Personal profile


I have worked as a teacher educator for many years in the field of English as a second/additional language in Taiwan and across the UK.  I moved to Edinburgh in 2005 where I currently teach on a range of programmes: PGDE Secondary, MSc Education: Language – Theory, Practice and Literacy and MSc TESOL.  The focus of my teaching is influenced by a drive for social justice in language education.

My PhD was an interpretive study that explored teachers’ beliefs about the reading literacy needs of pupils learning English as an additional language. I am interested in the ways in which critical literacy approaches can be implemented in classroom practices to meet the language and literacy needs of pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL).   I am particularly interested in the role of teacher education in promoting social, cultural and linguistic inclusion.

I co-direct the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) and currently serve as the Chair of the National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), the only national subject association for EAL in the UK.  I also work in partnership with a number of organisations to provide CPD and Knowledge Exchange for mainstream and EAL teachers across the UK.

In 2011, my contribution to teaching and my role as Programme Director on the MSc TESOL Programme was publicly recognised by the student body where I was awarded the Endsleigh Overall High Performer Teaching Award.

I am a member of NALDIC, The British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) and The International Association in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).


CERES: Centre of Education for Racial Equality in Scotland

Twitter: @YvonneFoley123




  • Certificate in Theology (Regent Theological College, Cheshire)

  • RSA CTEFLA Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language to Adults (University of Cambridge)

  • MEd TESOL (The University of Edinburgh)

  • PhD in Education (The University of Edinburgh)

Current Research Interests

  • Language Teacher Education
  • Teachers' Beliefs and Identities
  • Bilingualism
  • Literacy development for pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL)
  • Critical Literacies
  • Content and language-integrated pedagogy
  • Second Language Teaching

Collaborative Activity

Current projects:

  • Consultancy Project (2014)(£120,000): Funded by The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy - This project aims to explore provision for student teachers in England who are working with pupils learning EAL. The project blends research and practice to develop modules for trainee teachers and teacher educators with the long-term aim of these professional learning materials being adopted by education providers.
  • British Council funded project (2014) (£5,000): Working in partnership with colleagues this project explores how we are training our mainstream teachers to meet the needs of EAL learners: A case of two schools of education in Scotland (co-applicant).
  • The Bell Foundation Funded Project (2014) (£3,000): In partnership with colleagues I took the lead on securing funding from The Bell Foundation (2014).  This study aims to give EAL learners a voice in shaping and informing their learning opportunities and to identify ways in which their perceptions can be used to improve their learning experiences within UK schooling.  The project will also investigate how the differing national policies in England and Scotland are enacted at the level of the secondary school, the department and the classroom in relation to individual learners (P.I).
  • Longitudinal Study: Exploring mainstream secondary student teachers' perceptions of their experiences during school placements.  Student teachers reflect on the EAL Curriculum Extension strand within the PGDE programme and the challenges and opportunities they face within Scottish schools as they try to implement the new strategies they have learned.  This is a longitudinal study with Dr Pauline Sangster and Dr Charles Anderson, University of Edinburgh.


Conference Papers:

    • Invited Symposium Presenter: ‘Language Policy and Practice across the UK’, LED Conference, New Zealand, November, 2015.
    • Invited Symposium Presenter: ‘A cross-national analysis of K12 ESOL/EALD instructional and teacher education policy’, AILA Conference, Australia, August 2014.
    • Invited Keynote Speaker: English as an additional language in Scotland. Holyrood Primary Education Conference, Scottish Government, Edinburgh, November, 2013.
    • Presentation: ‘Examining Teachers’ Beliefs about the Reading Literacy Needs of EAL Pupils in Multilingual Classrooms’. BAAL Conference, Heriot-Watt University, September, 2013.
    • Presentation: ‘Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs about the Reading Literacy Needs of EAL Pupils’. CERES Conference, The University of Edinburgh, June 2013.
    • Invited CPD Presenter: Creative Literacies. SSCSA, December, 2012.
    • Invited Keynote Speaker: Language and Literacy Across the Curriculum. SEALCC Conference, Scotland, November, 2012.
    • Invited Presenter: Critical Literacies. NALDIC Conference. November, 2012.
    • Invited Speaker:  Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs. St. Andrews University,  April, 2012.
    • Presentation: ‘Language Teacher Education across National Boundaries.’ Paper for the BAAL Conference, Bristol, UK. September 2011.
    • Presentation: ‘Enhancing Horizons: Language Teacher Educator Partnerships across International Contexts.’ Paper for a symposium at the CARLA conference, Minneapolis, May 2011.
    • Presentation: ‘Exploring Teachers' Beliefs about the Language and Literacy Needs of EAL Learners across International Contexts.’ Paper presented at the BAAL conference, Aberdeen University, September 2010.
    • Presentation: ‘I just did a couple of weeks of just seat of the pants language school teaching’ Exploring and Uncovering Teachers’ Beliefs in Multilingual Secondary School Classrooms. A Mixed Methods Approach.  Paper presented at the IVACS conference, Edinburgh University, June 2010.
    • Invited presenter: ‘Using a Multidimensional Approach to Meet the Reading Literacy Needs of EAL Pupils.’ Paper presented at the NALDIC conference, London, November 2009.
    • Presentation: ‘Uncovering teachers’ beliefs about the reading literacy needs of pupils learning English as an additional language.’ Paper presented at the IATEFL conference, Cardiff, April 2009.
    • Invited Keynote Speaker: ‘Meeting the Reading Literacy Needs of EAL Pupils in Scottish Schools.’ Paper presented at the Scottish Government Conference, Edinburgh. March 2009.
    • Presentation: ‘Meeting the Reading Needs of Bilingual Pupils.’ Paper presented in ‘Topic Surgeries’ at the Scottish Learning Festival, SECC, Glasgow - Sept 2008.



PhD Programme

PGDE Secondary: EAL and the Classroom (Course Organiser)

Dissertation Supervision (MSc Education: Language - Theory, Practice and LIteracy and MSc TESOL)

Critical Literacies and Critical Pedagogies (MSc Education: Language - Theory, Practice and Literacy).


  • L Education (General)
  • LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools


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