TESOL, EAL/D and Languages Research Teaching and Research Group

The TESOL, EAL/D and Languages Teaching and Research Group focuses on developing transformative teaching and learning across the TESOL, EAL/D and languages teaching education sectors in Australia and overseas.

Our focus

Our research program draws from the premise that curriculum, pedagogy, and language and culture are inextricably linked and increasingly digitally enabled.

A unique feature of our expertise is the use of sociolinguistic, sociocultural, critical and creative approaches to research that furthers the understanding of TESOL, EAL/D and languages education.

The group explores sociocultural perspectives on: languages; culture and identity in education; pedagogy; policy; curriculum and assessment; additional languages acquisition; and the nexus between communication, language awareness and languages curriculum, pedagogy and practice.

Study opportunities

The TESOL/Languages team is associated with master's and graduate certificate courses in TESOL and languages teaching.

Prospective higher by degree students may have a variety of opportunities with the team. Expert supervision in specified fields is available, and also possible teaching and research assistant work. PhD students in our area typically have the opportunity to present at a national or international conference during their candidature.

Group members

The following is a list of group members who have expertise and experience in a variety of multinational, multilingual and multicultural contexts.

The team have expertise in  methodologies including: critical discourse analysis; narrative inquiry; case study; ethnography; institutional ethnography; grounded theory; and phenomenology.

Please see their individual profiles for research interests and supervision experience.


HDR students work on a range of research projects across TESOL research areas.

Student projects

Chinese learners of English in Sino-Australian programs at tertiary level in China Yingmei Luo
Engaging with written corrective feedback Nick Carr
Language, identity and acculturation: an intergenerational study of Iranian immigrants in Australia Alireza Fard Kashani
Teaching and learning languages in globalised contexts: perspectives of teachers of French on multilingual education in Australia, Canada and Germany Noella Charbonneau
Reader identity: social, discursive and non-discursive analysis of Iranian postgraduate readers’ identity representation living in Australia Amin Zain
National identity in the English teaching curriculum in Indonesia Ella Masita
Cultural and educational challenges experienced by Iraqi Muslim international students Ali Saif Hashem Al Yassiry
Investigating the L2 motivational selves of gifted and talented secondary Hong Kong Chinese L2 learners of English: a case study Paul Lip
Linguistic behaviour in email interaction and recipient attitudes: request emails by Iraqi speakers of English Mohammed Aldhulaee
Enhancing English language learners' text understanding through conceptual metaphor awareness Leonardo Veliz

Research projects

Multilingual experiences

EAL/D families engage with Australian English language education

Funding: 2016 REDI grant, Deakin University

Navigating the languages policy landscape

An exploration of teacher practice

Funding: CREFI (REDI), Deakin University


The members of the group have extensive research networks and collaborations both nationally and internationally. Within Australia, we collaborate with Western Sydney University, QUT, Macquarie University, and the University of Queensland.

We also have several international collaborations including with the University of Education Karlsruhe (Germany), Regensburg University (Germany), Kassel University (Germany) and Universidad Cardenal Silva Henriquez (Chile).

Funding and awards

Demystifying grammar: towards a more language-aware teaching workforce


This was an OLT-funded project that examined perspectives on language awareness of pre-service teachers and teacher educators. The project's findings have influenced provision of language awareness in teacher education.

Intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools


ARC Linkage Project

This project was influential in providing indicators for teachers to understand interculturality.

Asia Literacy Project


Funded by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), The Asia Literacy Project was a research collaboration between Deakin University and the Asia Education Foundation (AEF). This project was the first large-scale, national project that investigated teacher and principal perspectives of the newly implemented ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ cross-curricular priority in the 2011 Australian Curriculum.

The project report Asia Literacy and the Australian Teaching Workforce has been cited in numerous policy and advocacy documents.

Contact us

For more information about TESOL, EAL/D and languages research, please contact Rod Neilsen.

Dr Rod Neilsen
Senior Lecturer in Education (TESOL)
Email Rod Neilsen
+61 3 9244 5437