Critical citizenship in TESOL classrooms

Understanding the impact of TESOL on Citizenship

Degree type


Closing date

29 October 2021



Citizenship requirement

Domestic/International Onshore

About the research project

With almost one third of the population born overseas, Australia is a key immigration destination in the Asia-Pacific region, yet difficulties in information access during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a social disconnect and isolation among immigrant communities. Language and citizenship are widely argued to exist in a symbiotic relationship. Through language, societies define and delimit membership, and individuals access and exercise rights and enact civic participation. TESOL sits in this nexus, yet few studies have examined the role of language learning programmes in navigating convergences and tensions between existing and emerging notions and practices of citizenship. This qualitative, longitudinal study will uncover the experiences of ESL students and their teachers engaged in migrant English language programmes to develop rich understanding of TESOL classrooms as citizenship development sites and of the role TESOL teachers play in this process.  The study will empirically extend theory on the language and citizenship relationship and expand knowledge regarding TESOL teachers’ multi-faceted roles in largely under-explored directions. It will also generate insights for community,for policy on migrant programmes and for TESOL teacher educators.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Mairin Hennebry-Leung


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $28,597 per annum (2021 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years;
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000; and
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


The project is open to domestic (Australian and New Zealand) and international applicants who are already in Australia (onshore) at the time of submitting their application.

Due to current Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions the University cannot accept applications from international applicants who are currently overseas.

Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements and the following additional eligibility criteria specific to this project:

  • Experience in TESOL practice
  • A relevant Masters degree (Language education/Applied Linguistics/TESOL)

Applicants from the following disciplines are encouraged to apply:

  • Language education
  • Applied Linguistics

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select the project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Mairin Hennebry-Leung, if you have any questions about the project; and
  3. Click here to submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email.

Apply now Explore other projects

Why the University of Tasmania?

Worldwide reputation for research excellence

Quality supervision and support

Tasmania offers a unique study lifestyle experience