Research

https://suzannebarry.com.au/

My research interests include languages education and transcultural pedagogies, authentic assessment practices, and socially responsible linguistics and pedagogy focussed on democratising education.

Current research

PhD Candidate 2020-2024, University of New England

Conducting independent research, I have designed, implemented, and evaluated various iterations of my project design. I have collected and analysed data, disseminating my findings at professional conferences. My research has examined the developmental journey of emerging teachers, with particular focus on how best to prepare language teachers for a demographically pluricultural — but systemically monolingually orientated — society such as Australia.

Research translation

2022: MLTAQ Conference: Innovative Practitioners, Innovative Practice, Brisbane.

Intercultural teacher identities: operationalising teacher skills and dispositions to develop global competence in students, and language engagement for life.

This presentation disseminated key findings from my PhD research, which has illuminated the crucial role of intercultural teacher identity in the current Australian context for teachers of additional languages — as they face the dichotomy of a growing need for global competence in a culturally diverse country, within a monolingually orientated education system.

Attendees were also provided with a reflective framework I developed to support my work with emerging teachers throughout the data collection phase, which I refined and released to participants, as an output of my research. The framework resulted from my investigation into and application of international TESOL research, specifically Professor Bala Kumaravadivelu’s (2012) Language Teacher Education for a Global Society., which provides “a modular model” for the specific knowledge, skills, cognitive and reflective behaviours and dispositions required to develop into an effective languages education practitioner.

2022: Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) Big Ideas Summit, Brisbane.

Conceptual Planning with ‘Big Ideas’ – ‘Starting with the (conceptual) end in mind’.

This presentation provided an overview and rationale for embedding Indigenous perspectives into purposefully conceptualised curriculum plans. Reporting on a project implemented in an alternative school setting, the journey from conceptual integration of cross curriculum priorities and school ethos was outlined, with insights from practice shared.

2021 – 2022 (Onsite at SEQ schools)

  • Authentic, aligned assessment: Grading tools that support these aims.
  • Transdisciplinary curriculum planning: Assessing an integrated curriculum.

These professional development seminars and workshops combine conceptual curriculum planning practices with authentic assessment principles with a focus on the interpretation of conceptual underpinnings of syllabus and curriculum documents, for deep alignment with mandated curriculum.

The assessment practices are drawn from my tertiary teaching in initial teacher education assessment courses, while the curriculum focus derives from my own PhD research and insights from Professor Kevin Lowe’s (UNSW) work with conceptual curriculum planning, which “considers the structural, epistemic and curriculum factors impacting on the success of [the cross curriculum priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander] policy mandate” (UNSW, n.d.).

The programs are practical and supported by research. Teachers leave with unit plans, marking guides and/or task sheets developed, depending on the goals negotiated with the leadership team and the length of program.

2019: AFMLTA International Languages Conference: Languages – breaking through the walls, Hobart.

Understanding intercultural language teaching: Links between theory and practice.

This presentation provided an overview of the current landscape of the teaching of additional languages in Australia. The presentation synthesised the current literature, integrating both the rationale for further exploration, and a set of success criteria for the development of interculturally orientated teacher practice.

2019: Languages Road Show – October, Brisbane; November, Sunshine Coast.

Intercultural competence in the Australian Curriculum: Languages (Keynote address with Dr Peter Grainger, USC).

This presentation followed the format of ‘Understanding intercultural language teaching: Links between theory and practice‘ (the entry noted above).

Other research contributions

Research Assistant / September 2022 — February 2023, University of Southern Queensland

Appointed as Research Assistant on ARC Linkage (LP210100098): Constructing a rich curriculum for all: ‘Insights into practice’, I analysed sources for inclusion in literature reviews, collating and organising them using source management software. I developed written reports related to project deliverables.

Research Assistant / 2019 contract, University of the Sunshine Coast

Research assistant for Learning and Teaching Grant: Improving assessment literacies through development of quality assessment rubrics and enhanced student outcomes. I transcribed and analysed data, contributed to literature reviews, and provided administrative support for a project designed to evaluate assessment and alignment practices in various university courses.

Research Manager / January 2022 – July 2022 (contract), Alliance of Girls’ School, Australasia

I led the research priorities at the Alliance, developing literature reviews; overseeing research grants; writing extensively for research-related publishing opportunities and contributing to strategic planning. I provided methodological guidance to member schools and sat on the Global Action Research Collaborative on Girls’ Education (GARC) committee, developing documents such as research goals statements on behalf of the panel.