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Dr Jennifer Alford

Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership


Dr Jennifer Alford
Senior Lecturer in TESOL
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Discipline *
Curriculum and Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, Language Studies
+61 7 3138 3433
+61 7 3138 3985
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Queensland University of Technology), Master of Education TESOL (Queensland University of Technology), Grad Dip Education (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Arts (University of Queensland)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • International Literacy Association (ILA)
  • Australian Council of TESOL Associations (ACTA) including QATESOL
  • Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA)
  • Australian Association of Teachers of English (AATE) incuding ETAQ
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
  • Member of the International and Intercultural Education Scholarly Interest Group at QUT
  • Member of academia.edu – https://qut.academia.edu/JenniferAlford/Papers

Critical Discourse Analysis, Critical Literacy, EAL/D learners, Second Language Teaching Pedagogy, TESOL, Critical Case Study research, Language and Content Education

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Dr Jennifer Alford coordinates and teaches units related to English Curriculum Studies and English as an Additional Language and Dialect EAL/D) in the Bachelor of Education, QUT.


She is also the co-leader of the Literacy, Culture and Digital Media Research Group,hosted by the Faculty of Education at QUT:  https://www.qut.edu.au/research/research-projects/literacies-culture-and-digital-media-research-group


Jennifer’s real world industry experience includes being: a mainstream English/Humanities and ESL teacher in various high schools in Queensland, Australia; an ESL teacher in adult migrant education programs and various private English language colleges (1987-1999); a critical friend for the QCAA English for EAL/D learners senior syllabus design (2016); a regular provider of professional development in schools regarding differentiation for EAL/D learners; backing vocalist on Sue Lewin’s CDs for early childhood education.


Jennifer completed her PhD studies in 2014. The focus of her thesis was teacher knowledge and practice of critical literacy with senior high school EAL/D students. See publications and e-prints.

Her PhD thesis has won 3 awards: the 2015 Penny McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis on Language Education (ACTA/ALAA); a 2015 QUT University Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award; and the 2016 QUT Faculty of Education Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award.  It was also nominated for the Australian Association of Research in Education Ray Debus Award for Outstanding Doctoral work in 2016, and the American Education Research Association Steve Cahir Early Career Award for research on writing and literacies in 2017.


In 2010, she was a core member of the organising committee for the successful Biennial International Conference for the Australian Council of TESOL Associations. From 2012-2016, she was an organising member of the joint QUT-IPGKIK  Outward Mobility 2 wk Study Tour program for QUT B.Ed students to Malaysia (NCP funded from 2016).


Visiting scholar positions  – April 3-15, 2017. Gothenburg University, Sweden – Dep’t of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies (IDPP). Hosts: Dr Jonas Emmanuel, Head of Department, and Dr Catarina Schmidt. Foci: a. Critical Literacy in Australia and Sweden – policy and classroom practice; b. the potential for Critical Literacy to assist Education for Sustainable Development (UNESCO) goals.


Research Grants  - CI on Faculty of Education Discovery Seed Funding Grant. Project title: How long does it take to achieve academically in a second language? Investigating variables that impact academic outcomes for ESL learners in Queensland primary and secondary schools. with Lead CI Dr Margaret Kettle (QUT), CI Dr Sue Creagh (UQ) and CI Professor Barbara Comber (QUT), $10, 000 – 2015-2016;  Faculty of Education ‘Academics in the Real World’ – 2 x $3000 grants to work with teachers at Milpera SHS and Kedron SHS; QUT Equity Women in Research Grant, $10,000- 2010.


Jennifer’s areas of interest include:

  • Teachers’ understandings and practice of language and literacy teaching, especially critical literacy in high schools with EAL learners;
  • TESOL/ EAL/D pedagogy and practice;
  • Critical Discourse Analysis as theorised method;
  • Language Awareness for teachers;
  • Intercultural awareness and capacity-building for teachers.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jennifer Alford.


Jennifer’s teaching includes:

  • Core B.Ed Culture Studies unit on EAL/D learnners – LCB004.
  • Secondary English curriculum units.
  • Various undergraduate electives in the ESL/languages area and in Sociology of Education.
  • Professional short courses for overseas trained teachers – Hong Kong University; Jiangsu Education Dept and China Scholarship Council.
  • CDA for Education researchers – Doctoral students’ intensives.

In 2009, Jennifer was awarded a QUT Faculty Teaching and Learning Scholarship of Teaching Award for her involvement in the production of a DVD to support international students on field experience in schools (practicum) and the publication of associated research papers (see Publications). In 2010, Jennifer was part of the Languages Education Team which was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award by the Faculty of Education at QUT. This award acknowledges sustained outstanding student evaluations of teaching, and team collaboration to produce effective, innovative pedagogy for diverse learners. In 2012, Jennifer was nominated by a group of international students for a Vice Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching.      

  • Supervision of Higher Degree Research students:
  • Current (July 2016): 1. Harsha  Dulari Wijesekera. PhD Ethnolinguistic identities in bilingual classrooms: a Sri Lankan case study. 2. Johanna Einfalt. PhD.   The impact of cross-cultural communication development on new university students in facilitating an internationalized curriculum. 3. Jenny Smith.  EdD.  Foreign language learning and homework – a Vygotskyan exploration.   4.Simon McIntyre – M.Ed Research – The Android Dialogic: A phenomenology of English Language Learners’ smart phones use in South Korean Universities. 5. Santi Farmasari – EdD – Assessment on English as a Foreign Language; Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Assessing Young Learners of English 6. Thi, My Ha Do – PhD – Policy and practice of multilingualism in non-native English speaking children.
  • Completed: 1. Mary Finch – M.Ed R.  A mixed methods study of a grammar-based writing intervention strategy in Yr 9 English (2015) . 2. Dr Julia Mascadri -  PhD. Early Childhood Teachers’ Intercultural Competence through the lens of self-authorship. (2016) 3. Lauren Hovelroud – M.Ed R.  Is Literacy Everybody’s business?: a case study exploring the enactment of a whole school Prep-Yr 12 common language approach to literacy education. (2016) 4. Dr. Steven Smith PhD – M.Ed R. English Language teaching in Cuba: A postcolonial analysis of policy and pedagogy. (2011)

Off shore teaching: Chicago, Illinois, US -  AERA Annual Meeting full day Professional Development Course – Critical Discourse Analysis Theory and Method. April 16, 2015; Chaoyang, Beijing, PRC – Chaoyang District Teacher Training Institute. Topic: ‘Student Centred Learning’.  Aug 23 – Sept 6, 2014.

This information has been contributed by Dr Jennifer Alford.


  • Jennifer’s real world teaching engagement includes 12 years of teaching in high schools and in adult second language education institutions, and 16 years in Higher Ed. She also regularly conduct workshops for teachers in schools on the following topics: Second language acquisition; Curriculum design and enactment; Teaching strategies for EAL/D learners across the school curriculum; Critical literacy: theory and approaches; Pre-service teacher education re EAL/D learners in schools.
  • Selected Workshops/seminars/consultancies:
    • English Teachers’ Assoc’n of Queensland (ETAQ) – ‘Differentiating for EAL/D learners – theory and practice’ (with Dr Margaret Kettle and Ms Gae Nasatsi) May 14, 2016.
    • English Teachers’ Assoc’n of Queensland (ETAQ) – ‘Differentiating for EAL/D learners – theory and practice’ (with Dr Margaret Kettle and Ms Gae Nasatsi) May 14, 2016.
    • Education Qld Metropolitan EAL/D PD day – Building EAL/D capacity in schools – opportunities and challenges from the pre-service perspective. Oct, 20, 2014.
    • QATESOL – Preparing Pre-service teachers for ESL teaching – a dialogue between schools and universities. Sept 6, 2014. Brisbane.
    • Milpera High School. May 15, 2014. Copperative Learning Strategies for Language Learning Professional Development Seminar (40 teachers).
    • QATESOL ‘TESOL Classroom Strategies’ presented at Metropolitan South Institute of Technical and Further Education. September, 2013.
    • John Paul College, Brisbane. May 2012. Embedding EAL/D strategies across the curriculum P-12.
    • Yeronga High School, Brisbane. TESOL Classroom Strategies Refresher. March 2010.
    • Pacific Gateway International College, 232 Adelaide St, Brisbane : ‘Communicative Language Teaching and the Grammar Gap’. Oct 26, 2001.
    • QATESOL- Critical Literacy. Metropolitan area workshop – April 27, 2002. MacGregor High School ESL & Critical Literacy professional development project: with Jennifer Lawrence and Jaelle Thompson: June 2001 – Dec 2002.

    Selected Conference Presentations

    • Alford, J., Schmidt, C & Lau, S. (2016). Enacting critical literacy at the intersection of instructional models and local policy: classroom practice in Sweden, Canada and Australia. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) international conference – Transforming Education Research, Melbourne, Australia, Nov 27-Dec 1, 2016.
    • Alford, J. (2016). Assembling critical literacy with high school English language learners: exploring power in the territory beyond reason. In Symposium for Writing and Literacies SIG:  Literacy as a Body Without Organs: Democratic Assemblages, Multiplicities, And Intensities Of Multimodal Practices.  American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting – Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies. Washington, DC.
    • Kettle, M., Creagh, S., Alford, J., Lampert, J., Burnett, B., Thompson, G & Ferguson, A., Comber, B. (2016). Symposium for Politics and Policy and in Education SIG: Policy-makers and researchers partnering for mutually beneficial outcomes: Projects, priorities and processes. Presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) international conference – Transforming Education Research, Melbourne, Australia, Nov 27-Dec 1, 2016.
    • Alford, J., & Woods, A., (2015). Constituting ‘at risk’ literacy and language learners in teacher talk: exploring the element of time. Paper presented in symposium titled: The production of school success and failure over time: tracing the trajectories of ‘at risk’ learners, with Hayes, D., Talbot, D., & Comber, B., at Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) international conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, Dec 2015.
    • Alford, J., & Neilsen, R. (2015). Language-aware teachers: the next generation. Invited keynote for the Centre for Teaching and Learning Languages (CTaLL) and the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation (CREFI) at Deakin University (Melbourne) – Language Teaching and Learning Seminar series – August 13, 2015.
    • Kettle, M., Ryan, M.E., & Alford, J. (2015). Applying Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) in Education research: theory, rigorous method and possibilities for application. Professional Development workshop (whole day) at American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting – Towards Justice: Culture, Language and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis. Chicago, USA. April, 2015.
    • Alford, J., and Sobyra, A. (2014). Recontextualising English language teaching policy: teachers as mediators of genres of power. Paper presented at the Inaugural QUT HDR Conference, Brisbane, QUT Oct 11, 2014.
    • Alford, J. (2014). Recontextualising Critical Literacy for EAL/D learners in senior English: from curriculm to classroom. ACTA International Conference, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia. October 2104.
    • Hepple, M., Sockhill, M., Tan, A., and Alford, J. (2014).  Experimenting with Claymation : how can multimodal pedagogy assidt low-level literacy adolescent, English language learners? ACTA International Conference, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia. October 2014.
    • Alford, J. & Windeyer, A. (2013). Teaching reading comprehension across the national curriculum with EAL/D learners: are we brave enough to really take it on? Paper presented at the . ALEA/AATE national conference July 2013. Brisbane, QUT.
    • Alford, J. (2013). Standing brave in the face of rapid curriculum change: EAL/D teachers speak about critical literacy and its place in senior English teaching.Paper presented at the ALEA/AATE national conference. July 2013. Brisbane, QUT.
    • Alford, J. (2009). Teaching English as an additional language in senior high school: critical discourses in critical times. Paper presented at the Discourse and Cultural Practices Conference, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, July 2009.
    • O’Gorman, L., D. Tangen and J. Alford, (2009). Crossing Borders into field experience:providing support to international pre-service teachers in the field. Paper presented at the Australian Teacher Educators’ Association Conference. Albury-Wodonga, June 2009.
    • Campbell, M., L. O’Gorman, D. Tangen, R. Spooner-Lane and J. Alford (2008). Ethical Issues in Assessing International Pre-service Teachers during the Field Experience: A pilot study. Paper presented at the Australian Association of Research in Education (AARE) Conference, Brisbane 2008.
    • Alford, J. (2005) Discursive patterns in ESL Policy: competing discourses in the new ‘Education Queensland’ ESL Policy and Guidelines document. In May, S., Franken, M., & Barnard, R. (Eds.) LED2003: Refereed Conference Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity., November, 2003, Wilf Malcom Institute of Educational Research, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


This information has been contributed by Dr Jennifer Alford.


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2016 QUT University Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Winner of the 2015 Penny McKay Memorial Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis on Language Education. This is a competitive award assessed by a team of highly reputable scholars in the field.
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Winner 2015 QUT Faculty of Education Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award