VicTESOL Research Grant 2018

The successful applicants for the 2018 VicTESOL Research Grant are Dr. Julie Choi and Dr. Yvette Slaughter from Melbourne University and Hayley Black from Carringbush Adult Education, for their project on developing and implementing effective language and literacy pedagogies for low language and literacy learners, through collaborative engagement between teacher educators and teachers. 

The aim of this project is to collaboratively explore and document effective teaching and learning practices of language and literacy to adult EAL learners with low levels of language and literacy through a book making project. The project will generate principles on how to activate learners’ communicative repertoires and draw on learners’ diverse multilingual, cultural and multimodal resources creatively to develop personal narratives. Throughout the book making process, researchers from Melbourne University will provide guidance to develop pedagogical strategies for teaching literacy and language to multilingual learners with low levels of literacy. These strategies can assist EAL teachers to teach both traditional and multimodal literacy skills in various TESOL contexts. 

The VicTESOL Research Grant offers funds of $10,000 in 2018 to a research team to conduct research into the TESOL field. The project must involve researchers and practitioners as research partners.

The research team will work collaboratively with VicTESOL to report their findings in a manner that is relevant to the VicTESOL membership, other EAL/TESOL practitioners and researchers in Victoria and potentially to other members of TESOL communities nationally and internationally.

Information & Guidelines

Aim & Background

VicTESOL is offering a research grant to support research into the field of TESOL. The VicTESOL Research Grant for the amount of $10,000 will be awarded on the basis of proposals submitted by teams consisting of researchers and practitioners to undertake research into an existing or developing EAL focused program. The aims of the research will be to evaluate and enhance or develop a program directed at addressing EAL learning needs.

The Research Grant will strengthen VicTESOL’s capacity to provide expertise and professional learning opportunities for VicTESOL members and the broader TESOL community. VicTESOL also expects the grant will support the generation of data that can inform decision making and practice in relation to the support of EAL programs.

Research Intent

It is important that the research fulfills VicTESOL’s aim of promoting excellence in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and fostering and supporting cultural and linguistic diversity through high quality multicultural education

Important Dates

2018 6 April– Grant applications open

31 Aug – Applications close

8 Oct – Successful application announced

2019 Conduct Research Project

Dissemination of findings/outcomes of project:

  • Written report
  • VicTESOL workshop/symposium workshop conducted
  • TESOL in Context journal article submitted
  • If practical, a workshop/paper presentation for 2020 ACTA conference in Queensland

Distribution of the grant.

The grant will be distributed to the research team on granting and acceptance of the award.

Eligibility criteria

  1. All members of the research team are current members of VicTESOL (either individual or institutional).
  2. The research is framed in a Victorian context.
  3. The research project’s major milestones will be achieved within two years of the grant being awarded.
  4. The research team will work in partnership with an educational institution that could be an early childhood centre, a school, or an accredited education provider in the adult sector. Consultation will be sought from a VicTESOL critical friend with regards to research methodology and rationale, if required.
  5. A clear understanding and appreciation of the needs of EAL learners.
  6. There is no conflict of interest for team members involved in undertaking the VicTESOL-funded research.

Criteria for evaluation of applications

Grant applications will be evaluated by the VicTESOL Research Grant Advisory Group* according to the following criteria:

  1. The research will provide data that informs better practice and decision-making in relation to the provision for the needs of EAL programs.
  2. The proposal identifies an area of EAL/ESL need for students that provides a rationale for a strategy to address that need.
  3. A clear description of the strategy and the anticipated outcomes of the strategy
  4. A well informed and explicitly presented statement of the nature of the data to be collected and analysed, and how this data will contribute to a better understanding of the issue addressed, and the results of the strategy.
  5. It is anticipated that research teams will include classroom teachers as well as members who have research expertise and experience (who may also be classroom teachers).

*The VicTESOL Research Grant Advisory Group consists of members from the VicTESOL executive and co-opted experienced and expert practitioners and researchers from the TESOL field.

Research Grant Application

(3-4 pages max)

In submitting a proposal, the research team needs to provide a considered, well-structured project framework that addresses the criteria on which the application will be judged. Research proposals must be submitted on the pro forma provided.


Funding will be considered for the following items *

  • Teaching/marking release
  • Travel expenses (It is anticipated that the maximum will be $500. If a higher amount is requested, an explanation and rationale needs to be provided)
  • Materials/equipment (It is anticipated that the maximum will be $1500. If a higher amount is requested, an explanation and rationale needs to be provided).
  • Software (It is anticipated that the maximum will be $1500. If a higher amount is requested, an explanation and rationale needs to be provided)
  • CRT release for teaching staff
  • Transcriptions

* N.B. A case can be made for items not listed

Research Grant Documents

Research Grant Application Form

Download (DOCX, 152KB)

Research Grant Information

Download (PDF, 124KB)

Previous Grant Recipients

2017 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

When numbers count: Addressing EAL learners’ needs in regional areas through mainstream teacher professional development

Research Team Members: Dr Melissa Barnes, Dr. Seham Shwayli & Pamalee Matthews

Project Outline: The first aim of the project is to examine the nature of support provided to EAL learners in the two schools participating in this study (e.g. time, resources, personnel involved, etc.). For example, how many hours per week is allocated for EAL instructional support from either an EAL teacher and/or the Victoria Department of Education ‘Virtual New Arrivals Program’ and what other support programs are available to the EAL learners (e.g. Save the Children or other refugee support programs if applicable).

The second aim is to explore the experiences, beliefs and attitudes of the school leaders and mainstream teachers towards supporting EAL learners before and after targeted professional development. The final aim is to create, implement and evaluate an online professional development module for mainstream teachers in regional/rural areas to help them better support their EAL students.

2016 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Improving refugee students’ access to digital literacies: integrating transmedia storytelling in an EAL (Year 7) classroom

Research Team Members: Dr Katrina Tour & Dr Maria Gindidis

Project Outline: This project involves the research team and an EAL teacher who will collaborate to plan, implement and evaluate a transmedia storytelling unit for teaching Year 7 refugee students. The project ultimately aims to develop and disseminate a web-based toolkit for EAL practitioners consisting of a flexible framework and a set of teaching resources to support teaching digital literacies which are of particular importance for refugee students.