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Naomi Flynn

  • Professor of Multilingual Education
  • School Director of Postgraduate Research Studies (IoE PhD Programme Director) 
  • Steering committee member for University of Reading Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
  • Doctoral research supervision
  • Teaching: I teach across modules for pre-service and in-service teachers on the teaching of children with English as an additional language (EAL)
  • BA Education Studies module Multilingualism and Education
  • EdD module Theory of Education

Areas of interest

My teaching and research are focussed on pedagogy for teaching English, and specifically the teaching of children who have English as an additional language (EAL). 

  • Pedagogy for multilingual learners in mainstream classrooms
  • Critical socio-cultural pedagogy
  • Bourdieu and education

Postgraduate supervision

Masters and Doctoral supervision offered in these areas:

As outlined above in expertise and research interests.

 Current and Recent Doctoral Students, with Topics/Titles of their Research:

  • Sarah Coles (PhD, University of Reading Wilkie-Calvert Funded) - An exploration of the language-learning journeys of UK-born children with English as an Additional Language
  • Aniqa Leena (PhD) (ESRC funded) - Investigating the impact of the Enduring Principles of Learning (EPL) on multilingual pupils’ English language and literacy development
  • Helen Norris (PhD, University of Reading funded) - Fiction reading, emotion recognition and the emotion language adolescent boys know and use
  • Tom Oyunge (PhD) - Examining Teacher’s Perception, practices and Integration of ICTs in secondary school teaching in Kenya
  • Debra Page (PhD) (ESRC funded) - The Young Interpreters Scheme: Linguistic features of peer-to-peer input and educational experience of participation
  • Jo Palmer (EdD) - An investigation into the influences on the reading comprehension performance of Year 5 children in a disadvantaged geographic location in the UK
  • Cong Xia Li (EdD) - Developing the intercultural competence of Mandarin Chinese learners a through Task-based learning approach – A case study in UK higher education

Doctorates supervised to completion:

  • Deborah Hickman (EdD) - Who are the readers in the room? Secondary school perceptions of reading: a constructivist grounded theory study of secondary school reader identities, spaces and practices
  • Reham Bukhari (PhD) - A Qualitative Investigation of Sixteen Saudi Arabian People who Stutter's (PWS) Life Stories: with a Social Relational Model of Disability's Framework for Understanding PWS's Lived Experiences
  • Anna Farleigh (EdD) - English Literature teachers' perceptions of English Literature
  • Kate Lloyd (EdD) - The Pioneers of the Hybridised World of Vocational Education and GCSE retake
  • Sheikha Majid - English to Malay and back again: An analysis of lecturers’ code mixing in tertiary English classrooms
  • Keltoum Mansouri (PhD) - Research into practice: Implementing strategy-instruction and metacognition in the teaching of EFL listening. The case of Algerian university teachers and students
  • Steve Rutherford (EdD) - ‘Flying the nest’: An analysis of the development of self-regulated learning during the transition to Higher Education 
  • Ruth Samuel (EdD) - Teacher Values and Value Construction among low income female teachers in Bangalore, India: implications for reflective practice in teacher education in India
  • Marnie Seymour (University of Winchester PhD) - Primary Foreign Languages: Beginning teachers’ narratives of vision and practice
  • Olwen Wright (University of Winchester EdD) - An exploration of non-specialist teachers' subject knowledge of English grammar and its relationship with changes in policy and expectation of teachers at KS4

Research centres and groups

  • Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
  • Forum for Research in Language and Literacy (FRiLL)
  • Language and Literacy in Education Research Group

Research projects

  • 2021 – 22 The Talk Rich Teaching Project, University of Reading Research Fellowship (£10,000)
  • 2021 Teaching English Language Learners, Fulbright US-UK Visiting Scholar Award ($15,000)
  • 2018 -20 Ufton Court Educational Trust & Claycots Primary, Slough (£4,000), PI Carol Fuller, University of Reading
  • 2018 ESRC Festival of Social Sciences (£1,000) Joseph, H., Flynn, N. & Wolleb, A. Multilingual Story Telling (Community event at Reading Central Library, 6.11.18)
  • 2018 onwards Observations of Pedagogical Excellence of Teachers Across Nations (OPETAN) project member. PI Kara Mitchell-Viesca, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 2017-18 Department for Education (£42,000) UoR team member delivering phonics roadshows to schools in southern, central and eastern counties of England
  • 2016 Department for Education (£11,000) UoR team member working on Phonics Screening Check Review for Standards Testing Agency
  • 2015–16 University of Reading CeLM funded project (£1,300): After the ‘new migration’: re-examining perceptions and experiences of learning English for Polish children and their primary school teachers.
  • 2014-2015 University of Winchester Research Fellowship (£10,000), Developing research-informed practice and specialist professional subject knowledge for teaching children with English as an additional language. See


I became a teacher educator in 2000 after a seventeen-year teaching career in primary schools in London and Liverpool, the last four of which were as a Headteacher in East London. I worked at the University of Winchester for 12 years before joining the IoE as an Associate Professor in 2015. My practice-related experiences underpin my research profile and publications record related to the teaching of children who are multilingual in UK classrooms. I have been a Fulbright Scholar (2021-22) and have a particular interest in sharing US-UK research findings related to pedagogy in linguistically diverse classrooms. 

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (2012) University of Winchester
  • MA (Distinction) (2003) UCL/Institute of Education
  • PGCE (1983) Goldsmiths College, University of London
  • BA (Hons) (1982) English Literature, University of Leeds

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • British Educational Research Association (BERA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA)
  • National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC)
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)

Selected publications

Conference Presentations:

  • Flynn, N. (2022) “The Enduring Principles of Learning: Bringing US critical socio-cultural pedagogies for multilingual learners to the UK”  paper presented at BAAL 2022, Belfast NI, August 31st – September 3rd 2022
  • Flynn, N & Leena, A. (2021) Changing Hearts and Minds and Practice for Teachers of Multilingual Learners, paper in Symposium (Chair N.Flynn): Professional Development for Teachers in Multilingual Classrooms: International Perspectives, ECER (online) September 6th – 10th 
  • Flynn, N., Viesca, K. & Teemant, A. (2019) ‘Teachers’ successful practices for English language learners (ELLs) in the UK and the US: similarities and differences’ paper in Symposium (Chair Kara Viesca): Observations of Pedagogical Excellence in Teaching Across Nations (OPETAN): Results from a Four Nation Study. ECER, 2019, Hamburg, Germany, September 3rd – 6th.
  • Flynn, N (2018) “The EAL Teaching in England survey: implications for training linguistically responsive teachers”, paper in Symposium Teachers’ practice and subject knowledge for teaching multilingual learners: international perspectives on linguistically responsive pedagogy as a resource for inclusion, ECER International Conference, Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Italy, September 2018
  • Flynn, N (2017) invited Keynote, “In school I am English, but at home I am Polish: EAL learners’ fluid identities and implications for teachers’ pedagogy”, presented at British Academy workshop on Language, literacy and learning in children who speak English as an additional language (EAL), University of Oxford, St John’s College, September 2017
  • Flynn, N & Curdt-Christiansen, X L (2017) “Intentions versus Enactment: Language Policy and Practice for English Language Learners in England”, paper presented at ECER International conference, University College Copenhagen, August 2017
  • Flynn, N (2017) invited Keynote, “Living with many languages: views from teachers, children and parents in primary schools”, presented at Hampshire Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service conference, Winchester, July 2017
  • Flynn, N (2016) After the ‘new migration’: Examining perceptions and experiences of teaching English to Polish children in primary schools, Education and Migration: Language Foregrounded Conference, University of Durham, October 2016
  • Flynn, N (2016) Teachers and Researchers Building Subject Knowledge for Teaching English Language Learners: Exploration of Communal Constructivism in an Online Learning Space, ECER 2016 conference, University College Dublin
  • Flynn, N (2015) What Works for EAL? Developing teachers' subject knowledge and research engagement through the use of on-line evidence-based guidance (in symposium, Knowledge mobilisation and translational Research: Building an educational version of NICE through the MESH initiative) BERA Conference, 2015, Queens University, Belfast.
  • Flynn, N (2014) Teachers' habitus for teaching English to EAL Learners (in symposium 'Researching diversity: multilingualism and English literacy in a changed world'), UKLA 50th International Conference ,July 2014, University of Sussex.
  • Flynn, N (2014) The complexity of teachers' subject knowledge for teaching English (in symposium Teachers' subject knowledge for teaching English: Continuity and change'), UKLA 50th International Conference, July 2014, University of Sussex.
  • Flynn, N (2013) Under the invisibility cloak: Positioning policy for the teaching of English as an additional language, BERA September 2013 conference, University of Sussex.
  • Flynn, N (2012) Exploring teachers' subject knowledge for the teaching of English: The inter-relationship of knowing, understanding, believing, policy and practice. Paper presented at BERA September 2012 conference, University of Manchester.
  • Flynn, N (2011) Realities and perceptions for teachers of new migrant children. Paper presented at EARLI biennial conference 2011, University of Exeter.
  • Flynn, N (2010). The response of English primary school teachers to recently arrived Polish children and their families. Paper presented at "Teachers Facing Multicultural Classrooms in the Era of European Migrations in the 21st Century", conference at SWPS University, Warsaw, Poland.
  • Flynn, N (2009). New languages, new professional identity; Exploring teacher response to the arrival of non-English speaking children in previously monolingual UK classrooms, Paper presented at EARLI biennial conference 2009, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Enterprise Activity, External Roles and Consultancy:

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Research in Reading
  • Journal reviewer for: International Journal of Multilingualism, Language Awareness, Language and Education, Language Learning Journal, TESOL Quarterly
  • External Grant reviewer for ESRC-SeNNS Collaborative Studentships (2019)
  • Oxford University Press, expert consultant for the teaching of phonics in English Language Teaching contexts

Public Engagement:

  • National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC), Steering Committee, Trustee (
  • Twitter @naomiflynn61

External Examining:

  • Canterbury Christ Church University, PGCE Primary programmes: 2008-2012
  • University of West of England, PGCE Primary programme: 2012-2016
  • University of Brighton, Professional Doctorate: 2016-2020
  • UCL/IoE MA in Literacy Learning and Literacy Difficulties & MA Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership: 2016-2021


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