The School of Education at the University of Bristol is calling for applicants to a Research Associate position.
This is a 6 month fixed term contract to work on the project Evaluating Language Supportive Approaches to Transition at Scale (ELSATS), funded by the British Council. The project evaluates the potential of Language Supportive Pedagogy (LSP) to strengthen subject learning at scale in Tanzania and to be adapted for another country, Ethiopia, where English Medium Instruction starts at lower secondary. In its first seven months, the project will establish the theoretical and evidential basis for the LSP approach. During the same period, curriculum analysis will be conducted on the Tanzanian curriculum documents to establish the changes to curriculum design and learning materials development that a scale-up of LSP would demand. At the classroom level, the research will identify the knowledge needs of teachers through observing how LSP is being implemented across diverse sociolinguistic contexts within Tanzania and with what benefits for subject learning. The project is a collaboration with the University of Dodoma, Tanzania, and Kotebe Metropolitan University, Ethiopia.
The RA’s main role will be to develop a literature review addressed to the question, ‘What is the existing evidence that language supportive pedagogies and other bi/multilingual approaches can strengthen subject learning across transitions in language of instruction in sub-Saharan Africa?’ As well as conducting literature searches and contributing original writing for the review, the RA will be incorporating contributions across the team, who will also provide ideas for the intellectual direction of the literature review and suggest resources. A second strand of work will focus on analysis of curriculum materials in order to compare the language demand of the lower secondary science with the competencies targeted in the upper primary and lower secondary English curriculum. Findings will be shared with organisations responsible for curriculum development and textbook publishers in Tanzania. This analysis is also expected to produce lists of subject specialist vocabulary used in the science curriculum. The list will be used in the design of vocabulary assessment in the school-based component of the research. The literature review is expected to lead to a conference paper and co-authored journal article and the curriculum analysis either to an academic book chapter or co-authored journal article. Up to 20% of the time will be spent supporting the PI with coordinating the team through scheduling online meetings, managing a shared online filestore, sharing meeting recordings with the team (as poor connectivity can interrupt participation for partners in Africa) and occasionally taking notes from meetings.
You have a PhD or are close to completing a PhD in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics or education and development, with expertise in language in education. You should have an appreciation of the academic and international policy debates related to the use of European languages, particularly English, for learning and teaching in basic education in under-resourced contexts and a working understanding of the language competencies required for subject learning in secondary education. We are looking for someone who has experience of conducting academic literature view and has previous authored or co-authored academic writing of publishable quality. An, interest of pedagogic approaches to bi/multilingual education is desirable.
Closing Date for Applications: 30th May 2021
The School of Education welcomes applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.
Full job specification at https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CGC253/research-associate.