VicTESOL Research Grant 2023

VicTESOL is pleased to announce the successful application for the 2023 VicTESOL Research Grant.

Congratulations to Dr Shu Ohki, Dr Julie Choi, Cath Ferla, and Thea Ho for their project titled Mobilising EAL learners’ cultural and linguistic resources through content and language integrated pedagogy.

Leveraging EAL learners’ diverse cultural and linguistic resources facilitates and fosters their learning process, cultural competencies, agency, autonomy, and identities to bring their “whole sel[ves] into the classroom” (Ladson-Billings, 2021, p. 353). Existing pedagogies, such as culturally sustaining pedagogy (e.g., Ladson-Billings, 2014; Paris, 2012) and plurilingual pedagogies (Lin, 2013; Slaughter & Cross, 2021) recognise the significance of embedding learners’ cultural and linguistic considerations as the crux of lesson planning and delivery. This is particularly important against the backdrop of the deficit and monolingual (English-only) discourses that continues to shape Australian EAL classrooms (Cross et al., 2022).
With particular attention to integrating and mobilising EAL students’ diverse cultural and linguistic resources explicitly and consistently in lesson/unit planning and delivery, this project will be implemented with two classroom teachers of newly arrived students at Western English Language School (WELS) to expand their professional knowledge and practices that will ultimately lead to supporting their students’ learning in their specific classrooms. The key focus areas are:
1. Identifying ways to integrate the cultural and linguistic considerations relevant for newly arrived EAL students explicitly and consistently into the existing lesson/unit plans.
2. Revising a unit plan and developing teaching and learning resources to deliver lessons that mobilise students’ diverse cultural and linguistic resources.
3. Providing pedagogical support to the classroom teachers, through mentoring and modelling, to facilitate the development of their capacity to teach new content and language while integrating EAL students’ diverse cultural and linguistic resources explicitly and consistently.

The VicTESOL Research Grant offered funds of $10,000 in 2023 to a research team to conduct research into the TESOL field. The project has to involve researchers and practitioners as research partners. The successful 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 is to evaluate and enhance or develop a program directed at addressing EAL learning needs.

The VicTESOL Research Grant aims to 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

2023 24 April – Grant applications open

28 July – Applications close

6 October – Successful application announced

2024 Conduct Research Project

27 September – An interim report to be provided to VicTESOL by the Grant recipients

2025 Dissemination of findings/outcomes of project:

1.               Written report

2.               VicTESOL workshop/symposium workshop conducted

3.               TESOL in Context journal article submitted

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 VicTESOL Research 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

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

  1. The research team incorporates and fosters a partnership between classroom teachers and members with research expertise and/or experience.
  2. The proposal identifies an area of need for EAL students and a well-informed rationale is provided for the strategy proposed to address that need as well as how the project will benefit the TESOL profession.
  3. A clear description of the methodology and the anticipated outcomes appear and align with each other and the intended aims of the project.
  4. The nature of the data to be collected and analysed is outlined and a clear explanation of how that data contributes to a better understanding of the issue appears.
  5. The scope, sequence and funding allocations of the project are achievable and reasonable.

*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.

** The Advisory Group will recommend that the Research Grant be awarded to one particular applicant, based on the evaluation criteria. There will be no avenue to appeal the decision.

VicTESOL 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.

Budget

Funding will be considered for the following items *

  • Teaching/marking release
  • 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

VicTESOL Research Grant Advisory Group Code of Conduct and Procedures

Invitees to the panel (VicTESOL Research Grant Advisory Group) are required to sign an agreement that in performance of their role they agree to:

  • consider each application on its merits in light of the published criteria, drawing on their professional expertise and experience, and refraining from advocacy of particular perspectives or interests
  • keep confidential the contents of the applications they work with and the nature of panel discussions other, than the published report about the decision made
  • destroying all hard and electronic copies of applications and documents related to the applications following completion of the deliberations of the panel
  • declare any real or potential conflicts of interest that may arise
  • agree to withdraw should any event render them unable to perform these duties or meet the stated expectations.

Conflicts of interest are considered as-
When a selection panel member, or someone close to them, or an organisation they work for, is also connected in some way to an application.

This could include when the panel member:

  • is named in an application, whether there is a financial benefit from the grant or not;
  • has provided a letter of support for an application/applicant, but is not involved in the project;
  • is in a contractual or other significant dispute with someone mentioned in an application;
  • has worked closely with or collaborated with someone mentioned in an application in the previous two years, works closely with them currently, or will work closely with them in the near future*;
  • has a close and/or long standing personal friendship with someone named in an application.

If unsure, panelists should declare any possible conflict of interest to the Executive convener for consideration by the VicTESOL Executive Committee.

* In general, membership of the VicTESOL General Committee or Executive Committee is not considered to be a conflict of interest, provided such an applicant is not currently serving on the selection panel.

Procedures related to the processing and evaluation of the applications:

  • All communication with applicants about the applications are made through the VicTESOL Association Officer or VicTESOL Executive convener of the annual panel.
  • All applications are de-identified to remove identification of people and institutions, prior to being distributed to panel members.
  • In the event the panel considers no application to be completely satisfactory, it may request an applicant to make specified minor revisions to address perceived shortcomings of the application, prior to making a final decision.
  • The panel will write a short report on their deliberations, including a brief statement of what they regarded as the strengths and shortcomings (if any) of each application, to be communicated to the applicant in relation to their own application.
  • The panel may ask an external evaluator, to review these documents in order to affirm the soundness of the decision making in relation to the criteria and the soundness of the reasoning presented in the report and the comments to applicants.
  • The panel will recommend that the Research Grant be awarded to one particular applicant, based on the evaluation criteria. There will be no avenue to appeal the decision.

Research Grant Documents

Research Grant Application Form

Download (DOCX, 122KB)

Research Grant Information

Download (PDF, 785KB)


Applications are due by July 28, 2023.

Please send applications and queries to:

grants [at] victesol.vic.edu.au


Previous Grant Recipients

2022 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Developing speaking: in class and digitally-mediated teaching and learning of oral language

Research Team Members: Dr Shem Macdonald (La Trobe University), Ms Elizabeth Keenan (Carringbush Adult Education), and Ms Emily Tucker (Carringbush Adult Education)

Project Outline:

This project will take forward an existing project that is based in a Victorian adult learning centre where adult migrants are learning English language and learning skills in government-funded AMEP and SEE programs. As part of this project, there has been a focus on enhancing learners’ oral language including their pronunciation, with curriculum and teacher development in this area a regular feature in this centre. The main focuses of the project going forward are on the responses of the teachers and learners in this centre to the challenges of teaching and learning oral language including pronunciation online and with the use of digital tools. The intent is to explore what we can learn from these experiences during and post Covid lockdowns that might benefit all teachers working at a distance to support the learning of oral language including pronunciation.

2021 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Designing teaching and learning approaches to VCE EAL writing using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Research Team Members: Dr Julie Choi (University of Melbourne), Dr Mei French (University of South Australia), Dr Sue Ollerhead (Macquarie University) and Ms Kailin Liu (Sunshine College)

Project Outline: In many high stakes academic writing contexts, the dominant mechanical approach often guides EAL students in ways that memorize or reproduce formulaic structures rather than engage in criticality and their own voice in English writing. With the increasing global attention on the need for diverse and inclusive teaching frameworks, this project aims to draw on translanguaging, genre, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (CRP), to develop pedagogies and principles that enhance EAL students’ performance and engagement with high stakes academic writing. Findings from this study can contribute to the development of effective CRP-framed pedagogies that draw upon, sustain and revitalise the complex multilingual resources, literacy practices and curiosities of EAL students, and reconnect them with alternative writing practices.

2020 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Investigating culturally and linguistically diverse early childhood contexts: A Q methodology analysis of professional learning needs

Research Team Members: Dr Yvette Slaughter (University of Melbourne), Dr Anne Keary (Monash University) and Dr Gary Bonar (Monash University), working with fka Children’s Services

Project Outline: In Australia, the value of incorporating home languages and cultures into learning and development pathways of students of all ages is gaining momentum and is being realized in new and promising lines of inquiry that highlight the importance of identity and agency (reflexivity on language and learning) in children’s development (Morrison et al, 2019). The aims of this project are to identify the knowledge base of EC educators in relation to EAL children’s multilingual and identity development, and to identify their professional learning (PL) needs in working with emerging multilingual children.

This research can assist teacher professional organisations such as fka Children’s Services and VicTESOL to understand and develop PL programs to support educators in developing learning and development pathways that are informed by current understandings of culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogies, and aligned with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework and the national Early Years Learning Framework (DESE, 2017; DET, 2016). This work can also develop teachers’ capacity to actively capitalise on the multilingual capabilities of Australian children and tackle the (inter)national challenge of how the EC education sector might successfully improve and enhance learning for emerging multilingual children.

Read the article in Linguistics and Education, Volume 79, February 2024

2019 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Elucidating practices that assist EAL learners to acquire specialised science vocabulary

Research Team Members: Dr Anna Filipi, Prof Amanda Berry, Dr Minh Hue Nguyen & Angelique Valcanis

Project Outline: This project will extend an existing study with a science and an EAL teacher a secondary college. The project aims to investigate and document how these teachers interpret and utilise the Victorian Curriculum (VC) Science 7-10 and the New Victorian EAL Curriculum 2020 to support EAL students’ development of critical scientific understandings required in order to progress through both the science achievement standards and the EAL standards. The importance of this project lies in its timeliness as it seeks to provide empirical data for the revised EAL curriculum. Additionally, findings from the study can inform the design of pedagogical practices based on the relevant VC frameworks to show how the VC Science Curriculum can be aligned with the New Victorian EAL Curriculum. This could serve as a model for other curriculum areas.

Read the article in TESOL in Context, Volume 31, No.1, pp. 75-99

2018 VicTESOL Research Grant Recipients

Developing and implementing effective language and literacy pedagogies for low language and literacy learners through collaborative engagement between teacher educators and teachers

Research Team Members: Dr Julie Choi, Dr Yvette Slaughter & Hayley Black 

Project Outline:  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.

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.

Read the article in TESOL in Context, Volume 28, No.1, pp. 45-64

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.

Click here to visit the resource.