Dr Naomi Flynn
Dr Naomi Flynn , Associate Professor in Primary English Education is a teacher educator and researcher. She is fascinated by how children develop literacy in English, and particularly those who have English as an Additional Language (EAL). During her time as a teacher and head teacher in inner-city multilingual classrooms she became interested in EAL children and how teachers manage language acquisition for their students, alongside the demands of the National Curriculum.
"During my years in the classroom, I was bowled over by the speed at which children with EAL would be able to adapt and operate at the same level as native speakers"
Children with EAL make up over 20% of the primary school population but, Naomi says, "The National Curriculum makes little mention of EAL and it's important that we challenge this. The next generation need to understand that the National Curriculum is a useful tool, but it doesn't need to be a barrier to success for children with EAL."
While lecturing on teacher training programmes, Naomi uses her research to give students real-life examples such as how to have fun using Shakespeare with multilingual children and observations of language-rich practice from the US. Her module on BA Education Studies looks at Multilingualism in Education and her work with Doctoral students focuses on language and literacy education.
Naomi works with colleagues from The University of Indianapolis, and other universities in the US, Germany, the UK and Finland as well as NALDIC (the national subject association for EAL) and Bilingualism Matters.
Naomi hopes to adapt what the Americans are doing and bring that pedagogy to the UK. She is already trialling these approaches in a school with 98% EAL children and is excited to be working with the staff there to introduce research-informed practice.
"All my research is ultimately to ensure teachers can perform to their highest potential and be the best teachers they can be."