Dr Marion Heron (Engin)
I joined the Department of Higher Education in January 2017. I am responsible for overseeing and supporting the Surrey Excellence in Teaching (SET) Framework, as well as contributing to the MA in Higher Education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops and sessions. Prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in TESOL in the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Second Language Acquisition, Research, and English for Academic Purposes (EAP). From 2009 - 2015 I worked as a lecturer at Zayed University, Dubai where I taught courses in the Department of English and Writing Studies and the Department of Education. From 1990 - 2009 I taught at Bilkent University, Ankara, in the School of English Language and the Graduate School of Education, working with pre-service English language teacher trainees.My doctoral research focused on the construction of teaching knowledge in pre-service trainees. This interest in the application of sociocultural theory to different learning contexts continues to be my main area of scholarly work. See the section on Research for a list of current research areas.
I research in the following areas:
Classroom interaction and discourse
Having spent many years in higher education and with a disciplinary background in linguistics I have developed in an interest in classroom interaction and classroom discourse. My work has mostly centred around small group teaching in which I explore how teachers and students develop conceptual understanding through the language they use in interaction. In particular, I focus on the dialogic interaction and its relationship to learning. As part of this research I have also focused on raising teachers’ awareness of the centrality of classroom talk in co-constructing understanding.
Writing and genre studies
Due to my background in English language teaching I have developed a research and teaching interest in the analysis of written texts through genre analysis, as well as an interest in exploring writing experiences. I am particularly committed to using genre analysis to support academic writer development, both student and teacher.
Professional development and observations
I have been involved in teacher development and training for over 25 years, both in the UK and internationally. My own doctoral studies focused on how teachers construct understanding of teaching through the post-observation feedback session. This area of interest transcends most of my work and I strive to explore teacher education experiences from a linguistic perspective.
Oracy skills in higher education
Traditionally higher education has supported literacy development of students (reading and writing) whilst oracy development (speaking and listening) has been given little attention. Again due to my experience of teaching English to non-native speakers of English, I have a vested interest in ensuring that students have the necessary oracy skills to be successful and achieve in their higher education studies and beyond. Similarly I have interested in ensuring that all students have equitable participation opportunities through their own oracy skills.
Postgraduate research supervision
My current PhD supervision includes the following students and topics.
Ayesha Mudhaffer Developing speaking skills of ELI Saudi college students at KAU by adopting a communicative language teaching (CLT) approach
Easd Bodur Effects of practical elements in teacher education programmes on students' Pedagogical Content Knowledge
Hanaa Abdullah Al-Ghamdi : Promoting English Foreign language students’ willingness to communicate through teacher classroom behaviour and strategies in the Saudi context
Raniah Kabooha The effects and perceptions of integrating physical comedy on Saudi EFL tertiary students' lexis acquisition affect and motivation
I teach on postgraduate taught courses (MA TESOL - Second Language Acquisition). I also supervise PhD students in the areas of language acquisition and language teaching. I teach on the Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching for staff and also run sessions for the Open Pathway for Fellowship.
Courses I teach on
Changes in Higher Education, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education 27 (2) pp. 164-174 International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning
faculty in an English?medium university in the United Arab Emirates. The authors describe how the
introduction of a new learning and teaching technology, in the form of iPads, resulted in many of the
faculty feeling unsure about their pedagogy. A face-to-face FLC was set up with an on-line
component. The FLC served as a forum to discuss issues, resolve these problems and develop sound
pedagogy in accordance with the culture of the university. The authors present data from blogs,
discussion notes and questionnaires, and they discuss the strengths and limitations of a FLC as a
model of professional development (PD) in this particular context
sessions: the running commentary as a support
for teacher learning, Journal of Education for Teaching 41 (3) pp. 254-266 Taylor & Francis
play a crucial role in the dialogue between tutor and student teacher in a
post-observation feedback session. However, although the dialogue of feedback
sessions has been extensively researched, the role of the artefact has been less
explored. This research examines how the written artefact of a running commentary
guides or constrains the pedagogical conversation between tutor and student
teachers, as well as how it represents the power and authority of the tutor and
the teacher education establishment. The article concludes with implications for
pre-service teacher education practice.
in the literature on pedagogy and learning. This has led to a change in the roles of teachers
and students, and the nature of the classroom interaction. What is not clear so far however,
is how iPads have changed the nature of classroom talk and dialogic teaching. The present
study aimed to examine the impact of iPad use on the opportunities for dialogic teaching
in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes in an English medium university in the
United Arab Emirates. The study reveals that although opportunities for dialogic teaching
are both created and inhibited in classes utilizing the iPads, the most influential contributor
to opportunities and restrictions lies depends on whether the teachers and students
have adopted a dialogic stance. The study also revealed the need to examine dialogic
teaching within the specific sociocultural and educational context of learning.
teacher training feedback sessions, European Journal of Teacher Education 36 (1) pp. 39-54 Taylor & Francis
aimed to scaffold development and learning in teacher training feedback sessions.
Research was conducted with a group of Turkish pre-service English teacher
trainees at an English-medium university in Turkey. Findings include a
categorisation of different question types which seemed to prompt reflection and
construction of knowledge. The data also suggest that trainees need varying levels
of support through different question types to better scaffold their understanding
of teaching. This study concludes with a data-driven framework of
questioning strategies which can be a potential guide for trainers working with
pre-service English teacher trainees.
studying at university., Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives 9 (1) pp. 1-15 Zayed University Press
writing skills through student-created digital videos, Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 14 (5) pp. 12-26 Indiana University
interest and experience of technology and multimodal environments to develop
their academic writing skills and second language learning. Students were
expected to follow a model, research a topic, and craft a digital video tutorial on
an aspect of academic writing which would form part of the already established
flipped classroom model. Feedback from students suggests that there was tension
between students as producers, and students as consumers. Student-created
videos promoted second language learning through research, simplification,
explanation, and encouraged more focus on form, promoting accuracy in English.
However, it was also noted that students prefer a teacher explanation than a peer
explanation and there were concerns over the ?trustworthiness? of a peerproduced
practical and logistical difficulties in organisation, possible threat to professionalism and uncertainty of aims and processes. However, peer
observation with a specific focus on learning can be an essential form of professional development amongst faculty in a higher education
institution. This paper describes a peer observation programme which took place at an English language medium university in the Gulf.
Results suggest that teachers found peer observations provided learning opportunities and affective benefits and impacted positively on
teachers? understanding of teaching in a post-observation feedback session.
Previous research into scaffolding in a teacher training context describes
scaffolding at a technique or strategy level, without describing how, in
linguistic terms, the trainer can support and guide the construction of
teaching knowledge. Data from this research into talk with trainees in
post-observation feedback sessions suggest that there are various levels
of trainer scaffolding which may vary from moment to moment in the
interaction between trainer and trainee. The article concludes that it is
necessary to be aware of specific talk which can scaffold at these levels, and
the author offers a possible framework for scaffolding talk.
teaching. Despite this recognition of the importance of narratives in diary writing, little
attention has been paid to the role of research diaries in the process of learning about
research, and learning how to be a researcher. During the author?s own research into the
construction of teaching knowledge by pre-service trainees, she became aware that her
research diary was scaffolding her own construction of research knowledge. In this article
the author discusses the role of a research diary based on a socio-cultural theory of learning.
The diary acts as the expert other in the scaffolding of research knowledge by the novice
researcher. The discussion of the nature of the scaffolding and the role of diary writing draws
on examples from the author?s research diary written during her doctoral studies.
of scaffolding, Classroom Discourse 6 (1) pp. 57-72 Taylor & Francis
One of the tools of mediation between the learner and the subject to be learned
is talk. In a teacher training context, it is through the use of particular talk that
trainers can guide and scaffold their trainees towards learning, and the basic premise
is that thinking and higher cognitive development occur through social
interaction. At the same time, the talk must be studied in its very specific educational
and cultural context. It is challenging to describe and evaluate scaffolding
since there are many dimensions of the teaching and learning context which
influence the success of the scaffolding process. This research paper reports on a
study which analysed the talk between trainer and trainee in a post-observation
feedback conference. Using Maybin, Mercer, and Stierer?s six features of scaffolding
as a basic framework, the author describes two excerpts from two feedback
sessions. The talk is deconstructed with reference to the context in order to
describe what scaffolding looks like in a particular pre-service teacher training
Teacher Learning, Australian Journal of Teacher Education 39 (5) pp. 26-40 Edith Cowan University
social and cultural context of the learning as well as the interaction
between a more expert other and the learner. Scaffolding at the level of
interaction may be defined as micro-scaffolding, and support which can
be found in the context of the learning can be referred to as macroscaffolding.
This paper reports on research carried out in a pre-service
English teacher training context which explored macro-scaffolding.
Findings suggest that support at the macro-level includes the shared
understanding of accepted practices of the training context in terms of
what is considered ?good? teaching and the conventions of feedback. One
conclusion from this study is that there is a need to recognize and
explicitly discuss these norms and practices in order to support the
micro-scaffolding at the interactional level.
The aim of this study was to explore how experienced teachers use classroom talk to support their pedagogic goals in pre-sessional and in-sessional EAP lessons.
Data were gathered by video recording four teachers? EAP lessons. A framework which identified scaffolding for metacognitive, cognitive and affective activities was used to examine how the four teachers supported pre-sessional and in-sessional students? understanding of academic language and discourse practices.
The data revealed that although scaffolding of language and affect are prevalent, goal-focused metacognitive scaffolding was a distinct feature of in-sessional EAP lessons. The findings suggest that pre-sessional EAP teachers could provide more goal-oriented scaffolding by linking activities to the overall EAP goals.
The originality of this article lies in the identification of potential differences between pre-sessional and in-sessional EAP classroom talk. In particular, a more ?efficient? type of in-sessional classroom talk was identified. The implications of this study lie in teacher development for teachers moving from general ELT to EAP, as well as the potential use of classroom transcripts as a tool for analysis and reflection on practice.
Concept maps have been used extensively for developing higher order thinking skills and are considered significant artefacts in constructing understanding in educational contexts. Increasingly, they are being used as a tool to chart a way towards ?new understanding? rather than recording ?accepted knowledge?. This study is set in an academic development department in a UK higher education institution in which previous research projects have utilised concept map-mediated interviews as a tool in data collection. This paper reports on the relationship between the process of the concept map-mediated interview and the resulting concept map and focuses on the talk during the interview process.
The purpose of the study was to explore the co-constructed nature of the concept map which resulted from the concept map interview. The research question was: how is the concept map accomplished through and in the interview talk?
The three researchers and authors of this paper are colleagues in an Academic Development department in a UK higher education institution. The focus of the interview was to probe the research perspective underpinning the practice of one of the authors.
Design and methods:
The study used a qualitative, unstructured concept map interview. The aim of the interview was to elicit an understanding of one of the authors? research frame and how it influenced her work with staff. The interviewer noted labels on post-it notes during the interview which both participants then arranged on a sheet of paper. The interview lasted 36 minutes and was transcribed verbatim. Sociocultural discourse analysis was used to examine the trajectory of concepts in the interview talk.
The results highlight the collaborative nature of the interview and how the concept map is co-constructed through the interview talk. We demonstrate how the concept map is co-constructed through and in the dialogue between interviewer and interviewee, not as a result of the interview. Results also reveal how the context of acquaintance interviews impacts on the co-construction and thus the resulting concept map.
A concept map which results from such an interview is co-constructed with the interviewer playing a pivotal role in the talk and the mapping. The implications are that the interview as research tool needs to be recognised as a site for the co-construction of ideas and perspectives. Concept maps resulting from interviews need to be recognised as co-constructed. A further implication for research methods is that the transcripts from the interview itself can be used as data to provide a richer understanding of the concept map.