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Dr Jennifer Alford

Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Personal

Name
Dr Jennifer Alford
Position(s)
Senior Lecturer in TESOL
Faculty of Education,
School of Teacher Education and Leadership
Discipline *
Curriculum and Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, Language Studies
Phone
+61 7 3138 3433
Fax
+61 7 3138 3985
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles
LinkedIn
Qualifications

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

Dr Jennifer Alford, PhD coordinates and teaches units related to English Curriculum Studies and English as an Additional Language and Dialect EAL/D) in the Bachelor of Education and Masters of Teaching in the Faculty of Education at QUT. She commenced working at QUT in 2000 after 12 years of teaching in schools and adult education contexts.

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9238-0933

Her research interests include:

  • Critical literacy with English language learners in global contexts;
  • EAL/D pedagogy across the curriculum;
  • Language and literacy policy for English language learners in schools;
  • Critical Discourse Analysis as theorised method;
  • Intercultural awareness and capacity-building for teachers.

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  (2017- )

Current research projects:

  1. How long does it take to achieve academically in a second language? Investigating variables that impact academic outcomes for ESL learners in Queensland schools (with Dr Margaret Kettle, lead investigator, QUT) and Dr Sue Creagh, (School of Education, University of Queensland).
  2. Critical literacy with high school English language learners: Exploring policy and practice in global contexts (monograph for Routledge – due out 2018).

Jennifer is a Level 2 accredited supervisor. She currently has 7 Higher Degree Research students (PhD, EdD, M. Phil and M. Ed), and has supervised three students to completion since 2015 – 1 PhD (an Outstanding Award Thesis winner) and 2 M.Eds.  She has examined 3 external theses.

Jennifer reviews articles for various journals including English in Australia; Australian Journal of Language and Literacy; English Teaching: Practice and Critique; Critical Inquiry in Language Studies; Asia Pacific Journal of Education.

Professional memberships:

  • 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

She can sing and makes a mean paella.

Keywords

Discourse Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis, Literacy, Critical Literacy, Digital Literacy, Media Literacy, EAL/D, ESL, ELL, TESOL, Bilingualism, Language, Language Teaching, Language Learning, Second Language Teaching, Linguistics, Applied linguistics, Case Study, Critical Case Study, Language and Content Integration, Critical Thinking, Policy, Curriculum, Syllabus, Intercultural understanding

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

Biography

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 education ‘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 2013-2016, 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 on Action Research Projects- 2013; QUT Equity Women in Research Grant, $10,000- 2010.

This information has been contributed by Dr Jennifer Alford.

Teaching

What do students say about Jennifer’s teaching?  Semester 2, 2017:

Jen's teaching was excellent. She was extremely knowledgeable, organised,
positive, warm and encouraging. She was able to cater to students from a range of
backgrounds, and uniquely able to teach us how to do the same. I feel so much
more confident as a beginning practitioner having been in her class. She was
wonderful.
I learned so much from Jen - an outstanding teacher that I can only hope to one day
emulate.
A great learning experience that was very applicable to 'real world' situations. Thank
you :)
The way Dr Alford integrated teaching methods that we can use in the high school
classroom into her weekly seminars was excellent - teaching by example.
Thoroughly enjoyable and educational.
Jen had a fantastic way of modelling what was being taught. She was a very
conscientious teacher who clearly cared about her students' learning.
This is the second time I have had Jen as a lecturer and she is an incredible teacher
who really helped me in a subject that I felt incompetent in. She scaffolds her
lessons appropriately, endeavours to ensure there is a clear understanding and
provides activities and learning experiences which are highly valuable to my
learning. She is highly encouraging, supportive and helped me to achieve more than
I thought I would in the subjects I used to struggle in.
I wish I could have another unit with her. An amazing and inspiring teacher.

Jennifer’s teaching includes:

  • Core B.Ed Culture Studies unit on EAL/D learnners – LCB004.
  • Secondary English curriculum units in B.Ed and Master of Teaching programs.
  • 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 2012, Jennifer was nominated by a cohort of international students for a Vice Chancellor’s award for Excellence in Teaching. 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 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).   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.

Experience

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 Conference Presentations
  • Alford, J., Schmidt, C., & Lyngfelt, A. (2017). The importance of teachers’ professional histories in achieving agency for social change. Presented at Re-imagining Education for Democracy Summit, University of Southern Queensland, Nov 2017. (Accepted for special book edited by Michael Apple and Stewart Riddle).
  • Alford, J. (2017). Re-imagining critical literacy amid the de-democratisation of education: lessons from policy in five global contexts. Presented at Re-imagining Education for Democracy Summit, University of Southern Queensland, Nov 2017.
  • Alford, J., Schmidt, C & Lau, S. (2017). Critical Literacy across Continents: Breaking traditional dichotomies in reading pedagogies. CSSE Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Conference Symposium, Toronto, Canada.
  • 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.
  • 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.
This information has been contributed by Dr Jennifer Alford.

Publications


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

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2016
Details
2016 QUT University Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
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.
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Winner 2015 QUT Faculty of Education Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2012
Details
Vice Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award - nominee

Supervision

  • ** From end of 2018: Seeking PhD supervision in Critical Literacy broadly, and within the teaching of English to speakers of other languages specifically. 

Current supervisions

  • Students' Ethnolinguistic Identities in Bilingual Classroom: A critical ethnography in Sri Lanka
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Michael Mu, Adjunct Professor Barbara Comber
  • Internationalising the Home Student: Employing a Diologic Approach to Develop Intercultural Competence in an Australian Regional University
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Erika Hepple
  • What constitutes successful bilingual education programs? A cross-case study of two primary schools in Australia and Vietnam
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Margaret Kettle
  • Assessment on English as a Foreign Language; Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Assessing Young Learners of English
    Professional Doctorate, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Lynette May
  • Homework for primary school foreign language learners: what is the role of homework in foreign language teaching and learning in Australian primary schools?
    Professional Doctorate, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Margaret Kettle
  • Transforming teacher content knowledge about Appraisal to student skill in writing
    Masters, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Lisa van Leent
  • Using Language Learning Apps as Classroom Tools in University ESL Classes in the Asian Century
    Masters, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Neal Dreamson

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)