign language learning. These projects are exciting, innovative and interesting. Here, we present some of our members and the work that they are currently engaged in, or planning for the future.

Alison Porter is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton and her research interests include classroom-based foreign language teaching and learning, especially foreign language pedagogy for school-age learners and the development of FL / L2 literacy. She has a particular interest in the role of cross-linguistic influence in language learning.  Alison worked in KS2 teaching French for 10 years and has conducted small-scale research in KS1 exploring the role of gesture in vocabulary learning and French literacy instruction in KS2. She collaborated in an Oxford-led research project, FLEUR, which evaluated the effectiveness of phonics and strategies instruction in KS3 French classrooms.  She also lead the design, production and launch of the MOOC Teaching Languages in Primary Schools: Putting Research into Practice. Alison now leads a three-year research project funded by the ESRC, Digital Empowerment in Language Teaching, which explores the role of digital technologies in teacher professional learning, progress in French and Spanish literacy and the potential for wider benefits of language learning including creativity and empathy.

  • Principal investigator for Digital Empowerment in Language Teaching (DELTEA) research project.
  • Led the development and production of the MOOC Teaching Languages in Primary Schools: Putting Research into Practice.
  • Founded research and practice initiatives through the Southampton University Primary Languages (SUPL) network.
Bernardette Holmes MBE, Co-Chair of RiPL

Bernardette Holmes is Director of the National Consortium for Languages Education, a three year initiative funded by the Department for Education to promote, develop and resources languages education in schools in England.  She has advised government on current curriculum reform for modern languages in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. She is writer of the GCSE criteria for both modern and ancient languages and drafter of the new AS and A level Subject Content Criteria for French, German and Spanish. Bernardette received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2015 for services to languages education as a teacher and a modern languages advocate.

Professor Janet Enever
RiPL theme: Curriculum models and curriculum policy

Janet Enever is a visiting professor at King’s College London in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics. and professor emerita at Umeå University Sweden. Her research interests include the impact of globalisation on English language teaching, the politics of primary foreign language policy, language teacher education and primary EFL / FL teaching. 

  • Author of Policy and Politics in Global Primary English.

  • Director of the ElliE project.
Professor Suzanne Graham
RiPL theme: Transition from primary to secondary school

Suzanne Graham  is Professor of Language and Education at the Institute of Education, University of Reading. Her research focuses on instructed foreign language learning by young learners, including the role of different teaching approaches and classroom conditions and how motivation for language learning develops during primary education and into secondary school. Suzanne has led research investigating transition between KS2 and KS3, exploring outcomes, motivation and teaching/teacher factors.  She has collaborated with the University of Oxford to explore the effectiveness of strategies and phonics instruction in KS3 French classrooms.  Suzanne was a central member in developing the MOOC, Teaching Languages in Primary Schools: Putting Research into Practice.  She is a Co-Investigator on the Digital Empowerment in Language Teaching project.

Dr Rowena Kasprowicz
RiPL theme: Linguistic development and expectations

Rowena Kasprowicz is a lecturer in Second Language Education, Institute of Education, at the University of Reading. Her research focusses on instructed foreign language learning by young learners, including the effectiveness of explicit instruction for grammar teaching and learning, the role of explicit knowledge in learning, how differences between individual learners mediate the effectiveness of instruction, and the role of technology in language learning. Rowena is leading a research project Progression in Primary Languages which is a longitudinal and cross-sectional investigation of teaching and learning of French, Spanish and German in KS2.  

  • Principal investigator for Progression in Primary Languages (PiPL) research project.

  • Member of the project team for the OASIS (Open Accessible Summaries In Language Studies) initiative.

  • Worked on the Gaming Grammar project.
Dr Gee Macrory
RiPL theme: Pedagogy and teacher expertise

Gee Macrory is a former Associate Head of School, and Principal Lecturer (School of Teacher Education and Professional Development) at the Manchester Metropolitan University, and now a Visiting Research Fellow. Her current research interests include bilingualism, classroom language learning and teacher education.

Professor Rosamond Mitchell
RiPL theme: Linguistic development and expectations

Ros Mitchell is Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics at the University of Southampton. She originally trained as a secondary school languages teacher, and later became a researcher and lecturer at universities in Scotland (Stirling, Edinburgh) and England (Southampton). She has longstanding research interests in language learning and teaching, and has conducted classroom research in primary and secondary schools in Scotland and England.

Professor Victoria Murphy
RiPL theme: Multilingualism and additional language learning

Victoria Murphy is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the Department of Education, University of Oxford.  She is the research group convener of the Applied Linguistics and the R.E.A.L. (Research in English as an Additional Language) research groups. Victoria’s area of research lies mainly within the realm of child L2/FL learning, vocabulary and literacy development. 

Ruth Fielding is Senior Lecturer in Languages and TESOL Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). She has researched in the area of multilingualism, identity and language teaching and learning since 2006. She is the author of Multilingualism in the Australian Suburbs (Springer, 2015) and a number of journal articles and chapters related to multilingual identity and language learning. Ruth has researched several aspects of the implementation of CLIL in primary schools in Australia with Prof Lesley Harbon since 2010.

Professor Lesley Harbon
RiPL theme: Content and Language Integrated Learning – CLIL

Lesley Harbon is Professor and Head of School (School of International Studies and Education, University of Technology Sydney, Australia). During her almost 40-year career, Lesley has taught foreign languages at primary, secondary and university level. She has been involved with pre-service language teacher education, has supervised more than 10 doctoral research higher degree projects to completion, and continues to research and publish in the areas of bilingual/CLIL education, language teacher professional development, and intercultural languages education. Lesley has been an active member of language teacher professional associations.

  • President of the Australian peak professional language teacher body, the AFMLTA, for four years between 2008–2011.

Dr Angela Tellier
Administrative Coordinator for RiPL

Angela is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. A qualified language teacher, her research interests include the development of metalinguistic awareness and language aptitude in children learning in instructed contexts, the role of explicit teaching and learning, and the potential benefits of ‘starter’ languages. 



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