Margaret Gleeson

Dr Margaret Gleeson profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of Education


Teaching in 2019


PhD Well, DipSLT Massey, MA(Hons) Waik, MA(Hons) DipTchg BA Cant


I have a background of about 30 years in teaching, initially in curriculum English at secondary school and later specialising in teaching students with English as an additional language (EAL). During this time I taught New Zealand-born students and also migrants, refugees and international students at secondary and tertiary level. Since joining VUW, I have worked with teachers in secondary schools as an ESOL and Pasifika literacy advisor. I am currently involved in teacher education as a lecturer in the field of educational linguistics: the teaching and learning of EAL students.

Current research

My main interest is in subject teachers’ pedagogies for teaching emergent bilingual/English language learners in mainstream classes. This includes investigating teachers’ beliefs, how teachers learn and how teachers collaborate to incorporate language learning into their existing belief systems.

Recent and continuing projects involve:

  • The PLD experiences of NZ subject teachers preparing students learning English as an additional language for university entrance (with Dr Carolyn Tait)
  • Making subject area texts comprehensible to ELLs: How do secondary subject teachers respond? (with Dr Carolyn Tait)
  • Is supporting the needs of EAL students a cultural or linguistic issue? A comparison between approaches in NZ and Australia. (with Professor Chris Davison, UNSW)
  • How prepared are content teachers in Australia for teaching new curricula which demand the integration of language and content? (with Professor Chris Davison, UNSW)

Recently completed research

  • Investigating the beliefs and pedagogical practices of Australian secondary teachers in ESL and curriculum classes (with Professor Chris Davison, UNSW).
  • Exploring learning communities of practice developed during short term English-medium immersion courses (with Dr Carolyn Tait 2011-2012).
  • The interaction between ESOL and subject teachers under a new NZ curriculum.

Supervision interests

I like supervising people with an interest in aspects of educational linguistics, especially how subject teachers work with English language learners (ELLs) for academic success. This also involves teachers’ beliefs, teachers’ learning and teachers’ professional collaboration both in English medium education and in English as a foreign language (EFL) contexts.


Qualitative studies within a sociocultural conception of learning.

  • Case study
  • Narrative
  • Mixed methods

Recently completed supervisions

Doctoral thesis completions

Astuti Asiz. (2014). Indonesian junior secondary school teachers’ conceptions of assessment: A mixed methods study. (First supervisor with Prof. Luanna Meyer).

Prema Shoba Perumanathan. (2014). Formative assessment and feedback in the primary classroom: An interplay between teachers’ beliefs and practices. (Second supervisor with Dr Lex McDonald).

Hue Tran. (2016). Professional learning and development for EFL teacher educators in the context of educational reforms in Vietnam. (Second supervisor with Dr Roseanna Bourke).

Sudatip Prapunta (under examination): Language learning motivation and identity of Thai university students (Second supervisor with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Thilegawathy Sithraputhran (2017): How do Tamil Heritage Language Learners (THLLs) perceive using English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) impacts their identities as multilingual speakers in Malaysia? (First supervisor with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Dwi Agustina (2017): How do junior high school teachers in Magelang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia explain their approaches to teaching and learning English inside and outside the classrooms? (Second supervisor with Dr Gillian Hubbard).

Master's thesis completions

Rachmania Bachtiar Kassing. (2012). Perceptions of motivational teaching strategies in an EFL classroom: the case of a class in a private university in Indonesia. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Jeong Hyun Cho. (2014). Teachers’ perceptions of changes to teaching practice and the influence of professional development: Experienced EFL teachers in South Korea. (with Dr Sue Cherrington).

Margaret Flavell. (2014).Pacific Island families’ perceptions of the parental role in the learning process – in a high school setting. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Kiely Pepper. (2014). What bilingual police students perceive as facilitators and barriers to their learning during initial police training. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Annette Tate. (2014). What are the perceptions of stakeholders of an online English language learning programme? (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Madoka Takemoto. (2015). Interaction among Non-English Speaking Background (NESB) and English Speaking Background (ESB) children in the early childhood education environment. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Lucy King. (2016) “Gokum showed me how”: Four Cree children’s perspectives on language and culture maintenance through intergenerational, place-based learning. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Insook Lee. (2017) How do early childhood teachers in one centre use learning stories as formative assessments to inform them about the language development of one EAL learner? (with Dr Mary-Jane Shuker).

Tianqi Zhang. (2017) Supporting Chinese students learning in New Zealand primary schools. (with Dr Carolyn Tait).

Current supervisions

Current doctoral thesis supervisions

Van Ahn Phan: How has communicative language teaching influenced the questioning practices of tertiary EFL teachers in Vietnam? (First supervisor with Dr Carolyn Tait). Due to finish 2018.

Tho Vo: How do Vietnamese tertiary teachers use digital technologies to enhance students learning in a CLIL context? (Second supervisor with Dr Louise Starkey). Due to finish 2019.

Current master's thesis supervisions

Biljana Petrovic: What do teachers and international students perceive to the barriers and enablers for international students' academic learning? (with Dr Carolyn Tait). Due to finish December 2017.

Selected publications

Articles/ Chapters

Gleeson, M.E, & Davison, C. (2018). How prepared are content teachers in Australia for teaching new curricula which demand the integration of language and content? Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 41(1).

Tait, C. F. & Gleeson, M.E. (2016). “Linguistically Inclusive Pedagogy.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Education. Ed. Luanna Meyer. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gleeson, M., & Davison, C. (2016). A conflict between experience and professional learning: Subject teachers’ beliefs about teaching English language learners. RELC, 47(1), 43–57. doi: 10.1177/0033688216631221

Cui, L., Hubbard, G., & Gleeson, M. (2015). Teaching poetry to Chinese English majors: a review of articles from 2000-2013. English Teaching: Practice & Critique, 14(3), 270- 284.

Gleeson, M. (2015). ‘It’s the nature of the subject’: Secondary teachers’ disciplinary beliefs and decisions about teaching academic language in their content classes. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 38(2), 104- 114.

Gleeson, M., & Tait, C. (2012). Teachers as sojourners: Transitory communities in short study-abroad programmes. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28, 1144- 1151. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2012.07.005

Gleeson, M. (2012) ‘‘Jack of all trades’: The ambiguous role of the ESOL teacher in secondary schools’, Tean Journal 4(2) February [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 28 February 2012).

Gleeson, M. & Tait, C. (2010). Interaction for Learning. Eds. Dr. Melinda Cowart, Managing Editor, Dr. Phap Dam, Series Editor. Teaching English Language Learners: An International Perspective. Denton, Texas: Texas Woman’s University.

Tait, C., & Gleeson, M. (2010). Making the most of linguistically diverse students in secondary and higher education: teachers and students speak out. Eds. V. Green, & S. Cherrington. Delving into diversity: An international exploration of issues of diversity in education. New York: Nova Science.

Bishton, S., Gleeson, M., & Tait, C. (2009).The mathematics teacher as a teacher of language. Eds. R. Averill & R. Harvey. Teaching secondary school mathematics and statistics: Evidence based practice. Wellington: NCER.

Pratap, S., & Gleeson, M. (2008). PD at the departmental level: The experience of one school. Many Voices, 27, 6-7.

Conference Papers/Presentations

Gleeson, M. & Davison, C. (2015). Subject teachers’ beliefs about teaching English Language Learners: What do they know and how did they learn it? Toronto, Canada: American Association of Applied Linguistics, 21-24 March.

Tait, C. & Gleeson, M. (2015). Becoming an English language teacher: An intercultural journey.

Toronto, Canada: American Association of Applied Linguistics, 21-24 March.

Gleeson, M. & Davison, C. (2014). The mediation of policy and practice: The role of the subject teacher inteaching English language learners. Portland, Oregon: American Association of Applied Linguistics, 22-25 March.

Gleeson, M. (2013). “It's the Nature of the Subject". How do subject teachers interpret linguistic pedagogical content knowledge? Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3 May.

Gleeson, M. (2013). Sequentially or by negotiation? How do secondary subject teachers think about teaching English language learners? San Francisco: American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting (AERA), 27 April -1 May.

Gleeson, M. (2012). Balancing language and content teaching: How do secondaryteachers share their subject space with English language learning? Palmerston North: Community Languages and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Conference (CLESOL), 4-7 October.

Gleeson, M. (2012). Secondary teachers’ disciplinary beliefs and decisions about teaching English language learners in their content classes. Research Seminars in TESOL and Language Studies, The University of Sydney, 7 September.

Gleeson, M. (2012). Teaching language, Teaching content: Disciplinary distinctions. Public lecture, School of Education, University of New South Wales, 31 July.

Gleeson, M. (2011).Teaching the languages of content: Some issues for educators. Guest speaker, Wellington Association of Teachers of ESOL Annual General Meeting, 16 November.

Tait, C. & Gleeson, M. (2011). Lost in translation: How do short immersion courses for EFL teachers translate into practice? The Korea English Education Society 2011 KEES International Conference, Chungbuk National University, Republic of Korea, 3 August.

Gleeson, M. (2010). Content AND language teaching? How do curriculum teachers support students learning English as an additional language? Public lecture, School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 26 November, 2010.

Gleeson. M. (2010). Content AND language teaching? How do New Zealand teachers support students learning English as an additional language? BERA Annual Conference, University of Warwick, 1-3 September.

Gleeson, M. (2009). Making language and learning work: Supporting English language learning in primary schools. What resources are available? WATESOL Expo, 4 July.

Gleeson, M. (2008). Out of the closet: ESOL joins the mainstream. Auckland: Community Languages and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Conference (CLESOL), October.

Gleeson, M., & Busch, M. (2007). Making language and learning work: Supporting English language learning in secondary schools. WATESOL Expo, June.

Gleeson, M. (2005). Error correction for ESOL secondary school students. WATESOL Expo, June.


Teaching in 2019