Approach to teaching and supervision
One metric of academic excellence is the degree of engagement in research-led teaching. My personal benchmark of teaching success is the ability to render complex ideas accessible and to encourage students’ independent thinking and critical engagement with the topic through a range of teaching approaches catering to diverse learning styles. I aspire to this in my approach to teaching graduate-level applied linguistics courses at the University of Bristol, in leading workshops on educational assessment and academic integrity for university Faculty Education Directors and teaching staff, and on conducting professional development training on assessing productive skills for exam board staff (e.g., through the Association of Language Testers in Europe)

I was the beneficiary of high-quality research training as a graduate student in Canada. After moving to the UK to launch my academic career directly out of my PhD, I continued to benefit from mentoring from a new network of senior colleagues. As a result of these experiences, I strongly espouse a mentorship model with regard to the capacity building of postgraduate students. I supervise masters and doctoral students with overlapping research interests in applied linguistics, health communication, and educational assessment. I have a growing track-record of working with and training graduate student research assistants and postdoctoral researchers in all aspects of the research process through my externally funded projects.

Teaching and capacity building

I am currently Programme Leader for the MA TESOL Pre-service programme at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London and also teach on the MA TESOL and MA Linguistics programmes. I designed and delivered the module, Language Testing and Assessment, offered for the first time in 2017 at the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics, and contribute to the MA dissertation module with an interactional session on mixed methods research in the social and behavioral sciences. I also work with English Language Centres on the alignment of language assessments (e.g., exit tests) with curricular goals and intended learning outcomes. Beyond my university teaching, I regularly serve in an advisory capacity and conduct workshops on varied topics nationally and internationally to different stakeholder groups. Selected topics that I lead include assessing speaking, fluency and pronunciation teaching/learning/assessment, mixed methods research, marking systems, formative assessment, academic integrity, and rater moderation in higher education. 

During my time at the University of Bristol (2011-16), I led for the below modules, the first three of which I designed:

  • Teaching and Assessing Fluency and Pronunciation to MSc TESOL students [Link]
  • Questionnaire Design and Analysis to PhD students as part of the ESRC-funded Southwest Doctoral Training Centre [Link]
  • Second Language Pronunciation and Fluency to EdD TESOL students [Link]
  • Pedagogy and Curriculum in TESOL to MSc TESOL students [Link]

I also taught courses in second language acquisition and pronunciation and communication at the Université de Montréal and McGill University in Canada before moving to the UK in 2011.

Current PhD students, UCL Institute of Education (since 2017)

Lais de Oliveira BorgesBeyond the Critical Period Hypothesis: Examining the affective dimensions of phonological performance within Brazilian L2 learning contexts. PhD supported by a UCL Graduate Research Scholarship.

Judith Fairbairn. Rater decision-making when marking writing responses. PhD supported by the British Council.

Johnathan JonesVowel perception in second language learners of English

Kate Kelly. Comparative judgement and the limits of cognition. PhD supported by Assessment & Qualifications Alliance (AQA).


PhD committee membership
Abdelbaset HaridyWorld Englishes and international standardized testing: A study in the validity and score generalizability of accented tasks. University of New Mexico, US.


Recently supervised doctoral students, University of Bristol (2012-16)

● Olive Cheung (EdD): Investigating the use of digital storytelling in an EFL speech-pronunciation classroom.

● Tony Clark (PhD): Relearning academic conventions: Intensive IELTS writing preparation in China and Japan. Funded by an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) standard research studentship, a British Council Assessment Research Award, a Worldwide Universities Network Researcher Mobility Grant, and a Newton Fund scholarship. 

​● Merve Demiralp (PhD): Validation of second language proficiency tests through an argument-based approach: The C-Test for Turkish. Funded by a scholarship from the Turkish Ministry of Education.​​

● ​Adnan Mukhrib (PhD): The effect of task type on learner's performance: Comparing communicative tasks and consciousness-raising tasks in a Saudi secondary school. Funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
​● ​Jane Nebe (PhD): Exploring lived experiences of failure in Nigeria's certificate examinations. Funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship and Research Support Grant.

​● ​Tanyapon Phongphio (PhD): ​Using debate principles as an educational tool in EFL speaking classes.

● ​​Sohaib Sandhu (EdD): Diagnostic listening assessment: A Saudi academic listening context.

● ​​Katsuya Yokomoto (EdD): A demographic survey of current English teachers’ experience, knowledge, confidence, interests, and beliefs: Pronunciation pedagogy in Japan. Funded by the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. 

● Joanna Wing Yan Yeung (EdD): The comparative impact and design improvement of simulation training in overcoming communication barriers in disclosing adverse events for nursing students in Hong Kong. Doctoral student grant recipient, Hong Kong Society for Simulation in Healthcare.


Masters and undergraduate supervision
● Supervised 27 Masters dissertations to completion in Bristol (2011-16) and 7 at the UCL Institute of Education (2017), 10 of which were awarded distinctions
● Co-supervised 1 undergraduate summer student intern funded by a university cross-faculty award, Bristol (2015)  


Alumni




Teaching

A Young Park (PhD Bristol, 2015): A comparison of the effects of extensive and intensive reading approaches on the reading fluency, vocabulary knowledge and attitudes of Korean secondary EFL learners.

Park, A. Y., Isaacs, T., & Woodfield, H. (in press). A comparison of the effect of extensive and intensive reading approaches on the vocabulary development of Korean secondary EFL learners. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance access article published in 2017. [Link]

​Helen Tan (EdD Bristol, 2016): The effects of planning time and test-taking strategies in Taiwanese EFL learners’ speaking performance on the TOEFL iBT integrated task. 

Chisa Matsukawa(PhD Bristol, 2017): Politeness in British English and Japanese: A contrastive study of invitation sequences from a pragmatic-discursive approach. ​

​​Hassan Qutub (EdD Bristol, 2017): Arab EFL teachers’ degree of foreign accent: Peer- and self-perceptions of accented speech and views of pronunciation corrective feedback. Funded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

​​​​​​​​​Former Bristol MSc TESOL student, Hyunjin Kim, received the 2015 Caroline Clapham IELTS Masters Award, presented annually to the Master's-level dissertation in English "which makes the most significant contribution to the field of language testing." This is the first time that a former recipient of the award (Isaacs, 2007) has supervised a student winner. The IELTS Partners sponsored Hyunjin's trip to the Language Testing Research Colloquium in Palermo, Italy in June, 2016, where she received the award and a £1000 prize. Our forthcoming paper is based on Hyunjin's work:

Kim, H., & Isaacs, T. (accepted). Teachers’ voices in the decision to discontinue a public examination reform: Washback effects and implications for utilizing tests as levers for change. In D. Xerri & P. Vella Briffa (Eds.), Teacher involvement in high stakes language testing. Berlin: Springer. 

Academic service, teaching & learning
● Programme Leader, MA TESOL Pre-Service (2017)
● Advisor, Preparation for Academic Studies in Higher Education (PASHE) exit test, UCL Institute of Education (2017)
● External examiner, MA in Language Testing (distance), Lancaster University, UK (2016-20)
● Panel member, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) mock review on assessment, University of Bristol (2015)
● External panel member, MA in Applied Linguistics (Language Testing) program approval, University of Bedfordshire (2015)
● External examiner for PhD vivas, University of Nottingham (2014); University of Bedfordshire (2015)
● Internal examiner for 3 PhD candidacy exams (progression) and 2 vivas; Bristol, UCL (2011-17)
● Led departmental response to Bristol Institutional principles for assessment and feedback in taught programmes (2015)
● Academic representative, UKEN-EDM and British Council student recruitment fairs, Seoul, South Korea (2014)






Talia & Hyunjin Kim, LTRC 2016

Talia Isaacs, PhD​